Faculty News

Maize & BLUEprint: Designing Innovative Educational Opportunities

Alec Gallimore, Robert J. Vlasic Dean of the U-M College of Engineering, is excited about the prospect of students returning this fall, but acknowledges how different the semester will be for the entire U-M community.

In this episode of Michigan Minds, Gallimore explains some of the innovative ways College of Engineering faculty are planning to provide the best educational opportunities for all learners this fall.

“It’s really important that we each understand that we have a personal responsibility, not only to take care of ourselves, but to take care of each other,” he says, adding that it will be critically important to wear masks, wash hands regularly, and limit the number of people at in-person gatherings. 

With the plans calling for a hybrid approach to the fall semester, Gallimore also highlights some of the digital learning opportunities that will be provided—including virtual and augmented reality.

“We had a research and teaching symposium over the course of the summer, so that our faculty members are learning the very best in terms of the most effective ways of teaching remotely and online. We’ve invested in the formation of nine high-performance recording studios,” he says.

Gallimore explains that faculty are examining the differences between online and residential learning, using content from in-person learning and exploring new ways of teaching that haven’t been tried before at the College of Engineering.

He shares some examples, including using virtual and augmented reality for students participating in labs remotely to de-densify laboratory courses.

“It’s really using this hybrid notion of remote and in-person that allows us to do things very different than we’ve done before,” he says. “We’re using modeling and simulation to a larger degree than we have in the past.”

Gallimore is impressed with the work faculty have been doing to make sure students experience a safe, engaging environment, whether in-person or remote, and that they are getting the most out of the instruction possible.

“I can’t stress enough how really thrilled I am by the work that our community is doing to provide the very best educational opportunities for all learners,” he says.

Hear more from Gallimore in this episode of Michigan Minds.

Download the transcript

Learn more about taking care of Maize & Blue at campusblueprint.umich.edu/care