Designing Classrooms “with” and not “for” the University Community

By Julia Smeed, Innovation Projects Officer

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A world-class institution deserves world-class spaces for learning and instruction. That’s why we think that Academic and Campus Events (ACE) landmark renovation project – Transforming the Instructional Landscape (TIL) – will be such an exciting and impactful project at U of T. The instructional space on campus plays an essential role in fulfilling the university’s mandate to provide an unparalleled learning experience and impacts every student here. As the steward of these important facilities, ACE is committed to developing accessible, innovative, and purpose-built classrooms that address the needs of instructors and students. We can’t help but be inspired by their ambitious new vision for U of T.

Recruitment: Family Care Research Project

By Shirin Gerami, Design Research Team Lead (Family Care Office)

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Are you a student with family responsibilities?

In partnership with the University of Toronto’s Family Care Office, the Innovation Hub would love to hear about your experience as a U of T student and parent or caregiver. We are interested in the opportunities, challenges, and needs that parents and caregivers have as they navigate their multiple roles and responsibilities while studying.

Recruitment: Share Your UofT Housing Experiences

Picture of DanielleBy Danielle Lum, Project Assistant

Have you ever considered applying to on-campus residence at U of T? Have you ever gone through with the process?

In partnership with Housing Services, the Innovation Hub will be facilitating a research event with the goal of understanding students’ perceptions, needs, and experiences of applying to residence at U of T. Whether you have lived in residence or not, we want to hear your stories!

How to Better Support UofT Students: The Future of SLP Event!

By Suzie Kim, Communications Team

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On October 11th, 2018, the Innovation Hub partnered with the SLP network to host a research event entitled SLP Presents: The Future of SLP SLP is a network of staff who  work directly with students across at the University of Toronto’s three campuses.  The partnership between SLP and the Innovation Hub commenced last year to explore two questions: What should the future of the SLP Network look like? and how should this community of practice be redesigned to better serve the needs and wants of all its members?  After conducting a number of empathy interviews with staff in a variety of positions and career stages, insights were generated.  These insights reveled that supporting staff to develop institutional knowledge, mentorship and networking, senior management involvement and career development support are areas where there are opportunities for SLP to provide support.  This event sought to gather additional data to inform next steps of the process.

Trademark Licensing Research Project: A Call for Participants!

By Rachel Davis, Design Research Team Lead (Trademark Licensing) 

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Do you feel a sense of pride as a student here at the University of Toronto? Why or why not? What do you value as student here? What has been most challenging? Student researchers at the Innovation Hub are working with University of Toronto Trademark Licensing Office to connect with you about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences at UofT.

Looking Back: Innovation Hub Volunteer Training Weekend

By Paul Giurgeu and Chanz Valmonte, Communications Team

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Chanz’s Perspective

Entering into my first year of university, I knew I wanted to make the most of my experience. I was determined to figure out a way to balance my studies with extracurricular activities (as well as sleep, and social life, and sanity). At least, I would try my best! That’s when I found out about the Innovation Hub, a student-led initiative launched to improve student experience through research. The I-Hub would allow me to get involved on campus, cater to my personal interests, and positively impact a diverse group of people—no matter the size! For these reasons, I jumped right in! I completed the application (there’s CCR-credit, so win-win!). Now I’m here, writing a piece about my experience at September’s weekend-long training.

Meet the Fall/Winter 2018-2019 Team!

By Christina Bondi, Storyteller

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Training - Interview Practice

I am absolutely thrilled to introduce our Fall/Winter 2018-2019 team! The Innovation Hub is made up of passionate, knowledgeable, and creatively engaging individuals—both new and returning. This diverse team of staff, work-study students, and volunteers embrace a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach.  I am deeply inspired by my fellow teammates, whose personal and academic experiences add both flavour and depth to the I-Hub’s work! Together, we hail from various academic fields, degrees, and even regions of the globe!

Join the Innovation Hub as a Volunteer!

Photo of JoelBy Joel West,  Volunteer Coordinator 

As the Volunteer coordinator of the Innovation Hub, I am extremely pleased to announce that we are now accepting expressions of interest for our 2018/19 volunteer positions . Aside from practical learning and real world experience, both of which can enhance students’ career development, we are also pleased to announce that many of these positions are Co-Curricular Record approved. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in an engaging, inclusive and diverse community and to learn and practice new skills.

Pivoting the Lens: Interviewing the Innovation Hub

Photo of CharisBy Charis Lam, Chemistry PhD Student & Past Innovation Hub Storytelling Team Member

Interviewer, interview thyself.

At the Innovation Hub, students and staff use empathy-based interviewing to capture a snapshot of the university experience through the eyes of students. Their subjects are varied: international students, commuters, students with accessibility needs, TAs, and others.

Missing from the picture are the photographers themselves—the students capturing these stories.

What has the Innovation Hub meant to the team itself? How has it changed the university experiences of its students and volunteers?

To find answers, I pivoted the lens.

Call for Project Submissions is Now Open at the Innovation Hub!


By Mia Sanders, Innovation Hub Storyteller

Photo of MiaI joined the Innovation Hub a year ago because I care deeply about improving the student experience at UofT. As a second-year undergrad student, I’ve encountered first-hand the ups and downs of being enmeshed in an educational institution, especially one as vast as ours. The work of the Innovation Hub is important and exciting to me because it brings together individuals from all across the university to effect sustained change in students’ lives—including my own.