Team Reflection: Empathy and Understanding with Students Who Are Also Parents 

Team photo of the Experiences of Students Who Are Also Parents Design Research team. 5 people standing on a staircase.

This past year, an Innovation Hub Design Research team worked on a project focused on the experiences of students who are also parents. In this blog, team members reflect on the importance of empathy in listening deeply to student parent stories and understanding their needs. The team shares some of their reflections from the work, what they learned, and their hopes for how the university can continue to become family friendly.  

Written by the Innovation Hub’s Experiences of Students Who Are Also Parents Design Research Team

Team Reflections: Commuter Student Spaces Project — It’s the small things that make a big difference 

Over the past year, the Innovation Hub worked in partnership with Spaces & Experiences to understand the needs of commuter students to support the design of future spaces intended to support them. In this blog, the Innovation Hub’s design research team reflects upon learnings from working on the year-long commuter spaces project, emphasizing that many students’ needs can be met in relatively simple ways.   

Written by the Commuter Student Spaces team

Team Reflections: Where Qualitative Research Can Take You

QDA Team sitting by couches

The Qualitative Data Archivist Team supports Innovation Hub projects using qualitative research skills, with each team member taking away something different from their experience. The 2023-2024 team reflects on how their dynamic workload fosters collaboration and how this can also lead to personal growth. 

Written by the Innovation Hub Qualitative Data Archivist Team

Team Reflections: International Students: First 48 Hours in Canada

Group of the Innovation Hub Team and Cohort of Students

Our Design Research Team for the International Students: First 48 Hours in Canada project reflect on their experience working with eight international students as they travel to Canada to study at U of T to create an impactful documentary and report of findings. The team shares how much empathy they felt for the students hearing their stories throughout the process, and expresses appreciation for Cal Campos, an incredible filmmaker who worked with us over the last year to produce the documentary.   

Written by the Innovation Hub International Students First 48 Hours in Canada Design Research Team

Team Reflections: Co-Creating the Future of Sport & Rec 

Sport & Rec team standing outside and smiling

Through co-creation sessions, interviews, and a journal activity, the Innovation Hub team working with Sport & Rec strived to understand what makes or breaks a student’s experience when they engage in movement. The Design Research team reflects on valuable lessons they learned and how they honed their ability to collaborate as a team.  

Written by the Innovation Hub Sport & Rec Team

Community Animation Team Reflection: Cultivating a Learning Organization 

Community Animation team sitting on bench and smiling

The Community Animation Design Researcher team reflects on their year designing social programming, professional skill-building events, and student feedback sessions together. 

Written by Cheryl Nong, Research Coordinator, Honours Bachelor of Science, Psychology and Neuroscience Double Major 

Team Reflections: Perspective Shifts and Community Impact Through Partnerships with Arts & Science University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process 

Team coordinators smiling and sitting together

The Innovation Hub continued its partnership with the Arts & Science University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP) this year by conducting design research-based student consultations for academic programs. The Arts & Science UTQAP Design Research Team reflects on the research journey recognizing the importance of finding meaning and achieving personal growth, through understanding student academic community and stories.

Written by the Innovation Hub A&S University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process Design Research Team

What Matters to U of T Students

A person in the center of a large community made up of smaller, unique, groups.

In the What Matters to U of T Students? report, the Innovation Hub compiled student stories, highlighting the important connection between identity exploration and the university community. Ava shares her personal testimony highlighting her journeys in self-discovery at U of T.  

Ava Hawkins, Blog Editor & Digital Content Writer, Honours Bachelor of Science, Cognitive Science & Psychology 


Project Reflections: Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process Student Consultations 2022-23

The UTQAP Design Research Teams reflect on their journey through these projects and the importance of collaboration and empathy in the design research process uncovering the value of human connection in both data collection and data analysis.