Projects

More than 50 projects were submitted to the Campus of the Future competition by U-M students from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds. Just how is Michigan being reimagined for the 21st century? Each and every entry is different and brings a unique perspective to the discussion.

Explore the full list of project descriptions below by category and come engage with featured entries at the project showcase on October 26, 2017.

  • 1Cademy

    The top-down delivery of knowledge, from instructor to student, is a classic form of teaching. But it doesn’t work for every learner, especially when it comes to understanding difficult concepts. To address this problem, an instructor-guided, collaborative learning technology is being developed. It will encourage the generation of multiple explanations of each concept—by students and for students. ​Both groups will benefit from the experience: a true peer-to-peer process. This learning technology fits into the campus scale. A demonstration application will be built during Fall 2017, with a goal of testing the system in three large undergraduate courses at U-M in Winter 2018.

  • Adjacent

    The Campus of the Future is dependent upon greater capacity to build and scale entrepreneurial efforts across its campus. To realize this vision, this project has created a mobile app called Adjacent: a virtual incubator to help student entrepreneurs from different disciplines meet and collaborate while providing alumni entrepreneurs continued access to the valuable guidance and network of the university. Using location-based technology, Adjacent allows people to see what ideas, skills and resources are right around them. Gamification and an intuitive user experience make the process of starting a company more approachable, lowering the barrier to entry for non-traditionalists. On the back end, Adjacent gives the university valuable data into how and where innovations are happening, which allows them to better target valuable resources.

  • Detroit City Study

    Detroit City Study positions itself as a campus-wide design initiative, exploring the possibilities of developing an enhanced educational environment in the city of U-M’s birth through the creation of communal work spaces. In 2016, a DCS pilot focused on entities that are usually separated by space, like Detroit and Ann Arbor, but also U-M’s School of Education and College of LSA. It incubated interdisciplinary research clusters in urban education, placemaking and sustainable humanities, then shared this knowledge through conversations that brought everyone’s voice in. The deliverable for this project would be a written report on the pilot that explores the possibilities of sharing across different academic spatial divisions, and offers new visions for how educational campuses could be structured in the future.

  • Developing a MOOC through Engaged Learning: Students Creating for Students

    An interdisciplinary group of upper-division undergraduate, master’s and PhD students from five different schools recently worked under the guidance of Dr. Michaela Zint, and in collaboration with the Office of Academic Innovation and the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, to develop the first iteration of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed to help national and international learners engage in individual, community and political behaviors to “Act on Climate.” This project is considered to be one of the first original MOOCs developed collaboratively between a professor and students, and can now be used as a model of student-led digital curriculum development for others at U-M and academic institutions around the world.

  • Fathom

    A need exists at U-M for a more conducive, collaborative environment that cultivates good studying and learning habits. Fathom—a crowd-sourced studying tool—can address this need. Users will be encouraged to contribute class notes and practice questions to the platform, and can access the same from others. All information generated will go through a collaborative filtering process to sort out the best content. It is believed that this process will result in a deeper understanding of that content. Future enhancements may implement smart-studying features; integrate artificial intelligence; and provide data to faculty, allowing the university to better align teachings and courses with students’ understanding on a real-time basis.

  • ForuM

    Learning doesn’t happen just in the classroom. Although an abundance of knowledge is accessible through technology, there is still a need for more personal forums in which like-minded students can congregate and converse. A mobile app named ForuM will solve that problem. With ForuM, students will be able to organize or join study groups or informative panels that match their interests. Each group’s creator will determine how large the group will be, the time and location of meetings, and whether the group will be public or invitation only. Because the groups will meet on campus, they can utilize existing classrooms and explore other common spaces for learning outside of lectures. ForuM will help lay the foundation for new “classroom” environments of learning.

  • Knowledge Village

    Knowledge is neither equally distributed nor easily accessible—a situation that supports the development of Knowledge Village, an online community of experts available to learners worldwide. Educators in schools, after-school programs, summer programs and other learning environments will be able to search a database, reach out to speakers and arrange online video visits. While students and faculty at U-M could benefit from using this resource, the university is also uniquely positioned to provide speakers—current and emeritus faculty and alumni—to share with the world. Looking forward, graduating students could also be asked to join the Knowledge Village, creating an ongoing asset to learners and solidifying U-M’s reputation as an educational institution of the first order.

  • Match.Meet.Master

    Traditionally, an education at U-M has focused on the model of a teacher transferring professional knowledge to students. But what about students seeking to learn something for personal enrichment? For that audience, this project proposes a different delivery method: a website called Match.Meet.Master. M3 will be a student-to-student enterprise executed on a campus-wide scale. Students with a skill to share will create a teaching profile on M3: describing lessons they would offer, pricing and meeting times and locations. Learners will be able to easily “shop” the site for desired lessons. M3 will foster relationships between campus members who rarely interact with each other—for instance, a dental student connecting with a dance student for ballet lessons—while making the most of the abundant talent within the student community.

  • Music House Sessions

    It is a struggle to find space at U-M where non-SMTD students can express themselves. The long-term goal of this project is to develop a student arts center at U-M: a dedicated space that serves the needs of amateur artists in the same way that the Central Campus Recreation Building caters to amateur athletes. To generate support for such a structure, this group will create a monthly series of performances at various venues: the “Music House Sessions.” Each would include a jam session, an open mic period, time for networking and educational presentations and a live performance. Participants will also be encouraged to bring their ideas and needs to the table. This will facilitate the development of an inclusive, student-centered plan of action to achieve our final goal.

  • Pop-Up Learning Labs

    The campus of the future must break free of its institutional and geographic barriers to branch out into surrounding communities, create experiential learning options for students, engage individuals with limited access to higher education and provide space for interdisciplinary collaboration to solve local problems. The proposed solution is to create pop-up learning labs. To test this idea, this team proposes to develop a pilot pop-up lab in Ann Arbor with the opportunity to operate at three scales. At the room scale, the lab will take the form of interactive gatherings between town and gown. At the building scale, the lab will function as a live-in learning community. At the campus scale, the lab will serve as an interactive, engaging set of satellite spaces around campus.

  • smallworld

    Despite the opportunities for connectedness that are available through the Internet, we still tend to congregate with those we share a common bond with. This practice flies in the face of research that suggests inclusive communities are happier, more innovative and more productive. smallworld remedies this situation with a digital tool that helps make connections. An administrator creates a personalized invite page and sends it to a group of people: e.g., music students. Recipients use the page to learn about smallworld and sign up. Then smallworld randomly pairs members, who agree to meet in a one-on-one setting. In a pilot program among 100 U-M Medical School students, smallworld facilitated more than 600 pairings–and 100 percent of survey respondents found value in the connections they made.

  • A Sustainable Living Community

    We are regularly told that Americans live an unsustainable lifestyle and that we need to consume, pollute and waste less. But what would a sustainable living situation look like? Our approach leverages U-M’s housing system to teach students the skills needed to live more sustainably—now and in the future. This project proposes that the university pilot a building-scale behavioral intervention for willing students to learn more about how sustainability education can move beyond the classroom and into residential life. The building could track energy, waste reduction, composting, use of public transportation, small-scale gardening and more—all in a social and supportive space. If successful, this project could be scalable to the whole campus, giving U-M an excellent opportunity to showcase its commitment to sustainability.

  • The Team Player Grade

    The campus of the future is about collaboration. But the 21st-century classroom is still focused on measuring individual success. The Team Player Grade is proposed as a campus-wide solution to foster the development of teamwork skills for students and promote collaboration in team environments. A TPG would be given to students each semester in which they work on a team project. The grade would be obtained via peer assessment from the others on the team. The TPG would be a metric for reflection for the individual students, but also useful for educators. If classes or disciplines produce TPGs that stand out in any way, educators would have the opportunity to revisit the goals of their respective curricula.

  • The UGLoo

    The vision of this project is to build a temporary, heated structure that can be erected over North Campus’ Gerstacker Grove during the winter, transforming the landscape into a usable “hang-out” space and source of mental well-being for students, faculty, and staff. The proposed structure would be a transparent, cushioned shell without conventional supports. This would minimize disturbance to the natural landscape and maximize usable space inside, while also using as little material as possible. During the spring, summer and fall, the structure would be removed and stored, leaving the grove open for its current use.