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Passionate about improving the student experience on campus? Join an equity-centered design program for staff at U of T!

The Innovation Hub and the Centre for Learning, Leadership & Culture (LLC) are launching a Design Thinking Experience Program for staff. This ten-week program, designed for staff who are passionate about improving life for students on campus, will provide training in equity-centered design thinking through a hands-on project that tackles a genuine challenge in the University of Toronto campus experience.

Bring your passion for improving campus life to this 10-week series where you’ll have the opportunity to learn design thinking methodologies geared towards enhancing life at U of T. Participants will be prototyping chosen and assigned projects.

What participating staff can expect:

Working on a team with students and other staff members, you’ll see the student experience through their eyes and gain perspective on how it feels to be a U of T student. You’ll also have opportunities to provide mentorship and build connections. In an environment where students and staff can feel separate, working as partners can provide solutions that work for both groups and relationships that improve campus culture.

Why get involved?

Design thinking and the qualitative research skills that accompany it are effective tools for reimagining what existing on-campus services and programs might look like, and for visioning entirely new ones. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about – and practice – designing with rather than for students and other stakeholder groups all the way from inspiration to implementation. Design thinking illuminates how the best solutions come from insights into human behaviour – expand your program development toolkit with this case-based learning opportunity and, on its application, see enhanced engagement levels and program success! Ground yourself in the central principles of design thinking like human-centered design to architect and further culture change at the University.

Join with a project idea in mind and work on a challenge relevant to your daily work or apply individually and join another team’s design challenge. Either way, the skills you’ll gain will be applicable to service design projects in your future.

Program details:

The program runs from June 1, 2021 to August 3, 2021. By the end of this program, participants will learn and gain hands-on experience with:

  • Various models of design thinking
  • Empathy, equity and ethics in design thinking
  • Culture change & strategy in a U of T context
  • Data collection methods including interviews, observations & alternative methods
  • Transcription & data analysis
  • Ideation & prototyping
  • Testing & implementation
  • Reporting & presenting design-based research projects

The first step to participate is to join one of our upcoming information sessions:

Information Session 1

Tuesday May 11th, 12:00-1:00PM
Register with EventBrite
Registration ends May 10th at 11:59PM

Information Session 2

Wednesday May 12th, 3:00-4:00PM
Register with EventBrite
Registration ends May 11th at 11:59PM

Commitment is intensive: there will be a mandatory two-hour workshop each week, plus three hours of additional work. Because we work on genuine projects with deliverables and deadlines, we ask that participants commit to full attendance and participation.

Space is limited in this pilot program.

How to apply:

Applications will be close Tuesday May 18th, 5:00PM and will require interested staff to indicate why they wish to participate and what they hope to learn, as well as provide a letter of support for participation from their manager.

Apply to participate