Apply Now Clicking "Apply Now" opens the link in a new window.

How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should include salary requirements, address your specific interest in the position, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Center for Academic Innovation at the University of Michigan is seeking a qualified Course Operations Specialist focused on programming and data science courses to join a creative, talented and entrepreneurial team that is shaping the digital learning landscape at U-M and beyond.

The Course Operations Specialist collaborates with U-M faculty and staff, colleagues across the Center for Academic Innovation, and external platform partners to facilitate, support, and improve the learning experience of a global community participating in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and other online learning initiatives. Partnering with faculty and CAI team members, this position supports the creation of new and supplementary course material based on iterative development processes. The Course Operations Specialist reports to the Course Operations Specialist Lead. This role will be responsible for programming and data science courses within our portfolio, so a background in those concepts is helpful though this is not a software engineering role.

Mission Statement

Learning and working in environments designed for equity and inclusivity are necessary for the U-M community to make progress on solving the problems that matter most to society. In addition to collaborating with faculty and staff on projects that explicitly focus on DEI, the Center for Academic Innovation uses inclusive design processes in all of our work. All interested applicants, including those from groups historically underrepresented in higher education, are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please visit our website: Academic Innovation.

Who We Are

The Center for Academic Innovation is a strategic priority for the University of Michigan. Through curricular innovation, tools for learning, and educational data and research, the center aims to shape the future of learning and redefine the role of the public research university by extending academic excellence, expanding public purpose, and ending educational privilege.

Our preferred future includes:

  • An open model for pre-college learning and preparation that broadens access and enhances participation
  • A personalized, rigorous, and inclusive model for residential learning grounded in learning analytics and experimentation
  • A flexible and networked model for global and lifelong learning that embraces the evolution of a more permeable university
  • A participatory and inclusive model for public engagement that accelerates bilateral knowledge construction and sharing

As we reimagine the global public research university and create a culture of innovation in learning, we value:

  • boldness and humility
  • creativity and process
  • risk taking and tradition
  • personalization and scale
  • openness



Learner Engagement (~40%)

  • Evaluate and communicate the status of a subset of programming and data science courses within the Center for Academic Innovation’s portfolio of Online Learning Experiences.
  • Facilitate discussion forum activities, and in-course learner communications, of multiple MOOCs with global audiences on multiple platforms.
    • Identify answers and post responses to learner questions in the discussion forums.
    • Support learners to share responsibly and respectfully.
  • Administer assigned courses to ensure they are carefully scheduled and supported.
  • Troubleshoot and triage bugs, technical problems, and suggestions from learners to determine complexity and priority of any bug or technical problem.
  • Prepare and communicate timely and relevant status updates related to ongoing concerns to learners, team members, and other stakeholders.
  • Facilitate and assist cross-functional teams designing new models and tools to create and enhance learning communities across the CAI portfolio.

Continuous Improvement (~30%)

  • Provide consultation on the implementation of learning platforms (including Coursera, FutureLearn, and edX) with faculty partners.
  • Develop new ideas and solutions for potential course iterations and content revisions.
  • Manage course iteration projects with faculty and design team members.

Documentation and Resource Development (~20%)

  • Support project transitions and handoffs by creating and disseminating debrief documentation.
  • Prepare materials and resources aimed to foster productive online learner engagement (e.g., a discussion forum toolkit for course teams) at scale.

Leadership and Supervision (~10%)

  • Manage and supervise part-time staff, student staff, or volunteer mentors in courses.
  • Evaluate course support needs to identify shortages or surpluses in part-time staffing.
  • Support recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of new staff members within the Online Learning Initiatives team, as needed.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Information Systems, Learning Technologies, or Equivalent Degree, or Equivalent Experience.
  • Understanding of technology enhanced learning in the context of a public residential research university.
  • Demonstrated organizational, interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills.
  • Ability to manage workload and competing priorities.
  • Ability to work well in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Strong ability to problem solve, work as part of a team and act independently when applicable.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Familiarity with: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Educational Resources (OER), Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Coursera, Canvas, edX and other educational platforms.
  • Ability to write, troubleshoot, and implement code.
    • Desired Languages: Python 3, R, SQL, HTML5, CSS3, and/or Javascript.
  • 2 or more years of project management or operations experience in a higher education setting, or equivalent combination of experience in educational technology, instructional design, information science or consulting.
  • Experience in a research focused university setting.
  • Familiarity with the Jupyter notebooks development environment.
  • Familiarity with Docker containers and Docker images.
  • Pedagogical knowledge of online and hybrid teaching, including instructional design theory and blended delivery.
  • Demonstrated experience with work productivity tools (e.g., Google G Suite, Microsoft Office, etc.) and project management tools (e.g., Teamwork, Zendesk, and Trello).

Additional Information

The responsibilities of this position may be fulfilled fully remotely, depending on the preference of the selected candidate.

The position must be based in the United States.

Please Note: This is a 5 year term limited position with the possibility of renewal depending on funding.

The salary for this position will be based upon the selected candidate’s education and experience.

Excellent benefits are available, for details, see

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

Decision Making Process

Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.


U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations are now required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all three campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working or learning remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the U-M Dearborn and U-M Flint websites.