Priorities:University of Technology Sydney Student Priorities

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Contents

Overview


2019 Fall Under Graduate FEIT UIF

Strategy 1- Integrative Calendar 'My Uni'

Whilst researching the different I&E programs, courses, funding opportunities and events offered at university we were surprised that so many students in our interviews had highlighted that there are not many avenues to pursue innovation in their experience at UTS other than in class.

We have developed an Integrative Calendar based platform for students to Subscribe to different filter of I&E Events, programs, competitions and other opportunities to develop their I&E skills and develop their own ideas. The filter that students select and subscribe to will automatically sync with the application calendar and the students class schedule. This platform will funnel all events ranging from various university groups such as UTS Startups, University Societies, University Faculties and UTS Careers who all run events and programs relevant to students.

To ensure this strategy is executable, these entities must all be contacted to provide information for their events and programs. Furthermore, an automatic channel should be developed for these entities to funnel in their programs automatically rather than manually.

This ‘My Uni’ App will also benefit by being included in the ‘UTS’ Application that has been launched by the university containing direct access to student enrollment pages, class timetables, grade centres and Exam information. This will ensure that a greater amount of students will have access to the application and will view it as a legitimate tool supported by the university. As such, the UIF team will need to contact the University department which has developed this platform and gain access and permission to integrate with it. 

This application, which will increase student participation in I&E, will stimulate growth in such events and programs due to the student demand and interest. This will further develop the I&E canvas at university as well as enrich the environment, I&E culture and student perception of I&E.


Strategy 2 - Innovative Case Challenge

What was found during the Landscape Canvassing process and the peer interviews that have occured thu far, is that students often lost a sense of worth and value regarding I&E principals at an early level due to the lack of perceived impact and valuation of the skills and methodologies learnt under the Structures of I&E. Despite UTS approaching I&E in a fantastic way, these introductory issues have caused a shift in the perceptions of later students views towards I&E. Having established this idea and problem area, the solution that has been developed is the Innovative Case Challenge. The ICC will give students the opportunity to put I&E into practice to shape the UTS campus to be a better place by applying these principles to solve problems identified by either the students themselves or the faculty and will occur monthly. During this monthly period students will form teams and work on the assigned problem for that month period before presenting their idea at the end of that period, the winning team will receive resources and support needed to put their ideas into practice. By applying these methods to solve problems on campus and create a measurable and visible impact within the students ecosystem, students will gain a far greater appreciation and value perception of I&E both at an introductory level and into the future

Joshua will oversee the creation of this monthly competition. It will require campus involvement namely through the iHub, marketing, activateUTS and access to problem spaces for students to come forward and identify these issues. UTS recently held a summer hackathon with can be used as a base plate for the development of this future program. The goal will be to get an initial event to occur over the summer study period at UTS or early Autumn session next year after the initial stakeholder meetings. After this initial event, feedback can be obtained and used to improve the event before moving along to a larger trial period during the entirety of the Autumn session.

Strategy 3 - Innovation in Sustainability 

Students study at university because they want to learn to apply their skills to real-world problems. The current problem faced in today’s current political landscape is the ongoing social, environmental, and economic impacts of climate change. By sticking to the conventional methods of learning in lecture theatres and having pen and paper exams, it does not give students the opportunity and experience come up with a solution to tackling these real-world issues. Adopting the Innovation and Entrepreneurship concept in student’s learning will give them the experience to evolve in their learning and work collaboratively to produce an effective solution. 

Fortunately, by completing the current landscape canvas, we found that UTS is progressive in weaving I&E understandings throughout the courses. However, we also noticed that these opportunities are not properly projected in subjects with the fundamental goal of solving new world problems came from. Thus, the idea of ‘Innovation in Sustainability’ was born; a compulsory studio subject directed to penultimate and final year university students to work collaboratively and solve the issues of climate change. Climate Change is global issue that will have detrimental impacts on the environment if an immediate solution is not implemented in the coming years. Innovation in Sustainability will be achieved through a variety of ways including, teaching students the scientific method and how to source reliable information so that in the future they uphold a high level of credibility. Students will have the opportunity of practicing this methodology through a variety of case studies. This will give them the ability to take the initiative to learn more on their own and apply their relevant technical skills. Some other aspects of the course would include background and context of global warming; renewable energy options; sustainability and chemical sustainability; as well as people's perceptions on climate change and how it can impact the process of solving problems. 

Jasmina will be in charge of this project, with assistance from the other UIF’s. In order for this project to run successfully, there will need to be huge support from the university administration, as well as feedback from students to improve this new method of learning. A number of university tutors and professors will need to be involved and onboard with this idea to implement it into the course. The idea is to pitch this idea to students and to gather as much feedback as possible to accommodate their needs. 

Strategy 4 - I&E Badge Program

When investigating the issue of maintaining collaboration and consistent engagement in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) at university, we found that though the culture of I&E is prospering at UTS, sometimes students lose interest or are not made aware of opportunities such as panels, industry talks and more. Many students have also expressed that there is lack of a strong incentive to pursue I&E and if it will go on to help them in their respective fields and long-term career. 

Through our Landscape Canvas process, we were able to understand the process of recognising and addressing campus issues and truly regarding the issues that students particularly are facing by conducting peer interviews and receiving feedback. This allowed us to further understand the state of I&E at UTS and how we can improve the culture to student collaboration and engagement. Through this process, one of the key issues we identified is the lack of collaboration and consistency in I&E engagement at UTS.

With a defined problem, we focused on gathering ideas and established the solution to create an ‘I&E Badge’. The I&E Badge Program works like a rewards program. To complete the program successfully, students will be required to attend introductory, core workshops and events and will also be expected to engage in a range of I&E related opportunities such as hackathons, case competitions, project development and more. The Badge will have a range of levels to be completed: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and will have additional awards to be handed out to students who excel in their pursuit of I&E at university. Additionally, the core of the program will be to integrate real-world examples and relevant industry challenges to address the mentioned engagement issues. 

With this program, as it is relevant to students with real-world engagement, there is a bigger incentive for student participation. Furthermore, with the flexibility of completing the award on a range of levels, students will be able to engage on a level that is comfortable for them. We also found that this program would foster collaboration across different faculties as I&E opportunities can be interdisciplinary and will allow students to build stronger team work as they can complete the program alongside their friends. Some of the milestones in regards to the program are highlighted below:

Milestone #1: Develop the I&E Badge using current university spaces and programs (hackathons, case competitions, etc.)

Milestone #2: Introduce inter-university events and programs to encourage collaboration

Milestone #3: Engage and partner with relevant industry to create additional programs such as long-term case competitions and innovation challenges. 

Satya will oversee this program with assistance from other UIFs. This program would also utilise existing spaces such as the iHub, Innovation Labs and UTS StartUp space so that students are further exposed to the available facilities on campus, fostering further innovation even after they complete the program. The program will be run on a yearly basis with specific hour requirements and a graduation ceremony. This idea will cater to the needs of students while giving them the flexibility to explore I&E on their terms.

2019 Fall Postgraduate UIFs

Strategy 1: Personas

Through our interviews and talking with other postgraduate students we were able to identify common backgrounds of those who entered a higher degree by research (HDR). We thought a user-centred approach would greatly benefit UTS in its ability to deliver an improved HDR journey, and that a key component of that was to develop the personas that best represent the incoming candidates. We also extended this approach to create personas that were representative of where candidates could see themselves after graduation.

Strategy Leader: Jess

Strategy 2: Journeys

We were able to discern that whatever the stage an HDR student is at in their candidature, the process is messy: induction processes were inadequate, information was missed and hard to locate, and many were confused across multiple platforms. We thought more tailored support would benefit UTS in its ability to deliver the required information. This spoke directly to our development of personas! By identifying incoming student backgrounds, their development throughout the HDR journey could better suit their needs and direct them to the information they would benefit from most. A student having come from an industry background, for example, would likely benefit from workshops directed at academic-style writing; a student having undertaken only study might benefit from industry linkages; and those reinventing their careers might require advice from career personnel. Through prototyping, we were able to improve the model by adding in check-in points that allowed for candidates to re-assess their desired destination and add in necessary components (training modules, network growth, etc.) to help them reach their fullest potential.

Strategy Leader: Mel

Strategy 3: Communication

The I&E ecosystem at UTS is already very rich - what’s missing (and this has been identified by our UTS UIF predecessors already) is the awareness of the available opportunities - this could be because students are either not connected to many/any information channels or the opposite - they can’t sift through all the information they receive.

Establishing the Personas and the Journeys led us to re-envisioning the communication strategy: Content curation is key Incoming students will start with self-assessment - where they’re coming from and what their goal is (to establish their incoming and outgoing personas) Students will receive regular ‘newsletters’ with curated listings appropriate for their persona - exploration will be encouraged by linking out to HDRConnect (Strategy 4). Information needs to be delivered at the right time to the right people Students needs and their focus depends on where they are in their Journey - pre-Stage 1 students might need to connect with resources on methods but Stage 3 student is well passed that point - they might want to connect with commercialisation experts. Regular check-ins will allow communication adjustments Social networks need to be built early Every incoming student after their self-assessment will be able to opt in to a BuddyConnect program - where they’ll be able to connect with the more experienced students

Strategy Leader: Anna

Strategy 4: HDRConnect (Canvas)

Common theme that kept appearing in our interviews and informal talks with students was the need for an HDR-dedicated online space. As noted earlier, research students maneuver across several platforms to find resources and information - often struggling to find what they need at the time.

To enable current and future PhD / HDR students to access relevant information across their entire PhD journey, a learning management platform will be leveraged to CONNECT PEOPLE, CONNECT CONTENT and CONNECT learning experiences across faculties, schools and industry partners.

Strategy Leader: Ephraim

2018 Fall UIF's 

Strategy 1 - Campus Quest 

What was noticed during research was that there was such a vast array of opportunities available to students within the sphere of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. What we also found was that there was limited knowledge amongst students about these opportunities and as a result less than desirable engagement. Identifying this as an issue and an opportunity to make an impact, the idea for Campus Quest was borne. Campus Quest is a virtual world that is aimed at encouraging engagement between students and the wider I&E university ecosystem. Students (referred to as players) enter the virtual world through a smartphone or tablet. From there they are able to create a customizable Avatar and are asked to attribute them with skills that reflect their own skills in the real world. Students, societies, faculties and teams can use the virtual world to connect and collaborate on projects and tasks. Players also have access to real time information on opportunities, classes, workshops and more with a focus in multi disciplinary collaboration in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Nicholas will oversee the development of this project. This idea will require a large amount of University involvement, funding and support. Also involved will be a large amount of software development, with the potential to engage software and IT students within the University to assist on development of the virtual world. The idea will be to quickly develop a minimum viable product (e.g. Beta version) to be able to test as quickly as possible. There should be a strong focus on gathering as much feedback as possible in order to develop further iterations. Ideally the beta version should be completed within a 6 month period with major development iterations to continue for the next couple of years.


Strategy 2 - Hall Of Fame 

All across campus students are incessantly creating and contributing to very successful projects, yet are still left unseen or unappreciated for their efforts. We believe that we can meaningfully redefine ‘empty spots’ around campus that are not being used in the most efficient way, by instead displaying projects and materials from other students as a tool for motivation, engagement and a guide as to how students can go above and beyond and indulge in the creative experience beyond their degree. Mary Anne Radmacher once said ‘Your success will shine as a light of hope and inspire numbers you cannot total.’  

Jacob, will primarily be incharge of this project, with assistance from the other UIF’s. In order for this strategic plan to be successfully implemented on campus, he would potentially need the support of the university as well as students who are willing to contribute and display their achievements.


Strategy 3 - Rethink How We Learn  

Through conducting interviews and facilitating conversations with peers on campus we have come across typical gaps around the whole idea of ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship’. There is this large stigma around what ‘design thinking’, ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ really means. With many individuals left questioning ‘why innovation?’ and ‘what does it achieve?’ the questions only accumulate from there. This has therefore allowed us to actively strive for solutions to mitigate the misconstrued perception students have of I&E. The aim is to adopt innovation within our curriculum. We have an array of extracurricular programs centered around design thinking, but why stop there why not push for innovation within the classrooms, to truly showcase to students the importance of I&E in shaping our every so rapidly altering future.

Kritika will be overseeing the movement on this project with the assistance of other UIF’s alongside faculty and possibly innovation incubators on campus namely UTS StartUps. The goal would be to ideally begin these movements at a pilot stage, and test the reaction from both staff and students as well as observe the effectiveness of such changes upon both the individuals morale and academic chart. Initially we wanted this project to be spread across UTS, across various faculties (including non-traditional faculties that are still underrepresented for innovation namely Nursing) this was to promote interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. However, as we begun prototyping and realistically assessing the feasibility of such a large movement, we established that it would be best to begun this plan on one faculty assess the reactions and then roll out to other potential faculties.

Strategy 4 - UTS StartUps in Classrooms 

To bring UTS StartUps to the classroom, we will need to be in contact with members of UTS StartUps and Subject Coordinators to ensure that the collaboration has a smooth transition. Work will be required to make sure that UTS StartUps will be incorporated into variety of subjects, eventually across several disciplines, while not being repetitive. Students will see how innovation and entrepreneurship begins and that it doesn’t just end when the subject does.

Georgia will be in charge, striving for these objectives and incorporating the following tactics:

  • Create a better link between faculty, faculty subject coordinators, and UTS StartUps
  • Find areas where I&E can be incorporated/are already incorporated and slot UTS StartUps into these areas
  • Monitor Student engagement with UTS StartUps


2017 Spring UIF's 

Strategy #1 Creation of an innovation space

Recently, UTS has begun encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship around campus, made evident by starting two team in the University Innovation Fellows program. Created by the previous and new candidate UIF’s at UTS, this strategy aims to provide a place to facilitate innovation collaboration and teamwork for students. Currently this strategy is already off the ground and we have already pitched our ideas to the heads of the Engineering and IT faculty and they are more than enthusiastic with our idea.

Milestone 1: Initial Stakeholder meeting - Completed

What got our project started was when the heads of the Engineering and IT Faculty emailed us expressing interest in re-purposing a previously unused space in the Engineering and IT building.

Milestone 2: Idea Pitch - Completed

Two weeks from our initial stakeholder meeting, we re-scheduled a meeting with the faculty leaders to pitch our ideas. We generated three ideas for our innovation space which had varying levels of creativity and many different features. We gained valuable insigth from the faculty leaders, as they provided many thoughts and opinions on what they thought would work and what was too far out there to be practicle.

Milestone 3: Investor Pitch - Completed

To provide funding for the room, the faculty leaders had a potential investor lined up who was interested to know what kind of opportunities this space could provide for students. We had a short meeting with the investor where we gave him a summarised version of our three pitches and explained why this un used space should be re purposed. Over all the investor had a positive opinion of our ideas and even had his ideas and suggestions to improve our ideas.

Milestone 4:  Project Follow Up – Planned Feb 2018

In this milestone we aim to discuss potential strategies to take our ideas to the final stages and eventually turn the innovation space from an idea into a reality.

Milestone 5: Working with architects or designers – Planned March 2018

In this milestone we aim to create a design for the final product by working architects and designers. We aim to have a professional looking design that will be enticing to students as well as serve their practical needs for innovation and collaboration.

Milestone 6: Construction - Planned April 2018

For the construction of our space we aim for it to take as little time as possible, to minimise disturbance for the students, with the construction taking place outside of peak university times.

Milestone 7: Grand opening - Planned July 2018

In this milestone we intend to open our innovation space to the students. It is very rare to see new and interesting spaces open from existing spaces inside UTS, so we aim to have an awesome opening ceremony.

Strategy #2 Formal Recognition of student involvement in extra-curricular activities

During interviews with first year students at UTS we discovered that a lot of students were extremely unengaged with extra-curricular acitivites, were intidimated to be involved, were not aware of opportunities or were wanting to be involved but didn't have the belief they were capable enough. Many students would go to class and go back home or to work.

As well as this, a lot of students also felt that they were unable to differentiate themselves when applyng for a job and felt that the only way to do so was through extra-currcular activiites, however, communicating their involvements was extremely difficult when integrating it in their CV. 

By combining these 2 issues, we were able to ideate a solution to incentivise students to become even more engaged with university life outside of classes. This resulted in the idea to implement and recognise students’ involvement formally in their academic transcript to show employer's a student's involvement during their course of their degree.

As a result of this, students would feel the need to beomce involved in university to help distinguish themselves from others when seeking a job and feel rewarded for doing so.

The Plan:

Milstone 1:

We would begin speaking to employer's about what they seek when hiring people. We would conduct an empathy interview about students and the hiring process, and how extra-currcular activities could be implement when going through the job application process.

Milestone 2:

We would speak to the Faculty of Engineering and IT about the demands of industry when it comes to job application, and provide them a list of reccomendations that industry expect from universities in regards to student exmployment. 

Milestone 3:

We would then get students to voice their concerns to Faculty about the needs of formal recognition in the Academic Transcript and then being to work closely with Faculty to being integrating this system. 

Milestone 4:

After this, a checklist would be created to ensure that extra-curricular activities are monitored and thoroughly examined to give students opportunities to have these involvements formalised in their transcript. 

Milestone 5:

Implement a IT system to ensure the smooth running of the documentation and recording of student involvement at UTS.

Milestone 6:

Announce the creation of the new section of the Academic Transcript.

Strategy #3 - Social Events to Break Down Faculty Separations

When interviewing students from various degree backgrounds, it was often evident that rarely interacted with students who were apart of a different faculty to themselves. In many occasions, they barely interacted with people outside of their own course. We have often seen that students who know more people in a cross disciplined environment often get involved with a much grander range of activities and therefore enjoy their university experience more.

Tactic #1 - Run innovation workshops for cross faculty students to encourage innovation and meeting of friends

A continual aim of the UIFs at UTS has been to foster innovation and promote student engagement at our uni. We are modifying it slightly so that it is no so much as a strategy and instead making it more of a goal we will achieve by doing other activities. In this case we are getting there by bringing together students from a range of backgrounds and using their different skills so that they work on the theme that we have for that particular workshop.

Tactic #2 - Run social events that are not discipline specific

We have found during our empathy work that students are most likely not to go to an event because they do not know any other people who will be going. A good way to overcome this first hurdle is with social activites as these are often vary popular and can be used to familiarise people with the cohort they could be working with for a rnage of other events.

This then means that we will be able to have a much larger audience to promote our events to, along with the change that people will be interacting with students not apart of their usual friend group.

Tactic #3 - Host uni wide hackathons to get people involved

This tactic follows on from tactic #2 as students who have become familar with us as a staple of uni life. This tactic will begin to integrate the uni courses with the social side of the university. The innovation methods that we have discussed with the group can be integrated with real life problems cementing the knowledge they learn at uni as an actual useful thing to have. It will also expose students to the grander scheme of what their knowledge can be used for.

Milestone #1 - Host a networking event at which there is no more than 35% of students from a particular faculty

Due to the make up of the university a reasonable goal of faculty mix would be around 35%, this would allow for the slightly larger faculties in the universities, while still making sure that we have an almost equal mix of backgrounds across the university.

Milsestone #2 - Expland the UIF program at UTS outside of the Engineering Faculty

Currently all UIF program at UTS is hosted from the engineering faculty. This has been fantastic at the start, but it would be a true step forward to expand this to other faculties around the university as to gain different perspectivies and new ideas.

Milestone #3 - Make orientation a uni wide event with activites for all students.

One of the most influential times at university is in the first week of the first year of a student's university life. Here many friends are made and perspectives are grown. At the moment most, if not all introduction sessions are run on a faculty level with many being dealt with in cohort and major groups. By growing this so that the activities include a range of different backgrouds the university would be in a much better position to host cross disciplines events and grow strengths as the encouragement to take classes out of a specific faculty would come from the students.

Milestone #4 - commence uni subjects that are not tied to one particular faculty

The final milestone after the range of improvements would be for the uni to introduce subjects that were not directly related to any specific faculty and instead were based around the aim of solving real life problems. Here students would come from a range of backgrounds and would be able solve issues in a challenge based learning environment. This would fit in well with the graduate attributes that UTS promotes and also would prepare students for real life work.


Ultimately the aim is to connect current communities on campus and allowing new students to find ways to get involved. This strategy hopes to influence the success of other strategies being implemented at the University.

Strategy #4 - Creating a Cohesive Innovation and Entrepreneurship Environment

UTS is a large university with approximately 45,000 students currently enrolled. As a result, the UTS campus is vast and spread out over a large geographical area. As each building is home to a specific faculty, this creates a sense of pride and belonging within each faculty however it can also contribute to a feeling of disassociation with the rest of the university. This is especially true in the case of the innovation building which most students are completely unaware of.

After interviewing several students from the Faculty of Engineering and IT, we could not find a single student who was aware of the existence of this innovation building where so many of UTS' I&E programs take place. Through our own experiences at UTS, we have observed a rift between the students who frequently engage in I&E activities and those who do not. After speaking with students, most told us that they would have gotten involved in these activities had they known about them. From these discussions coupled with our own experiences, we believe the main cause of this is poor advertising and the physical isolation of I&E programs and initiatives within the innovation building.

Instead of perpetuating an environment in which students are forced to seek out I&E programs and events themselves, we believe the solution to this problem is to bring small I&E experiences into the everyday life of the UTS student. We are still investigating how best to do this with ongoing ideation, prototyping, and feedback.

Milestone #1 - Widespread I&E Advertising Across Campus

In order to increase studnet awareness of the current I&E offerings around UTS. We want to expand the advertising efforts of these programs so that they aren't aimed solely at those who are already involved in I&E. Currently, the majority of I&E advertising can be found around our innovation building and is much more scarce around the rest of the campus.

Milestone #2 - Integration of I&E Activities into University Wide Events

By integrating I&E activities into events like Open Day, we can create a culture of innovation amongst the future students of UTS. If we keep on track, by the time they get here there will be incresed opportunity and awareness to satisfy the needs of this culture.

Milestone #3 - Student I&E Ambassadors from Each Faculty

We aim to form teams of I&E ambassadors from across the university campus. These ambassadors would help us to disseminate information regarding I&E events and offerings while also educating students in I&E tools and techniques. As these teams grow and develop, we hope to create new I&E offerings with their help.

Milestone #4 - Innovation Islands Across Campus

Once a culture has been developed across the university, our goal is to create physical innovation islands in thoroughfares across the university. These islands would have information on I&E offerings, examples of past student creations, and student I&E ambassadors to teach new skills and answer questions.

Milestone #5 - Innovation Spaces Across Campus

As an extension to the innovation islands, we hope to create dedicated innovation spaces in each building at UTS. These spaces would originally be used for extra curricular activities and events relating to I&E however we hope that over time they could be used for subjects in which a component of I&E can be taught.

Related Links

UTS Campus Overview

http://universityinnovation.org/wiki/University_of_Technology_Sydney

UTS Home Page:

https://www.uts.edu.au

UTS Hatchery Home Page:

https://www.uts.edu.au/current-students/opportunities/hatchery/overview

UTS FaceBook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/UTSFEIT/

UIF @ UTS

Spring 2019 HDR Spring 2019 FEIT Autumn (Fall) 2018 Spring 2018 Spring 2017
Anna Józefina Rutkowska Siena Reynolds
Nicholas Berriman Laurence Presland Matthew Childs
Jess MacArthur Joshua Keegan Georgia McCarthy Alastair Bate Peter Cole
Ephraim Patrick Jasmina Dang  Jacob Vartanian James Ryan Irene Hsieh
Melanie Lewis Satya Pranavi Gangapuri
Kritika Khanna Gavan Huang Corey Stewart