Course Operations Specialist for Programming

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.

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

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, particularly initiatives where
programming is a required skill. The Course Operations Specialist continuously identifies and
manages opportunities for improvement and revision of course content. Partnering with faculty
and CAI team members, this position supports the creation of new and supplementary course
material based on an understanding of iterative development processes. The Course
Operations Specialist reports to the Course Operations Specialist Lead.

About Us

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

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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.


Learner Engagement

  • Evaluate and communicate the status of a subset of courses within the Center for Academic Innovation’s portfolio of Online Learning Experiences, particularly courses for which coding is a required skill.
  • 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 appropriately supported.
  • Troubleshoot, triage, and categorize bugs, technical problems, suggestions and issues that come in through learner support channels in order to determine complexity, and level of priority, of any bug or technical problem (ie minor, moderate, major), and delineate responsibility for resolving those bugs.
  • Edit code within courses used for grading student assessments to fix bugs and iterate on problem sets.
  • Prepare and deliver timely and relevant updates on ongoing concerns to learners, Course Operations team members, and other stakeholders.
  • Facilitate and assist cross-functional teams designing new models and tools to create and/or enhance learning communities across the CAI portfolio

Continuous Improvement

  • Consult on implementation of course content on key learning platforms (e.g. Coursera, FutureLearn, or edX)
  • Cultivate new ideas and solutions for potential course iterations and content revisions; work with course operations team to plan and implement changes through multiple phases of online learning experience life cycles

Documentation and Resource Development

  • 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

  • Manage and supervise part-time staff and/or student staff
  • Evaluate courses’ support needs to identify shortages or surpluses in staffing/capacity
  • 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
  • Familiarity with: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Open Educational Resources (OER), Learning Management Systems (LMS) like Coursera, Canvas, edX and other educational platforms
  • Understanding of technology enhanced learning in the context of a public residential research university
  • Ability to write, troubleshoot, and implement code using Python 3, Javascript, R, SQL, and CSS3
  • 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*

  • 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 the principles, practices, techniques, technology and standards of digital media production
  • 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

This is not a remote position, however, due to COVID-19 and University initiated remote work,
the responsibilities of this role will be performed remotely until notified.

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

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.