Our current projects
We work with partners at UofT to improve campus life for their students. For each project, we collect student narratives through interviews and activities, and we turn that data into insights and recommendations. Our current work includes:
Family Friendly UofT Project
Building on past work with the Family Care Office, we expanded our family-friendly collaboration to include several other UofT offices. By interviewing both staff and student parents, we identified the pain points for each group. We turned these insights into design principles and recommendations, which will be used to plan a day-long symposium that brings together stakeholders in student-parent success.
Food Insecurity on Campus
How accessible is healthy, nutritious food for UofT students? How does food security—if and where it exists—affect students’ lives? What prevents students from making healthy food choices, and how might we respond to the financial, time, and other pressures that prevent healthy eating? We are speaking with students to understand their food experiences in relationship to other factors in their university lives.
Latin American Student Experience
We worked with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies to understand the Latinx student experience. For many students, university is a time to explore cultural identities, and we found that students’ perceived cultural connections varied. Many students wanted more cultural visibility and saw room for more cultural competence on campus. We recommended actions to improve Latinx students’ campus experiences.
Meaningful Student Consultation
Student voices are fundamental in improving campus services. Currently, students consult on advisory groups like the UofT Governing Council, the Council of Student Services, and department-level councils. Yet room remains to seek more breadth and depth in student voices. We are evaluating current consultation models and working with students to understand what meaningful consultation might look like.
Engaging International Students
Twenty percent of UofT students are international. How can the university best support this large group, and how do their needs differ from those of domestic students? We are working with the Centre for International Experience to examine existing supports and develop new programs and spaces.
Supporting Students with Disabilities on Campus
Thirteen percent of Canadians aged 15–24 have a mental, physical, or developmental disability. To make campus more accessible for such students, UofT provides many resources, including sign-language interpreters, note-taking services, and testing accommodations. How well do these programs work for students, and how can we improve them?
Supporting Students in Second-Entry Professional Faculties
Second-entry professional-program students (Education, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Law, and Medicine) make up approximately nine percent of UofT students. Despite this, little data exists on their campus experience. We are speaking with this group to better understand their needs.
Transforming the Instructional Landscape
Branching off our classroom-redesign work with Transforming the Instructional Landscape, we partnered again with Academic + Campus Events, this time to review the redesign process. We spoke to staff and faculty across departments and disciplines to understand how all stakeholders feel about the different stages of redesign, and identified areas where the process can be made more welcoming and collaborative.
Transforming the Instructional Landscape: Exploring Content Capture
Content capture makes course material more readily available to students, but UofT does not yet have a standard way to implement it. We are partnering with the Faculty of Engineering’s Educational Technology Office to ask what students need from content capture, and how different implementations might affect them.