At home during Coronavirus pandemic? U-M offers online courses, exhibits, speakers 

Michigan News

ANN ARBOR—Living rooms around the world can become places to learn how to start a business for social impact or to peek inside a museum to see homemade ancient wooden toy horses from Roman Egypt.

The University of Michigan is providing multiple opportunities to learn and explore online while staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

U-M’s art and performance organizations and its libraries have many exhibits, performances, speakers and other enriching resources online. Many museums, galleries and units across campus are currently working to create online content to assist K-12 and college learners. Stay up to date at

Through Michigan Online, U-M has several online learning opportunities for those who want to try something new, sharpen an existing skill, or just be enriched. U-M currently has a portfolio of more than 180 online learning opportunities.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) featured as single courses, series and specializations are free to faculty, staff, alumni and students of the university and come with a small cost to others. An ongoing series of short, self-guided learning opportunities called teach-outs offer experts on a variety of current topics. These are offered free to all.

Exhibits, performances, speakers

U-M Penny Stamps Speaker Series
While the U-M Stamps School of Art & Design has suspended Stamps Gallery hours, the Penny Stamps Speaker Series events, which usually take place on Thursdays at the Michigan Theater, have all been moved online. This well-known series brings respected innovators from a broad spectrum of fields to U-M to conduct public lectures that are free and open to the public each semester. The first online event featuring Alex Dehgan of technology startup Conservation X Labs is now live, and subsequent events will be posted weekly at

All past Stamps Speaker Series events have been recorded and archived at:

U-M Library
The U-M Library has several online exhibitions covering topics ranging from “Fantasy Classics for Children” and a celebration of Jane Austen’s characters to Shakespeare and artists books. Browse exhibits.

Clements Library online exhibits
For nearly 100 years, U-M’s William L. Clements Library has housed one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of early American History in the world. View several of their online exhibitions.

Museum of Natural History
While the U-M Museum of Natural History may be closed, staff and faculty there are looking at ways they can share the museum experience virtually during its closure, including virtual tours and videos detailing science-related activities that can be done with children at home. The public can sign up for their e-newsletter to get updates as resources are added online.

U-M School of Music, Theatre and Dance
A leading performing arts school, SMTD will continue offering performances to the community even though students and faculty are off campus this spring. Watch a variety of songs, monologues, and interviews online.

University Musical Society
While most of the UMS upcoming performances and events have been canceled (see refund policy), there are many online resources available, including their popular musical playlists, which can be found on Spotify and Apple Music. UMS is one of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, committed to connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. Their online searchable archive details their 141-year history.

U-M Museum of Art
Work by Kara Walker, James McNeill Whistler, Claude Monet, Andy Warhol, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso and more are available to view in UMMA’s entire collection online. The U-M Museum of Art is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country, with holdings representing the historical to the contemporary.

U-M Museum of Archaeology
While the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is closed, all of their past exhibitions are online, including “Graffiti as Devotion Along the Nile,” their most recent offering. Learn about the wooden toy horses from Roman Egypt.

Borrowing the template from the TED conference, TEDxUofM aims to bring a TED-like experience to the university. The vision is to showcase the most fascinating thinkers and doers for a day of presentations, discussions, entertainment and art to spark new ideas and opportunities across all disciplines. View the most recent TEDxUofM 2020 conference in full.

Online learning opportunities

Title: Financial Technology (Fintech) Innovations
Date: Live Now on FutureLearn and Coursera
Description: This MOOC series will explore a broad range of financial technologies and focus on how to utilize and adapt them for a career. Consider innovations in payment technology, explore and critique both blockchain and cryptocurrency, learn how technology and crowdfunding are changing how organizations raise capital, and discover how technology is being used for investing.

Title: Melting Ice Rising Seas Teach-Out
Date: Live Now on Coursera until March 31
Description: In this Teach-Out, participants will join students and supporting faculty from U-M and other universities on a journey through Greenland. Participants will learn from leading climate scientists about how climate change is impacting the Arctic, and have opportunities to reflect and engage with learners from across the world.

Title: Earth Day at 50 Teach-Out (FutureLearn) or Earth Day at 50 Teach-Out (Coursera)
Date: April 6, 2020
Description: On April 22, 2020, the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, an annual event meant to bring people together from across the world in protest, solidarity, and conversation about how we can collectively fight for a sustainable and just world. This teach-out will engage learners in an intergenerational and interdisciplinary conversion about what sustainability means across different sectors, disciplines and lived experiences.

Title: Sports Performance Analytics Specialization
Date: End of April
Description: The focus of the MOOC specialization is to enable students to use data to analyze on-field sports performance. Sports data is widely available on the web and many people are interested in using modern methods to analyze it. Their reasons vary: some want to understand player performance from the coaching perspective, others want to generate data visualization for the media, and some want to predict results for the purpose of gambling. This series will equip students with the skills to gather sports data and analyze it in Python.

Title: Design Computing: Coding with Python/Rhinoscript
Date: April 2020
Description: Design computing represents a set of topics that greatly extends the role of computers in the design process beyond task automation. This MOOC unpacks the “black box” of programming and investigates the potential of working systematically with the machine, not simply as a tool, but a collaborator in a design process.

Title: Good with Words: Writing and Editing
Date: Late April/early May
Description: Learn how to clearly communicate ideas and how improved writing and editing skills can impact academic and professional prospects. This MOOC series focuses on the fundamentals of words, sentences, drafting and editing.

Title: Augmented, Mixed, and Virtual Reality
Date: May 2020
Description: Increase awareness and understanding of Extended Reality technologies including the opportunities, challenges, and potential dangers of XR. Learners in the three-MOOC series will be equipped with methods and tools to play an active role in the future of XR.

Title: Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything
Date: Spring 2020
Description: Finding purpose is an essential element of human well-being. In addition to learning more about the science of purpose, participants in this MOOC will go through a structured program to find purpose, and ways to become more purposeful every day.

Title: Exploring Piano Literature
Date: Late spring 2020
Description: This three-course MOOC series will examine the solo keyboard sonata, from Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) to the present day. A small number of key pieces will be selected and considered in depth, in an effort to tell the story of the development of this genre.

Title: Hearing Loss in Children
Date: Spring
Description: Approximately 2-3 of 1,000 children in the United States are born with significant hearing loss. Early identification and intervention is crucial to lifelong learning outcomes. This MOOC addresses gaps currently existing in the health education curriculum for pediatric hearing loss and gives learners the foundational knowledge that can be applied immediately in a broad range of health, educational, and home settings.

Title: Building a Business for Social Impact / Starting a Social Enterprise
Date: Spring
Description: Ever thought of starting a social enterprise to address societal ills? You’re not alone, but it’s more challenging than you might think. This MOOC will help learners with the desire to help people find ways to create an inclusive, more just society, by starting a social enterprise or in other compatible ways.

Enroll in courses and teach-outs through Michigan Online.

For the U-M Community

Creative Suite
Create your own personal web page or publish a regular newsletter. Faculty and staff at the university have recently been offered the entire Adobe Creative Suite free. LinkedIn has tutorials for programs like DreamWeaver, Photoshop and Indesign. Check out It’s free for all staff and faculty!

Keep Teaching @ U-M
As the University of Michigan responds to the challenges presented by the novel Coronavirus, the Center of Academic Innovation, Center for Research on Learning & Teaching, and Information and Technology Services partnered to create the “Keep Teaching @ U-M” website to help provide resources and promote training opportunities on how to leverage our broad technological infrastructure for remote teaching.
Since launching on March 11, more than 6,000 users have accessed the site for learning resources, tips and training opportunities. Additionally, more than 130 faculty visited open office hours provided by the staff from Academic Innovation, CRLT, and ITS to learn ways in which to continue engaging students in an online format. Open office hours will continue remotely every weekday from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. through March 31.

Back to In the News