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Brigham Young University Student Priorities

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Fall 2018 Cohort

Priority 1: Increasing Interdisciplinary Space

Interdisciplinary Offices

Project Lead: Gabe Walker

BYU Potential Project Supporters:

To Be Determined

Project Description:

Every school and building on our campus would have some sort of space dedicated to a different discipline, industry, or focus. For example, putting a STEM innovation space in the College of Fine Arts, or a Humanities Innovation space in the Business Building. This would provide students with opportunities to engage with ideas that are generally different from what they normally learn, and would teach these students how to be innovative in applying interdisciplinary ideas into their learning outcomes.

Key Tactics:

  • Meet with each school administration to pitch idea.
  • Identify unused space in each building.
  • Find individuals willing to work and run the space (as volunteers or paid staff).
  • Identify which disciplines would benefit the most from the different variety of spaces.
  • Regularly analyze the effectiveness of the space and the amount of student interaction that takes place.

Priority 2: Increasing Interdisciplinary Empathy

The BYU VR Experience

Project Lead: Ashley Paget

BYU Potential Project Supporters:

Mat Duerden

Project Description:

Creating a space for a Virtual Reality Experience for student development. Content would be developed to provide students with different experiences in classes, labs, and other hands on expereinces to help students learn more about different classes and majors. Other simulations would have job shadowing possibilities for students to experience the day to day of different careers. For example, students could be exposed to a 360 degree view of a physicians work day. This would allow students to explore different options and find what fits them best.

BYU Interdisciplinary Case Competitions

Project Lead: Rachel Merrill

BYU Potential Project Supporters:

Todd Manwaring "Ballard Center Director"

Project Description:

A BYU case competition where teams are made up of students from different disciplines of study. Teams would compete to come up with solutions for a company in the neighboring area or to help solve community issues. Students' solutions that are chosen would be awarded cash prizes and help companies implement solutions.

Key Tactics:

  • Partner with the Ballard Center to design the structure of the competition.
  • Pitch competition to local businesses so students can work on solving the business problems neighboring our school.
  • Find funding for the team that wins.
  • Partner with the Ballard Center to utilize their public leverage in advertising this event.

Priority 3: Redesigning the First-Year Experience

Design Your "Y" Class

Project Lead: Rachel Merrill

BYU Potential Project Supporters:

Phillip D. Rash "First-Year Mentoring and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education at BYU"

Matt Duerden "Assistant Professor of Experience Design and Management"

Project Idea: A mentored class for first-year students focused on helping students find personally applicable resources--resources that tie to their personal motivations for being at BYU. A class that uses design thinking to help students prototype their experience at BYU and their impact in the world. A class that helps achieve the BYU aim "Enter to learn--go forth to serve".

Key Tactics:

  • Work with Matt and other a few other faculty members to create and experiential curriculum for the class.
  • Through the Office of the First-Year Experience enlist Y-group leaders to be mentors in these courses.
  • Work with the office of General Education to have this course recognized at BYU.
  • Prototype small versions of this class with groups of Freshman students.
  • Work with the Career Center to find effective surveys to use for grouping students.

Priority 4: Finding purpose in General Education

General Education App

Project Lead: Ashley Paget

BYU Potential Project Supporters:

Patti Freeman, Associate Dean of General Education

Project Idea: Create a BYU General Education App for student's smartphones. This app would have students take an initial survey of background, interests, and goals and dreams. With these results users would be matched with certain GEs that fit them best. It would also have a feature that showed what students with similar results have taken. Users could then see the overall GE course list, favorite certain choices and register for others, and see professor reviews. There would also be a platform to buy and sell textbooks from GE courses. 

Key Tactics:

  • Receive approval 
  • Connect with IS dpartment for app development
  • Design screens and graphics
  • Test basic functions in the library with students
  • Work out bugs 
  • Link app to current BYU app

General Education Think Tank

Project Lead: Dallas Anderson

BYU Potential Project Supporters:

Patti Freeman "Associate Dean of General Education"

Brian Hill "Professor of Experience Design and Management" and "UIF Faculty Champion"

Project Idea: A brainstorm event to define and recreate the general education program at Brigham Young University. Develop new ideas and solutions to complement the General Education department's desire to improve the general education experience at BYU. Students ideate and prototype ideas for what they would want general education to look and feel like at BYU. 

Key Tactics:

  • Provide paper, whiteboards, and other supplies for student ideation and prototyping.
  • Work with Brian to identify ExDM students with exceptional leadership and creativity skills to lead the event.
  • Gather feedback from online surveys from students who are unable to attend the event but still want to contribute.
  • Meet with Patti, Brian, and other stakeholders to identify the best ideas from the think tank.
  • Work with Patti and the General Education department to connect student ideas to the BYU Aims of Education and implement the best ideas on campus.


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Additional Resources

BYU Landscape Canvas

Brigham Young University

Written by: Dallas Anderson, Rachel Merrill, Ashley Paget, Gabe Walker