Among Latin American and Latinx students, there is a concerning trend of attrition at the secondary and post-secondary levels. For me, this trend is personally—and particularly—alarming, as I’m both a member of the Latin American diaspora and a UofT student. Continue reading “Call for Participants: Latinx Experience at UofT”
Continuing the View from the Inside series, we reflect on the first two weeks of the Design Thinking Experience Program, in which we discussed the Innovation Hub’s focus on empathy- and equity-based design.
In this post, we hear from Sharon Lam, Data Analysis Assistant. Sharon worked in education after completing Bachelor’s degrees in English, History, and Education, then started a Master of Information degree in User Experience Design and Information Systems and Design. This is her first year with the Innovation Hub.
During the first two weeks at the Innovation Hub, we spent a lot of time on reflection. This may seem counter-intuitive since we are just starting our projects, but it actually makes a lot of sense. By beginning with reflection, we recognize that we each bring a lot to any starting point and that there is a lot of context to every situation. There is no truly blank slate. This is both encouraging and humbling. On the one hand, we bring value based on the unique perspective formed from our past experiences; on the other hand, how we see and interpret our research is limited by the degree to which we can understand what is outside of our realm of experience—in short, our ability to empathize. Continue reading “View from the Inside: Reflecting on Empathy and Equity”
This academic year brings new and returning faces to the Innovation Hub. As always, we have assembled a team with diverse disciplines and interests but a shared excitement for the work we’ll do, including:
- Working with the Presidential & Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health,
- Improving the experience of student parents with the Family Care Office,
- Creating ideas for space redesigns with the Transforming the Instructional Landscape Project & our Kinesiology and Physical Education partnership,
- Gathering student feedback for the Division of Student Life,
- And partnering with Rotman I-Think.
In the View from the Inside series, we take you into the work of the Innovation Hub as seen by its members. Our students share their experience with our team and what they’ve learned so far.
This week, we hear from Eric Hanson, Design Research Assistant. Eric recently graduated with a Bachelor of Design from OCAD University and came to the University of Toronto, where he started a Master of Information and joined the Innovation Hub.
Whether we’re engineers, doctors, professors, or students, design influences how we do our jobs, how we communicate with others, and how the world communicates with us. As a designer coming from a Bachelor of Design degree at OCAD University and starting a Master of Information degree at the University of Toronto, I understand the importance of human-centred design and design thinking in redefining our experience in today’s disruptive and innovative society. Empathy and social innovation were cornerstones of my undergraduate work, and coming to the University of Toronto is an exciting opportunity to see how a larger institution can use design thinking to improve the university experience and the way it serves its students. Continue reading “View from the Inside: Innovation Hub Orientation”
The cornerstone of our approach at the Innovation Hub is “students talking to other students.” We believe that peers relate to each other more openly and advocate for each other more strongly and that peer-based support both provides comfort and leads to change. This belief invigorates all our projects, including our upcoming partnership with the Presidential and Provostial Task Force on Student Mental Health, in which we are leading student consultations to gather perspectives about mental health on campus. While I, as a staff member, am coordinating this project, students are co-leading the initiative with me. Continue reading “Gathering Student Voices on Mental Health”
At the Innovation Hub, we are what we do. We commit ourselves to community growth through prototyping and iteration, not only in the design projects we take on, but also in designing our own work processes. By being responsive to the changing needs of the community—both internally, within our own team, and externally, with our project partners—we continually improve our practices. Continue reading “The Innovation Hub: Our Vision for 2019–20”
How do students understand and navigate the University’s programs and services? How might students become active participants in the process that the Division of Student Life uses to design and redesign programs, services, resources, and spaces? What could meaningful student engagement look like in this process? Continue reading “Project Primer: The Student Life Strategy Project”
The Innovation Hub is looking for committed volunteers who are interested in improving campus life by joining our Design Thinking Experience Program in 2019-2020. If you’re keen to join a high-performing team learning design thinking while working with a campus partner on a challenge/issue that impacts the UofT student experience, we’d love to have you join us!
What happens to all the interviews and data that the Innovation Hub collects? Over the past three years, over 450 students and staff have shared their experiences with our teams. We are honoured that so many were willing to entrust us with their stories and experiences, which helped us identify their needs, suggest and prototype services and supports, and contribute to substantive changes at U of T through over a dozen collaborative projects. The interviews and feedback we receive are the basis from which we advocate for change in all our collaborations, including the New College Dining Hall redesign, the Family Care Office projects, and the classroom redesign under the Transforming the Instructional Landscape Project. Continue reading “Project Primer: Data Analysis”
As we look forward to the new school year, the Innovation Hub is excited to assemble a team for our upcoming and continuing projects. We want to offer our potential team members the opportunity to both contribute to the university and learn new skills: we’re looking for dedicated students who are interested in improving campus life by focusing on student needs, and we’re also offering those students training and hands-on practice in human-centred design. We hope to put together a diverse team that enjoys the challenges of our work!
Read below for job descriptions, and go to the Career & Co-Curricular Learning Network work study job board to learn more and apply.