Innovation Hub Partnership
The Innovation Hub, situated within the Division of Student Life, is a student-led initiative that collaborates with the UofT community to support the development of innovative strategies for improving the student experience. They help partners in the university community design with rather than for students by deepening their understanding of user needs through empathy-based research.
Given the large-scale impact of the Transforming the Instructional Landscape project, the Innovation Hub has partnered with ACE to develop an ongoing feedback process that centres the voices of students, staff, and faculty in the re-design initiative, and ensure that their needs, desires, and perspectives are at the core of the process. The Innovation Hub will develop and maintain open channels for user feedback and research, identify themes and insights from the data collected, and work with ACE to incorporate these insights into the design process. Through this collaboration, the feedback will be used to create classrooms that support the needs of users and enhance the teaching and learning experience.
As part of the project initiative for designing with users, Academic and Campus Events and the Innovation Hub will be facilitating a number of channels and events for gathering student feedback. The goal of this data collection is to address the following:
Key Question: How do we design learning spaces that address student needs?
Our Goal: To create spaces that are dynamic and accessible learning spaces, where students feel that the classroom not only fulfills needs, but also enhances the learning or teaching experience.
Example: Preliminary student outreach has identified power as a fundamental element that would improve the experience in the classroom, enabling students to work more effectively, and stay connected throughout the day as they move around campus. These renovations will add power to more than 1,594 seats across the campus.
Faculty and course instructors are vital to fulfilling the potential of classrooms to be supportive learning environments that support various pedagogical styles. Faculty consultation is important for understanding these unique needs, and addressing the following:
Key Question: What key elements of the classroom do you find useful, engaging or interesting, and which elements can be improved?
Our Goal: To create purpose built instructional environments that meet the diverse needs of faculty across the St. George Campus.
Example: Early research has illustrated that lecture-style classrooms can not support emerging pedagogical styles. Newly updated classrooms favour layouts and furniture that facilitate a variety of teaching styles, promoting in-class collaboration and student engagement. Instructional technology upgrades also support active learning.