Academic innovation: $50 million awarded

The Center for Academic Innovation is estimated to cost $50 million and will catapult the University of Michigan to one of the leading learning institutions in the country. The project will also lead to the growth of the University’s online platform and online programs.

$50 million has been set aside by the University of Michigan for the development of an academic innovation center. This will be an upgrade to its previously known academic innovation initiative. This investment is expected to help the university in its quest to be competitive in both online and offline learning.

The investment will propel the university to reach a larger demographic. James Devaney, the center’s founding executive director is quoted as saying,

The University of Michigan was not a first mover in the online degree space.

He also outlined that they will put more effort into reaching out to students beyond the University of Michigan. He emphasized on the core mission of finding tools and research and pedagogies and design principles on how to best teach other students beyond their school.

Progress on the center for academic innovation

DeVaney has also outlined that there will be three areas that the center for academic innovation will focus on. These are curricular innovation, educational data, and tools for learning. He also revealed how the investment will be shared among different projects and stated that a large part of this amount will be used in online and hybrid educational offerings.

The school has also added three online degrees which brought the total number of degrees being offered by the institution to 8.

Incubators have been a central part of this program. It has produced pieces of software that have the school estimates to have been used by over 85 percent of the school population. eCoach is one of the most popular pieces of this software and is used in providing guidance to students and also contains introductory lectures.

The personalized learning experience has also been considered and software made to ensure that students have options to choose from. Gradecraft, as an example, is designed in a gaming format where students can interact with it in a more fun and productive way.

Howard Lurie, principal analyst for online and continuing education at Eduventures evaluated the project as necessary and commended it for the steps it has taken to advance education. He noted that other schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had also implemented such a project and the school would benefit when the entire project is realized.