Let’s Talk About Failure

A circular graphic that represents the domains of innovation highlighted in the project.

In partnership with Academic Success, the Innovation Hub ran student-led feedback sessions to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to experience failure at UofT, however students define it, and how it can be supported. These were supportive, inclusive sessions where students can share what happened, how it’s hard, what students wish they had known, and more.

Icon of book with connecting circles reaching outwards.

Integrated Learning Experience

Students engage fully in learning experiences both within and outside of the classroom.

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Whole Student Development

Students receive the support they need for their holistic well-being (physical, psychological, social, and emotional).


What does freedom to fail entail? We learnt about failure from student stories—from their reconsidering narrow ideas of achievement, coming to terms with failure and its negative feelings, and feeling free to be themselves fully and more wholly, along with their failures. The freedom to fail involved three themes:
  1. Challenging Narrow Measurements of Success
  2. The Self Struggle
  3. Paradigm Shifts
Theme visual representing the research - includes an individual at the centre, with arrows spiraling outwards representing each theme & need.

Research Team

Johanna Pokorny

Johanna Pokorny

Sanskriti is smiling towards the camera, they are outside with trees and scenery in the background

Sanskriti Maheshwari

Rosemarie Shephard

Rosemarie Shephard

Amal smiling to the camera, wearing a black and light pink outfit.

Amal Yusuf

Design Team

Kaitlyn wearing long pink earrings, standing infront of a brick wall

Kaitlyn Corlett

Ecem smiling to the camera wearing a green long sleeved shirt

Ecem Sungur

Vlada smiling, looking off to the side in a brightly lit studio

Vlada Gorchkova

Natalie Ng

Natalie Ng