Proposals sought for short online courses on AI in the workplace


The Center for Academic Innovation is accepting proposals from University of Michigan faculty to create short courses that empower learning in the era of artificial intelligence in the workplace.

The call for short open online courses — or series of three to five thematically connected short courses — is part of the center’s ongoing effort to support curricular innovation around AI technologies and their uses.


Preferred proposals will involve skill development and the exploration of concepts and generative AI technologies across industry sectors and disciplines.

Due to the high demand from learners for education about AI and its applications, proposals that could conceivably meet a launch goal of July 1, 2024, will be prioritized. Proposals are being accepted until Dec. 15.

“We know that artificial intelligence has transformational potential for individuals, teams, organizations and society,” said James DeVaney, associate vice provost of academic innovation and the founding executive director of the center.

“We want to ensure that our students, our new graduates, and our community of lifelong learners have access to opportunities to explore the fundamentals of the technology, ethical considerations in an AI era, and to become skilled in AI technologies and their uses across industries.”

Proposals are welcome for short courses and series focused on the concepts and applications of AI that apply across workplace sectors or roles, and courses focused on skill-development in AI for specific professional roles.

Approved proposals will receive funding and in-kind development support from the center, including instructional design consultation, project management, media production, and marketing support.

The center is hosting drop-in consultation sessions for any faculty member interested in exploring course or series ideas. Consultations will be hosted at the center’s office, 317 Maynard St., from Nov. 13-Dec. 8 (excluding Thanksgiving) at the following times: 11 a.m.-noon Mondays; 1-2 p.m. Tuesdays; and noon-1 p.m. Thursdays.

The short open online courses will be designed to help learners develop specific AI skills and explore applications within one to three hours of learner effort. That encompasses video lectures, demonstrations, companion articles, discussion prompts and assessments.

Students and learners are seeking to gain skills in rapidly emerging fields within hours and days rather than weeks and months, said Sarah Dysart, senior director of online learning at the center.

“Short courses help learners grasp discrete concepts and gain skills in a single session, giving them the confidence to build on their learning over time with material designed specifically to meet their needs,” she said.


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