Priorities:Koç University Student Priorities
- 1 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2022 Cohort
- 1.1 #1: Facilitating the feedback mechanisms and making our voice heard in school management
- 1.2 #2: Finding a common ground for strengthening scholar-student relationships
- 1.3 #3: Enhancing innovation-based thinking in different fields and keeping up with the new emerging studies
- 1.4 #4: Empowering the learning environment and variety in classes to help students to develop themselves
- 1.5 #5: Helping students turn their good ideas into projects by increasing their knowledge and experience about the innovation process
- 2 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2021 Cohort
- 2.1 Our Perspective to Change
- 2.2 #1: Helping students to get ready for their professional life
- 2.3 #2: Strengthen the communication between the students and administration
- 2.4 #3: Reaching people who share a desire to create change in the campus and learn innovation
- 2.5 #4: Facilitating students' experince during back to school period and creating a more inclusive campus
- 3 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2020 Cohort
- 3.1 Project Pitch Video Fall 2020
- 3.2 #1 – Enabling our students to better plan and manage their time
- 3.3 #2 – Facilitating the feedback mechanisms and making our voice heard in school management
- 3.4 #3 – Helping students to reach an international network
- 3.5 #4 – Realizing our students’ problems and improving their well-being
- 3.6 #5 – Informing students about the Innovation & Entrepreneurship opportunities in our school
- 4 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2019 Cohort
- 5 STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2017 Cohort
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2022 Cohort
#1: Facilitating the feedback mechanisms and making our voice heard in school management
Our first priority focuses on the feedback mechanism between different stakeholders of our university. We realized that there is last of opportunities and depending on this lots of bureaucratic issues take place between student and staff or staff and staff. Sometimes students do not know how and when the selection process was conducted.
To solve this issue, we want to implement the feedback mechanism for holding people accountable and having more transparent processes.
#2: Finding a common ground for strengthening scholar-student relationships
Sometimes it can be very hard to reach out to academic staff and communicate for students at Koç University. Therefore it is almost impossible to create strong bonds and increase the interaction between scholars and students as scholars do not seem to be human and mention only about their successes in life at events. At this point our second priority is to form a commonground so that connecting to an academician would be accessible by everyone
#3: Enhancing innovation-based thinking in different fields and keeping up with the new emerging studies
In our university, some majors are outside of the I&E ecosystem. They have mainstream curriculum. However recent study areas such as legal design shows that they also need some sort of I&E lectures or event. From this, legal design summit is an effective way to make I&E visible at those majors. After increasing visibility, we are planning to offer a legal design 101 as an elective course.
#4: Empowering the learning environment and variety in classes to help students to develop themselves
Recently in our university there is a trend of decline in the numbers of the area elective courses, especially in College of Engineering and in College of Sciences. This limits the learning variety of the students and eliminates the opportunity for them to discover their fields of interests or to inform more on their fields of interests in the university standards. Also, the knowledge that they have about the opportunities for the internships and training are found to be very limited, which makes the learning environment even more limited for them. To solve these problems, we want to create a platform in that the instructors can interact with students and open courses regarding the will of students and in that the students can be informed about the events, internships and positions. In the forum part of the platform, they can also share their challenges on their education path which can be responded by the instructors and the students in the system, which enhances the peer-learning and also makes able to take instructor feedbacks
#5: Helping students turn their good ideas into projects by increasing their knowledge and experience about the innovation process
Open innovation laboratory is a concept designed to support the innovative ideas of undergraduate and graduate students, to contribute to their ideas, to improve themselves about the innovation process, about design thinking, and to show how they can start and move forward. In Open Innovation Labs, students will be able to benefit from many opportunities such as a wide range of teaching support, meeting with contributors, meeting with experts in innovation development.
This idea arose because, despite the fact that our school has an incubation center, the number of innovative startups coming out of our school has decreased over the past years. We believe that students are very successful in identifying problems and identifying possible innovative solutions, and have a broad and detailed idea of what is happening in the world and the way the world is progressing. Here we see a lack of linkage between the our school's incubation center and students who have a good problem identification and potential solution but have no idea about the innovation process. We believe that we can fill this gap only with a school component that can provide students with comprehensive and detailed information about the innovation process. In this Open Innovation Lab, we propose an innovation process simulation where students will experience stages such as design thinking, problem detection, seeing potential problems, and prototyping, and receive a lot of training.
Expected Skills to be Gained by Students
- Ability to detect right questions to find underlying problems
- Characteristics of a good idea
- Open ideation process
- Engaging with new ideas and finding resolutions to the possible new obstacles
- Observing and testing assumptions
- Ways of finding possible solutions
- Prototyping solutions
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2021 Cohort
Our Perspective to Change
#1: Helping students to get ready for their professional life
- Alumni-undergraduate mentorship system to learn from experienced people and see different perspectives.
- Biweekly round table meetings between undergraduate students in cooperation with KOLT office.
- Themed meetings such as share your virtual experience/ Erasmus period or instructor included special advising hours or major spesific gatherings
- People will send reflections about their experience and share the contribution to their lives
- Speed Networking activities for newcomers and irregular students (and others optional), mainly focusing on academic life.
- Introduction of (new) opportunities to everyone in the beginning of the term.
#2: Strengthen the communication between the students and administration
- A newsletter about student/human rights connected to the cases we can see in the campus and including an innovative solution/initiative to support them.
- People might feel uncomfortable for some cases in their college life therefore an indirect method will be seen to solve their problems and make them feel peaceful.
- The procedure will start with a scenario survey and measure the students' awareness about certain problems.
- An innovation community which involves both students and alumni entrepreneurs to both share the passion of change and show the methods that have been successful.
#4: Facilitating students' experince during back to school period and creating a more inclusive campus
- An online campus map especially for newcomers and students who forgot where is where since our campus is big enough to being confused about the location :)
- There is a mentorship program which involves 6-8 students in each group and an undergraduate mentor (a junior or higher), however the system doesn't work well and the experience is not the same for everyone.
- With the cooperation of current mentors and Newcomer Advising Center, a more efficient program will be planned and pivoted with the feedbacks of current groups for further years.
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2020 Cohort
Project Pitch Video Fall 2020
#1 – Enabling our students to better plan and manage their time
- PROJECT IDEA - KULENDAR:
- A calendar portal where all events in our school along with class times, deadlines and exams can be seen.
- Student Side:
- There are too many events in our school which makes it very hard to keep track.
- Only common ground for promoting events are through email, which leads to many people getting emails that do not relate to them, thus missing the events that they would like to attend
- Students cannot plan the events they would like to attend ahead of time.
- Students have a hard time keeping track of their deadlines for different courses.
- School Administration and Student Clubs Side:
- Many departments do not have the prior data about student’s vacant times to better plan their events.
- Club activities department lose a lot of time sending club activities mails that can be easily automated
- Connections with IT Department established
- Kick off meeting where use cases and MVP will be planned is set.
- Team recruiting efforts have begun.
- Student Side:
#2 – Facilitating the feedback mechanisms and making our voice heard in school management
- PROJECT IDEA - KUForum:
- A forum where students can ask their questions in categories and get answers that can be upvoted and post their complaints to the complaints board which will also move up as more people support the issue.
- Student Side:
- Lack of questionnaires directed to students or examination of the problem before critical decisions by the school management
- Lack of efficient representation of student voice in decision making process
- Inefficient complaint resolving systems
- Inability to reach answers of previously asked common problems
- School Administration Side:
- Inability to identify who and how many people suffer from issues.
- Inability to get agile feedback
- Difficulty of identifying most critical problems
- Recurring mails from students which are usually sent to unrelated people
- Connections with IT Department and Student Dean established
- Mechanisms of student complaints or questions being resolved is currently being defined.
- IT Support for hosting and customization of digital solutions has been promised
- Student Side:
#3 – Helping students to reach an international network
- PROJECT IDEA – International Workshops
- Online International workshops in different areas such as sustainability, design thinking etc. coordinated with other UIF Fellows with the help of research centers in our school
- The question that comes with online education of whether the university education is necessary while you can learn things from online education platforms at the fraction of the cost.
- In response to this problem, we want to help our schools’ students to retain the network opportunity that universities provide by using the advantages of the online era and our connections with UIF.
#4 – Realizing our students’ problems and improving their well-being
- PROJECT IDEA – Wellbeing week
- Wellbeing exercises and workshops through the finals and midterm weeks that our school is mostly very stressful.
- PROJECT IDEA – Wellbeing Club
- A wellbeing club that shares information with each other on wellbeing, does Yoga or meditation together 😊
#5 – Informing students about the Innovation & Entrepreneurship opportunities in our school
- PROJECT IDEA – I&E Online Manual
- A manual that improves upon the landscape canvas we prepared containing information on entrepreneurship and innovation related coursework, departments, incubation centers and the paths and counselling they can take.
- Established connections with the director of KWORKS, our school’s incubation center and College of Administrative Sciences Dean.
- Currently recruiting the team to design the manual and gather information on the existing opportunities.
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2019 Cohort
#1 - Accessing Student Clubs.
- PROJECT IDEA - Club Activity Page:
- Provide a platform where each club can have a voice and talk about their goals,old projects and upcoming events.
#2 - Labs about innovation and impact are not known around the school.
- PROJECT IDEA - Scavenger Lab Hunt
- Arrange a orienteering/scavenger hunt. In the beginning of each new school year there during the orientation process.
#3 - Combining knowledge and skills in practice.
- PROJECT IDEA - A program combining different majors and leading by a mentor who can guide about designing an upcoming project.
#4 - Place/workshop to meet students who have common interests and make them to design a project and to do a prototype.
PROJECT IDEA - Design courses or conduct workshops to make students experience the information which they got from the lecture.
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES by 2017 Cohort
#1 - Guiding, encouraging and inspiring students about non-corporate career paths.
- PROJECT - Innovation & Entrepreneurship Manual October 2020
- A manual containing information on entrepreneurship and innovation related coursework and departments.
- PROJECT - Innovation & Entrepreneurship Board October 2019
- A board to share information about entrepreneurship and innovation activities with an inspirational & motivational quote to catch people’s attention.
- PROJECT - A periodically updated “How to” and "Where to" website for Koc University - November 2017
- An updated website that guides students through skill and goal related journeys.
- Listing all the related courses, gatekeeper people and professors, affiliated organizations, student clubs and “inside information” about specific goals, skills, needs.
- Example Case
- Student: I am interested in entrepreneurship, but I do not know if I am a good fit. I do not know where to start. 'Where should I start entrepreneurship or design at Koc?
- Platform: You can start with this article from Steve Blank. How to Start a Startup Series are a very good source for getting to know what entrepreneurship really means? In Koc, you can take MGMT 411 and 412. Our university is also affiliated with KWORKS, an incubation center. There are also MAVA courses that introduce design thinking project mindset that is very helpful and related to starting a new venture. You can check MAVA 205. If you are also interested in social issues, you should check MAVA 420 and MGMT 311. Imece and Impact Hub are Istanbul-based social entrepreneurship hubs, you should look at their websites too.
- PROJECT - A Startup career event - December 2017
- Collaborating with career center, entrepreneurship club, marketing club, business administration club to gather 10+ startup founders with students to introduce succesful entrepreneurial career paths, hold pitch & innovation challenges with them.
- PROJECT - TEDx event focused on I&E
- PROJECT - Pitch competition
- PROJECT - Innovation challenge
- ALTERNATIVE PROJECTS
- A chatbot mobile application that creates instant answers from the website database
- Quarterly revised handbook that lists all the information website has
- "A Creative’s Guide to Thrive at Koc University"
- Example Case
#2 - Initiating, sustaining, and developing a multi-disciplinary creative network.
There is this an urgent need for creative people coming from different disciplines to get to know each other and somehow interact.
- PROJECT #1 - Slack - November 2017
- Properly designed Slack group for entrepreneurial needs, inspiring articles, event announcements, feedback requests
- PROJECT #2 - Creative Newsletter
- Can be integrated to the website
- PROJECT #3 - Redesigning KU Daily
- For a more individualized, interest-based communication platform
#3 - Redesigning the ineffective indoor and outdoor spaces in the campus to facilitate productive co-working, creative socializing, and wellbeing.
- For a spatially limited campus (meaning there are no free spaces around the campus to enlarge the area) efficiency of currently used areas are highly important for a comfortable, creative student life.
- PROJECT #1 - Redesigning Yeni Nero space
- Heart of the campus has the worst indoor design.
- Furnitures are terribly old and dull, not allowing comfortable eating, working in groups and even having a enjoyable coffee break.
- Sound isolation is terrible.
- There are no sockets.
- Even it is a large are at the heart of the school, it is not facilitated for workshops, artistic events.
- Interior decoration is not inspiring.
- PROJECT #2 - Building small transparent containers in the dormitory area - Fall 2017
- PROJECT #3 - Designing empty spaces that will be created due to the moving of science labs to the new building. - Spring 2017
#4 - Informing, promoting, and integrating “social impact” in the campus.
- PROJECT - Social Impact Quotient – 2017
- Not only GPA for students
- SIQ that measures each student’s impact on his community, campus and environment.
#5 - Facilitating online & offline intersections for the curriculum with new e-learning technologies, platforms, organizations.
- PROJECT - Hybrid academic and skill-related e-learning certificate programs.
- Connecting courses, e-learning platforms, organizations, clubs, companies and more with condensed certificate programs.
#6 - Designing and building a creative space that will allow multi-disciplinary collaboration, 7/24 co-working, organizing workshops, hosting maker projects, incubating student startups, intersecting with related courses for alternative educative methodologies.
- PROJECT - Community Space - Fall 2017 & Spring 2018
#7 - Empowering administrative and academic staff with I&E related content, workshops, programs for creating a more coherent campus vision.
- PROJECT IDEA - Global Learning and Leadership Program for school employees