U-M offers global learning community new events, opportunities


The Center for Academic Innovation is packaging some of its online course content and adding a special series featuring some faculty “movers” in its online space, in response to learner feedback.

“We are building a more inclusive university every day,” said James DeVaney, founding executive director of the Center for Academic Innovation.

“This global learning community told us they wanted to solve the complex problems that matter most to society and that those problems don’t fall neatly into disciplines. So, late in 2020 we created Michigan Online Collections, to explore interdisciplinary issues like COVID-19, structural racism and healthy democracies.

“They also told us they wanted to engage with leading U-M faculty around issues relevant to people around the world, including meaning and purpose, addressing urgent health care challenges and thriving in organizations during difficult times. So, we are launching the Michigan Online Visionary Educators (MOVE) Series, a new virtual faculty speaker series open to anyone around the world.”

Collections bring together original content and excerpts from related works, including teach-outs and massive open online courses, under common themes.

For example, a playlist on “Engaging and Mobilizing Your Community” within the Democracy and Debate Collection is built with segments from a MOOC on Community Organizing for Social Justice, a teach-out on Finding Common Ground, and a MOOC on Storytelling for Social Change.

The MOVE Series features faculty innovators — those who are moving the university forward in the online education space — sharing insights, tools and discussions on issues relevant to the lives of everyday people around the world.

Each MOVE event will be available free online and feature an interactive Q&A. Registration is required. Upcoming topics include:

“Staying Alive”: Learning Health Systems and the Race Against the Clock

2:30-3:30 p.m. March 25, with professor Chuck Friedman and associate professors Caren Stalburg and Gretchen Piatt of the Medical School.

They will discuss the creation of learning health systems and how they help medical professionals respond to urgent health challenges. Learning Healthy Systems takes the constant flow of data and analytics and harnesses it to transform medical knowledge and deliver system-level innovations.

April title and date to be announced

Colleen Van Lent, lecturer at the School of Information, will detail introductory programming and web design concepts.

Meaning and Purpose in Life: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter?

11 a.m.-noon May 18, with Vic Strecher, professor at the School of Public Health, and Paula Caproni, lecturer at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

They will focus on why meaning and purpose are central to personal success and overall well-being. Strecher’s Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life MOOC has enrolled more than 100,000 learners since its launch in April 2020. Caproni teaches The Science of Success: What Researchers Know That You Should Know. Their talk will feature research, practical examples and a discussion of their own experiences.

From Content to Community: An Emerging Framework for Re-creating Learning Experiences for a Digital World

2-3 p.m. June 16, with lecturer Rebecca Quintana and professor Don Peurach of the School of Education.

They will discuss the future of teaching and innovative ways to use technology in a world changed by remote learning. Quintana developed the Resilient Teaching Through Times of Crisis and Change MOOC. Peurach has launched several popular online courses focused on education, including Leading Ambitious Teaching and Learning, Improvement in Science Education, and Leading Educational Innovation and Improvement.

Teaching with the Dead

11 a.m.-noon July 20, with Kathleen Alsup, Glenn Fox and Kelli Sullivan, anatomical science lecturers from the Medical School. They will explore the power of learning through dissection, and how the real, tactile, hands-on study cannot be replaced through technological tools and advancements.

The team has developed the anatomy specialization of courses that include Gastrointestinal Reproductive and Endocrine Systems, Human Neuroanatomy, Musculoskeletal and Integumentary Systems, and Cardiovascular, Respiratory and Urinary Systems.


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