As the university marches forward with its goal to transform 200 courses by 2017, including the addition of more massive open online courses, the Office of Digital Education & Innovation and edX invite faculty to a two-day workshop to hear how they can adapt their courses to reach learners here on campus and around the world.

Leaders say the May 3-4 event called U-M edX Workshop: Exploring MOOCs and Academic Innovation will feature best practices shared by U-M faculty partners, edX speakers and DEI staff.

“As we continue to shape the future of learning and redefine public residential education at a 21st-century research university, we are excited to host this workshop that will allow faculty to explore new opportunities to advance online pedagogy, create more diverse and inclusive learning environments, engage in research, and increase access to academic excellence at Michigan,” said James DeVaney, associate vice provost for digital education and innovation.

Participants will hear from current U-M faculty on their experiences as MOOC instructors and researchers, and from edX, a nonprofit, open source MOOC provider and online learning destination.

U-M has been a charter member of the edX consortium since fall 2015 and became a founding partner of Coursera in 2012. These are two of the leading online platforms for hosting MOOCs.

To date, U-M has created nearly 50 MOOCs and reached more than 4 million lifelong learners. More than 40 U-M faculty members have experienced working with Coursera or edX.

Gautam Kaul, Fred M. Taylor Professor of Business Administration and professor of finance at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, has been working for several years with massive open online courses. His Introduction to Finance course, delivered on the Coursera platform, is one of the most popular MOOCs of all time. He also has developed Finance for Everyone, which now is available on the edX platform.

“Creating MOOCs and adapting what I’ve learned to enhance the educational experience of learners on campus has been an intense and rewarding experience,” Kaul said. “I’ve fundamentally changed the way I teach on campus, reached over 900,000 global students around the world, and contributed to Michigan’s goal of reimagining the future of learning.

“I highly encourage faculty to explore potential opportunities to experiment with digital education and engage with other faculty and experts on campus.”

The workshop will kick off with the MOOC Experiences, Opportunities and Insights panel. This informal discussion led by U-M faculty will focus on how those using these courses have designed MOOCs to reach global learners, and how that process has changed the way they think about teaching and learning on campus.

Panelists include Kaul; Dr. Elizabeth Du, clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences; Krishna Garikipati, professor of mechanical engineering and mathematics; Charles Severance, clinical associate professor of information; Margaret Wooldridge, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Colleen van Lent, lecturer IV in the School of Information. 

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