Accelerator Grants

Aerial view of University of Michigan North Campus at sunset

Michigan Engineering has the goal of enabling faculty to bring their daring ideas in the realm of educational innovations to fruition more quickly. Funded projects are discipline agnostic with the goal of making the innovations available across the College. Here is a link to a recent call for proposals (deadline has passed and new calls are not planned at this time).

Current funded project information can be found below.

2021 Funded Projects

Equitable Assessment of Teamwork Proficiency

Tandem assessment tool graph of Teamwork Proficiency

Project Team: Robin Fowler (Program in Technical Communication, Program in Engineering Education Research), Cait Holman and Becky Matx (U-M Center for Academic Innovation)

The major goal of this project is to investigate the concept of teamwork proficiency through a lens emphasizing equity and inclusion. Utilizing Tandem, a formative assessment tool for teamwork, the project team will analyze a variety of factors for understanding teamwork proficiency and determining how teamwork proficiency can be assessed.

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2019 Funded Projects

New Tools for Contextual Learning in Engineering

Flowchart of "Linking Resources Contextually"

Project Team:  Perry Samson (Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering) and Rada Mihalcea (Computer Science and Engineering).

This project pulls together natural language processing and artificial intelligence to construct contextual linkage between disparate educational resources available to a student. It is generally accepted that note-taking benefits learning. But while most college students take notes, not every student necessarily appreciates the value of reflecting on their notes. The goal of this project is to design, build, and test a new technology that aims to incentivize note-taking and reflection in engineering courses. It is based on the hypothesis that by providing linkages to germane resources based on the context of a student’s notes they will be incented to take more thoughtful notes as they will be rewarded with a more complete list of relevant links and greater levels of academic success.

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Scaling a Novel Hybrid Learning Block Platform to Support DEI with a “Global to Local” Structure

Case studies involving inclusion, equity, and diversity and its impacts on engineering

Project Team: Steve Skerlos and Shanna Daly (Mechanical Engineering), Ann Verhey-Henke (Center for Socially Engaged Design), Laura Hirshfield (Chemical Engineering), and Pauline Khan (Program in Technical Communication).

Through scaling a Hybrid Learning Block (HLB) educational model, this project will support faculty efforts to teach DEI topics such as implicit bias, microaggressions, stereotype threat, and privilege as well as broader social topics related to the Michigan Engineering mission to serve the common good such as human rights and sustainable development. To reduce student resistance to DEI topics, project resources will first consider “far away” examples in the space of human rights and sustainability globally and then create bridges to DEI topics with the goal of impacting student attitudes, behaviors, and awareness locally.  The HLB model can be integrated seamlessly to any course, regardless of student level, and does not require significant faculty effort or class time.

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