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.

  • 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.

  • DoIIIT: Living Technology Exhibition Space

    In 2014, the DoIIIT Studio (Designers of Interactive, Intelligent, Internet of Things) was launched at U-M School of Information to support research and design exploring how people can better create and interact with technologies—from augmented reality displays to robots to “enchanted” objects. Some temporary exhibitions have been launched in the studio, but they were limited by space, funding and time. This group proposes to build a permanent exhibition space which would provide more robust demonstrations of technologies, longer-term presentations of novel work and periodic rotation of exhibits, all of which would make the interactive experience available to a wider range of visitors. This proposal is “room-scale,” and will require the renovation of a storage space adjacent to DoIIIT’s workspace.

  • Fathom

    Team FATHOM envisions a world where all learners can experience quality education and receive helpful, immediate feedback whenever and wherever. We introduce the ultimate digital studying platform that acts as your personal studying/learning mentor. FATHOM’s technology capitalizes on cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence (A.I.) to address critical educational issues (systemic, student, and content barriers) and provide students with the ability to enhance their studying processes, foster application and practice-driven learning, and cultivate smart studying habits. Ultimately, our technology will incorporate three key features: (1) Ability to analyze and evaluate students’ note-taking methods, automatically highlight and paraphrase key points through smart labelling, and make recommendations on improving one’s note-taking structure based off research-proven methods; (2) Auto-generate relevant practice questions (short answer, multiple choice, current/relatable events, cases, etc.) derived from user-created content and public database; (3) Integrate productive studying habits tools and frameworks (Pomodoro and Feynman techniques, focus timer, digital distraction minimizer, sleep tracker, etc.) into students’ studying sessions. Our team is working towards revolutionizing the future of education. Check our deliverables (prototype/mockup, etc.) out at the Showcase Event!

  • Guardian: Office Wall of the Future

    Guardian has developed large-area, transparent touch-enabled (LATTE) glass. The focus for this project will be to develop a functional prototype of LATTE that can be incorporated into a conference or classroom.

  • Gwdyion

    No adequate medium currently exists to facilitate the study three-dimensional academic material. This project’s solution is to develop an augmented reality platform that allows users to project and interact with such content, as if it were occupying the real world with them. Students and professors will be able to easily upload, view and share 3-D content. It can be sorted by course, section or any other relevant grouping, and accessed on any device with an Internet connection. This room-scale project will have university-wide benefits. The platform, which runs smoothly on common smartphones (IOS and Android), can also integrate seamlessly with current teaching strategies.

  • Initiative for an Inclusive Campus

    A student group in the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is prepared to take on the challenge of studying the relationship between physical space and education through the lens of disability. Preliminary research suggests that the current use of space at U-M–at the room, building and campus levels–contributes to unequal learning opportunities for those who are differently abled. Obvious trouble spots include staircases, narrow doorways and the absence of accessible entryways. But this study will also consider land use, transportation, housing, dining, athletics, Ann Arbor’s infrastructure and how all of these aspects can contribute to creating an equitable education for all. Deliverables will highlight the successful remedies that the university currently employs and also offer suggestions for improvement.

  • Instagram for the Extended Classroom Curriculum

    Teaching is communication: sharing knowledge with the hope of generating a response. As our forms of communication change with the development of new social media, shouldn’t our teaching change, too? A class Instagram project was created as a response to this dilemma, encouraging students to take their class with them as they go about their day and to share some of their world with them by tying it back to the themes of the class. This created a virtual community for students to engage in, learning to learn through their most intuitive forms of engagement. By teaching through technology rather than against it, this project hopes to help students become more thoughtful, engaged and critical media producers and consumers.

  • 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.

  • Maestro: The Conductor’s Baton

    The goal of this project is to develop a virtual conducting system that would allow for the refinement of kinesthetic skills that are essential to creating subtle gestures improving conductor performance and confidence on the podium. This project will support the learning of kinesthetic conducting skills while furthering development of essential musical and cognitive skills.

  • 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.

  • MyResearchPal

    Today’s students believe that brick-and-mortar libraries are outdated, and even a library’s digital offerings are suspect. Yet these offerings are needed to perform meaningful research. MyResearchPal, a web-based application, can address this campus-wide issue. MyResearchPal enables students to sync assignments through Canvas into a special dashboard. From there, they can connect with university resources, complete an MLibrary research guide and produce an exportable outline containing topics, sources, source notes and citations. MyResearchPal also enables users to “like” a resource or provide a review. Librarians can use this data to gauge the effectiveness of their offerings and better design future resources. Currently in the prototype phase, MyResearchPal requires additional funding for user testing and to develop the code for open source.

    Categories: Learning Technology

  • Sahbi

    Imagine moving to a foreign country, where you are expected to not only get used to a strange culture, but also learn a strange tongue. To ease that process, this project proposes an app called Sahbi (the Arabic word for “friend”). The application’s goal is language development for English as Second Language students. (Sahbi is currently focused on native Arabic speakers, but can be tailored to other languages such as Spanish and Chinese.) It is free, customizable to each student’s needs and provides additional online resources/suggestions for future activities. Sahbi combines writing, oral communication, vocabulary skill building, and promotes cultural assimilation all in one app. It is also available to students outside the classroom, ensuring access to an expert with a click of a button.

  • System for Course Reflection and Records (SCōRR)

    All too frequently, graduate student instructors find that “legacy” learning materials—-left behind for them by the previous teacher of the course—are lacking in some way. One solution is to spend hours trying to redo them. This group proposes another idea: a software tool that would enable instructors to archive materials and as well as their reflections about their course and any ideas for changes for the benefit of future instructors. This would facilitate continuous course improvement by reducing the learning curve for new instructors and preventing mistakes or inefficiencies from being repeated. The System for Course Reflection and Records (SCōRR) would initially be designed for use on the room (course) scale. Ideally, it would become an enhancement to Canvas, and be implemented across campus.

    Categories: Learning Technology