Projects

More than 30 teams made it to the showcase stage of the Campus of the Future competition, held on October 26. From that group, three were chosen to receive a share of $30,000 in award funding set aside for winners.

The following ideas were declared “best of show” in the contest:

First Place: University of Michigan Mobile 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.

Second Place: The Virtual Reality Online Campus

In its mission statement, U-M pledges “to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge.” Developing a Massive Open Online Course enhanced by virtual reality/augmented reality technology will help the university meet this goal and position itself as a leader of emerging trends in education access and availability. VR/AR technology, in the form of hand-held, phone-based headsets, offers unique opportunities for the graphic representation of research findings, making otherwise dry material seem more engaging and relatable. This content can be enhanced through room-scale, in-class enrichment exercises. The proposal will also shape the future of the university on a campus-wide scale, by expanding its reach far beyond the geographic boundaries of the institution.

Third Place: U-M Satellite Campus on Mars

The University of Michigan Bioastronautics and Life Support Systems (BLiSS) project team believes that if human civilization is to succeed in space, then the University of Michigan must be a leader in the endeavor. This project will develop a design for a U-M campus on Mars, as it might appear during the university’s tricentennial in 2117. This design would include but not be limited to the engineering of buildings; suggested scientific research to be conducted on the planet; curriculum considerations; and student life, health and recreation ideas. Input from students, faculty, staff and alumni (especially those employed at leading space agencies and organizations) will be used so that the widest possible worldview can be incorporated into the Mars campus design.

Read the University Record story.

The remaining projects included the following, searchable by alphabetical order or by category.

  • 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.

  • 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

    It is a struggle to find space at U-M where non-SMTD students can express themselves musically and artistically. The goal of this project is to develop a student arts center at U-M, called “Music House.” A space dedicated to the creative and performing arts, Music House will serve the needs of amateur artists in the same way that the Central Campus Recreation Building caters to amateur athletes. Student artists need a diverse space in which they can collaborate, innovate, and cultivate their passion for the performing arts. This will not only further the talents of our student artists but also benefit campus-wide mental health and well-being. The University has provided small practice rooms in most residence halls, but there is not yet a facility that both has the capacity for larger musical events and is open to all University of Michigan students, let alone resources for other artistic expression such as sound and recording equipment and studios for dance. Music House will solve these inconveniences by providing all student artists with a space to pursue their artistic passions.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.