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.

  • CrystaLens

    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.

  • 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.

  • GradeCraft

    Deep learning requires students to be actively engaged with the content, to pursue the connections between what they’re learning and what they already know and to take ownership for their progress. These states of mind do not come about casually, and all too often have been ignored by an educational system built on lectures and high-stakes assessments. The solution is an application called GradeCraft that aims to actively involve students in their education. At the room level that means no more “perfect” grades; students all begin at zero and earn up as they gain mastery. On the building level, GradeCraft can be used to help students flesh out their experiences. We can also reach the total campus by designing an interactive visualization to describe students’ engagement and performance.

  • 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.

  • An Interactive Education Platform

    This project aims to combine the ancient ideals that enabled the formation of universities with the innovative technologies of the current age. To facilitate this change, lecture halls could be structured like Roman amphitheaters, with multiple podiums to encourage the debate of multiple opinions. Lecture courses, especially in the social sciences, could have an accompanying seminar course enlivened by the participation of on- and off-campus experts. Classroom technology could consist of a touchscreen at each student’s desk, wired to the lecturer’s podium and displaying corresponding interactive content. Imagine how powerful it would be if students could manipulate boundary conditions of a differential equation to see the solution change in real time, or change the exhaust pressure of a rocket engine to watch the formation of shock diamonds.  

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A 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

  • 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.