While many universities have established programs to foster digital innovation, getting faculty to try out new technologies can be a challenge. A recent article in “Campus Technology” highlights the work of U-M’s Office of Academic Innovation as one of several academic technology leaders that encourage faculty to experiment and engage with emerging technologies and pedagogies. The story cites U-M’s evolution from it’s early lab-based approach to it’s current team-based structure as an example of how to successfully adapt to changing technology needs.
That change in structure was accompanied by a shift from a project-based mindset to more of a long-term focus, explained James Devaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation. “As the community of faculty innovators grew, we saw opportunities to create different kinds of relationships with faculty,” he said. “Whereas the project-based mindset allowed us to work with faculty who had identified a particular problem we could help them solve, this is helping to create affinity groups of faculty members looking at similar areas of learning innovation.”