Three questions on educational innovation for U-M’s Mike Daniel


Because the senior director of coverage and chief working 0fficer on the College of Michigan’s Middle for Tutorial Innovation (CAI), Mike Daniel has a giant job. I requested Mike if he’d be keen to share some insights into the work of CAI at U-M and a few ideas about his profession trajectory.

Q: Inform us in regards to the Middle for Tutorial Innovation (CAI). What function does the CAI play at your college? Are you able to give us an elevator-ride size checklist of the primary tasks, providers and initiates that CAI leads?

A: The Middle for Tutorial Innovation performs a vital function in fostering and scaling studying innovation on the College of Michigan. We collaborate with college companions and educational items on campus and world wide to create equitable, lifelong instructional alternatives for college kids and learners in every single place. I’m lucky to work alongside a variety of knowledgeable workers, work in an excellent facility and benefit from the help of the provost’s workplace, which collectively allows the middle to steer tasks throughout quite a few domains, together with:

On-line, hybrid and blended studying applications, together with for-credit and noncredit choices. CAI provides studying expertise design, media design, learner help, market analysis and portfolio planning providers to create, launch and help studying experiences. In sensible phrases, we now have created over 250 MOOCs which have enrolled over 11 million learners and help a number of on-line diploma applications on the college.

Instructional expertise instruments and platforms. CAI provides built-in software program improvement, behavioral science and user-experience design providers to create instructional expertise options that improve pupil success. Our present portfolio of 10 instruments is utilized by virtually each undergraduate pupil in Ann Arbor, and have been adopted by a number of different establishments.

Instructional analysis and analytics. CAI maintains the college’s on-line studying information warehouse, and provides instructional analysis and studying analytics providers to researchers on campus.

Prolonged actuality studying experiences. In Fall 2023, the middle moved into a brand new facility with a groundbreaking virtual-production studio, catalyzing our means to develop digital actuality, augmented actuality, combined actuality and virtual-production experiences to help studying in residential programs and on-line studying.

Schooling and innovation coverage. CAI provides policy-development steerage and regulatory-compliance help in service of studying innovation and pupil success applications and initiatives. We additionally contribute experience to campus efforts on digital privateness, vendor licensing and analytics-data governance.

Q: The College of Michigan has over 50,000 college students and operates with an over $11 billion funds. For faculties and universities that don’t function fairly on U-M’s scale, what would you say could be the function of a company reminiscent of CAI devoted to educational innovation? The place do you assume that smaller establishments ought to put money into capabilities round educational innovation?

A: When CAI was first getting began again in 2014 our cost was to create a tradition of innovation in studying on the College of Michigan. It’s a huge cost, however the strategy we took may work at an establishment of any measurement. First we targeted on figuring out a handful of “early adopter” college who had been enthusiastic about experimenting with on-line studying modalities and academic expertise. Shared targets included growing entry to U-M to world learners and to boost the training expertise for college kids on campus right here in Ann Arbor. On the time, we partnered with these college to undertake tasks collectively and exhibit the efficacy and affect of varied approaches to delivering content material and growing entry to the college by way of these varied educational modalities and applied sciences.

Different faculties and universities, even these not presently able to put money into the creation of a central innovation unit like CAI, might wish to take a look at this mannequin of each seeding some experiments in on-line and hybrid studying round their establishments after which purposefully and deliberately partaking college as champions to scale the success tales throughout their establishments. One factor we realized early on was to achieve momentum at our college, we wanted to first “show” these kind of improvements would work in the environment.

Smaller establishments can completely profit from investing in capabilities round educational innovation to remain aggressive, meet the evolving wants of learners and differentiate themselves within the increased schooling panorama. By specializing in educational innovation, smaller establishments can improve pupil engagement and enhance studying outcomes.

Q: You have got a super-impressive instructional {and professional} background. Your regulation diploma is from the College of Michigan and also you frolicked as an affiliate and supervisor at Huron Consulting. What recommendation do you could have for others seeking to transfer right into a management function at a college from an academic {and professional} background exterior of the standard Ph.D. and school educational route?

A: Whereas I don’t know in regards to the “tremendous spectacular” half, I’ll actually settle for the praise and thanks for it! I really feel very fortunate I discovered my means into working in increased schooling. After making an attempt my hand as a company lawyer at a few giant companies in Chicago, I used to be very lucky to spend a number of years at Huron with an excellent group of colleagues studying the enterprise of upper schooling and the distinctive elements of how universities operate and make choices (giant and small).

Throughout my time at Huron, I labored on all kinds of tasks for universities nationwide, constructing a community and growing my familiarity with how sure key areas, like college governance and budgetary choices, play out at these varied establishments.

Whereas I realized a ton throughout my time in consulting, I got here to comprehend that working instantly for a college is the place my true ardour lies, and I used to be extraordinarily fortunate to be introduced on at Michigan by the middle’s founding govt director, James DeVaney.

Universities are extremely advanced organizations (as your readers assuredly know already), so for those who can present that you just admire that complexity and are keen to come back at challenges with a collaborative and solution-oriented strategy, it is possible for you to to discover a path on this business.

We work at mission-driven nonprofit organizations which might be each extremely tradition-rich and always altering and evolving. Understanding that and demonstrating that it’s a characteristic, not a bug, of working in increased ed to our college colleagues is a good place to start out if you’re interested by pursuing a management function on this business.