By Mia Sanders, Training Facilitator
Hello! My name is Mia Sanders and I’m a training facilitator for the Innovation Hub this year, along with my co-facilitator, Margaryta Ignatenko. Both Margaryta and I have been with the Hub for almost two years, during which we’ve had the privilege of engaging with hundreds of students and staff who are invested in improving the student experience at UofT. From our vantage point, what sets the Innovation Hub apart is the array of methodologies that team members are exposed to throughout their time here, including Design Thinking, Ethnography, Integrative Thinking, and Anti-Oppressive Practices.
Whether it’s conducting empathy-based interviews, analyzing data, writing a report, presenting to university stakeholders, or building a vocabulary around equity, the skills and competencies involved in the Innovation Hub’s work are invaluable. That’s why Margaryta and I jumped at the opportunity to create curriculum content around the Innovation Hub’s methodologies.
Drawing on our own experiences, the knowledge of our peers and teammates—several of whom are experts in certain methodologies—and industry resources, we’ve been hard at work developing modules on Interviews & Observations, Transcription & De-Identification, Data Analysis & Report-Writing, and Interactive Data Presentation. In October, we delivered four workshops—with the incredible support of Senior Project Assistant, Kate Bowers—to members of this year’s team, which consists of over 100 students.
Suzie Kim, who attended the Transcription & De-Identification module, says that “as someone who has never interviewed anyone in such an official manner, this was an eye-opening experience for me.” In this workshop, “participants learned about the importance of noting not only the context, but also silence, laughter, slang, and even the environment, when conducting an interview,” Suzie explains. “After this training, I feel more prepared to take on [transcription and de-identification] in the future.”
Suzie remarks that “as our teams embark upon the data collection phase of our process, conducting in-depth interviews about the experiences that students have on campus is crucial to our innovation process.” In the new year, Margaryta and I are looking forward to training the team in analyzing data and sharing it back with the Innovation Hub’s partners to support them in improving the student experience at UofT.