There to demonstrate the technology were several faculty members who have already been working with Nexus to deliver online courses. U-M Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) director Jim Sayer, PhD; Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Steve Skerlos, PhD; and Pat Hammett, PhD — who also serves a leadership role for Nexus — each took time to speak with attendees about collaborating with the new unit.
"Faculty and staff appreciated the opportunity to try the lightboard, and began exploring ways they could apply the technology to enhance their courses and create immersive experiences," Kashyap said. "It could be the difference between seeing a slide with a formula fully displayed on a screen, compared to a faculty member writing it out and watching them explain their thought process and steps."
Nexus' two reconfigurable classrooms, designed to enhance both the face-to-face and online learning experience, were also on display. Chrysler Center Room 165 and 151 both feature group learning stations equipped with ceiling microphones and television screens; a platform that enables instructors to control what's displayed on those screens; and a control room where Nexus staff manipulates a series of cameras to create high-quality lecture recordings. These features open a world of possibilities for faculty interested in developing innovative learning models like flipped classrooms.
For those hoping to collaborate with Nexus, the open house was a welcome introduction to the unit's many support services. In addition to learning design and production, the new unit offers online readiness and market feasibility research, project planning and management, and learning support services crucial to the development and delivery of online courses. Ultimately, Nexus' goal is to make the process as seamless as possible for College faculty.
"Online learning allows us to expand the reach of education, while bringing the skills and expertise of our world-class faculty to our learners where they are," Kashyap said. "Geography and time are obstacles and barriers we can overcome in the online space."
To collaborate with Nexus or tour its online learning facilities, email email@example.com or call (734) 647-7200.