We envision an educational experience that is flexible, that meets students where
they are, and that helps students
become quickly integrated into the Michigan Tech community. Students should feel empowered to explore the options and majors available to them and to engage with challenges that are meaningful to them. We envision a Michigan Tech where curricula and courses are collaborative, break disciplinary boundaries, and are incentivized. At the Michigan Tech of the future, policies and budget models are examined and revised to support collaboration between units, interdisciplinary programs are able to thrive, and students are prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
What happens when you offer an open invitation to faculty, staff and students to participate in the process of reimagining education for the 21st Century? At Michigan Tech this opportunity led to a semester-long series of Friday afternoon design sessions attended by more than 30 people each week who helped identify a strategy for moving forward. Out of this effort, and the passion and innovation of the participants, the concept of IDEAhub was born.
The original focus of the Education for the 21st Century initiative (led by Lorelle Meadows and Mary Raber, Pavlis Honors College) was the delivery of an education for undergraduate residential students that encourages the development of key competencies and mindsets to uniquely prepare them for the rapidly changing world they will encounter after graduation. Driven to address this immediate challenge, and awed by the rapid changes in the world around us, we soon realized that Michigan Tech needs to anticipate engaging in more than a single transformational change. To assure Michigan Tech’s future relevance, we realized that what is also needed is an agile structure that continuously challenges the status quo and pushes us as an institution to be at the forefront of the rapidly changing needs of society--this need for agility is especially highlighted by the rapid changes necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, IDEAhub (Innovate, Design, Engage & Act) was created--an interdisciplinary organization to serve as our campus incubator for the solution of complex problems. IDEAhub is currently focused on four key areas of academic innovation:
Design of a flexible self-discovering first-year experience
Development of a next generation general education model
Interdisciplinary teaching and learning
Global and community engagement
Led by Mary Raber and Marika Seigel, IDEAhub is a broad-reaching resource and incubator for creative interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems facing Michigan Tech, the community and the world. IDEAhub engages faculty, staff, students, and community members in the design thinking process in combination with a lean startup approach to identify and act on opportunities for innovation.
- Conducted Intro to Design Thinking training for team members
- Established a home base in the MUB (106A - Greenstone Room)for team strategizing, interaction and visibility
- Completed significant benchmarking research and data gathering with respect to programs at Michigan Tech and other institutions that are currently at the forefront in educational innovation
- Compiled key insights from benchmarking & interviews to define key challenges around which to brainstorm preliminary solutions
- Facilitated campus ideation sessions around each working group theme with engaged and interdisciplinary teams of stakeholders
- Initiated marketing & awareness campaign with publications such as the Unscripted Research Blog post published: “The Big IDEA: New Hub Transforms Education,” an IDEA Hub campuswide kickoff event, an IDEA Hub website, and a variety of campus engagement activities and brainstorming sessions.
- Submitted proposal to grow study abroad and global engagement at Michigan Tech to executive team
- Hired Sarah Tan as the assessment professional to begin work with IDEA hub to develop assessment plans for existing programs and piloted innovations
- Distributed Call for IDEAs Proposals across campus with a very enthusiastic response
by 64 faculty and staff who shared their
prototype ideas to transform undergraduate education at Michigan Tech
- Identified key ideas/initiatives to prototype within (and across) each working group starting summer/fall 2020
- Designed and prototyped ideation and affinity mapping session around university learning goals
- Expanded a student innovation "spoke" within IDEA Hub to parallel the process from a student perspective
- Applied to attend AAC&U’s Institute on Integrative Learning which a Michigan Tech team was accepted to attend in July 2020
- Held three IDEAs proposal Roundtable Sessions (two held online due to COVID-19) to help Call for IDEAs respondents further develop their ideas
- Final Call for IDEAs proposal process distributed. Thirty-three proposals emerged through the roundtable sessions with proposers combining efforts
- Applied for Teagle Foundation Grant to develop pathways approach to Gen Ed
Post COVID-19 Spring 2020
- Quickly pivoted the team’s efforts to support the immediate needs of faculty in response to the transition to online teaching with a series of eight IDEA hub/CTL Online Education Sessions
- Developing plans for IDEA hub-facilitated design thinking workshop in May to help faculty and staff plan courses and events for Flex Fall