By Julia Smeed, Innovation Hub Project Lead
The Innovation Hub teams have developed 25 ideas to improve the student experience at the University of Toronto and we need your feedback! More than 100 in-depth interviews were conducted with students during the Innovation Hub’s insight-gathering process. After identifying key insights that emerged from needs expressed by students, the domain teams worked to develop ideas to improve the U of T student experience. These are the final 25 ideas, organized by domain team. These ideas are in prototype format and they are waiting for your feedback and input so that we can iterate them! After reading through the ideas, please follow the link to leave us feedback on the ideas!
Access for Every Student
YOU OF T POSTER CAMPAIGN
YOU of T would be a poster and social media campaign featuring stories of students from marginalized populations, to communicate the diverse experiences of U of T students.
STUDENT-LED STAFF EQUITY TRAINING
Students would receive support to develop and lead a staff training program, focusing on equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
CAMPUS CHILDCARE COLLECTIVE
The Campus Childcare Collective would be a place where student-parents could exchange volunteer childcare duties so that they have the opportunity to participate in campus events at no cost.
HEALTHY FOOD SERVICES
This idea involves increasing healthy food options on campus, expanding food options for those with particular dietary needs, increase nutritional labelling of foods on campus and expanding the UTSU food bank program.
This idea proposes that students receiving notetaking services are able to report if notes are too short or inaccurate through a central platform. In order to encourage more quality notetaking, students taking and uploading notes would receive a stipend.
Hello Blue! Would create a series of “nudges” that give people permission to talk to others on campus without feeling like they are a bother or perceived as someone trying to sell something. Hello Blue! would include conversation starters on digital boards, just-in-time slides before class, and in elevators (turning them into “Hello-vators”) that encourage people to chat with one another.
Neighbourhood Communities would connect commuter students from defined neighbourhoods around the GTA and may include programming such as Facebook groups and study groups based on postal code.
U OF T CARES
U of T Cares creates opportunities for personalized contact between all members of the campus community and students through random acts of kindness and would be accompanied by a campaign that may include student stories of caring for each other and the campus.
This idea seeks to develop activities designed for students to interact and connect with one another over lunch.
U OF T CONCIERGE
U of T Concierge would establish a central location on campus that acts as an initial contact point for wayfinding and referrals. The concierge would also have an online component, connecting students to a 24-hour response tool.
Bursaries would be created to provide financial support to students who demonstrate a financial barrier to participating in work-placement opportunities.
UNDERGRADUATE PRACTICUM COURSE
A general practicum course would be developed, for students in any program, that would provide opportunity for work-integrated learning while earning credit towards their degree.
The future-readiness course would be a for-credit academic course, customizable by discipline, that could incorporate career education and skills development, placement opportunities, and partnering with alumni to build competencies.
WORK INTEGRATED LEARNING RESOURCE CENTRE
The Work-Integrated Learning Resource Centre would provide guidance and support for students interested in engaging in work-integrated learning opportunities.
CAREER COHORT PROGRAM
The Career Cohort Program would create small groups of students with similar career goals and provide them with tailored, guidance-based programming, facilitated by career educators.
INTEGRATED LEARNING MODULE
This module would “crawl” a student’s activity history through separate information systems (e.g. ACORN/ROSI, Co-Curricular Record, etc.) and behaviours (i.e. search history and clicks within the U of T Portal), and combine the findings with a self-reported interests survey, to recommend potential opportunities of interest on campus.
STUDENT-FACULTY EXPLORATION CAFÉ
This idea would repurpose an existing central space on campus to act as a hub of activities that support faculty and TA engagement with students.
HUMANS OF U OF T CAMPAIGN
The Humans of U of T campaign would encourage students to share thoughts that they want instructors, teaching assistants, staff, and fellow students to know about them, in order to engage U of T community members around these experiences.
GRADUATE STUDENT CO-WORKING SPACE
The Graduate Student Co-Working Space would develop a multi-purpose space with an collaborative atmosphere where graduate students could work, book space, connect with community facilitators and engage in integrated-learning programming.
The iQuestion App would be a widget embedded in the U of T Portal that allows students to pose anonymous questions in class, monitored by the instructor or teaching assistant, allowing for real-time feedback.
Whole Student Development
CHILL SPOTS ON CAMPUS
Chill Spots would use spaces that students already frequent to set up community spaces that could include charging stations, couches and microwaves, and be facilitated by community animators.
Inspire Hour imagines a class schedule that is designed to leave a one-hour gap during the day, in all programs and disciplines, where students can meet with a cohort to attend workshops and other co-curricular programming.
WALK AND TALKS
This idea promotes walk and talk rituals on campus for students, staff and faculty. Walk and Talks would allow students to become better connected with community members and engage in a wellness activity.
Nap Pods would create designated rooms on campus with hygienic napping pods, which would be time-limited and accessed using your TCard. These would take the guesswork out of where to nap on campus.
NEW SEMESTER RESOLUTIONS
Adapting a New Year’s Eve tradition, this program would engage students in just-in-time opportunities that allow them to develop and realize their goals, based on their progress towards degree completion, at the beginning of each semester.
What Do You Think?
Now that you’ve read about the ideas proposed by the domain teams, we want to hear from you! Please provide your feedback on these ideas to help us in our next steps. Which ideas resonate with you? Which ideas would you like to see become a reality? Let us know! Click the feedback image below to take the survey.