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How can the University experience be improved?

July 18, 2010

Man looking happy and sad (Capra Royale, CCBYSA)

During the DESI 222 Tutorials on 15 & 16 July, we compiled a list of problems associated with the student experience at the University of Otago and a list of possible improvements.  These are summarized below. What possible opportunities do you see for a design intervention that you can propose, communicate, and market?

PROBLEMS

Lecture Attendance (no downloadable or online options in the event of clashes, missed lectures)
Course approval (too long and complicated, changes not updated online)
Inadequate course overviews to assist in paper choice
Poor services for International students (Visa documents, etc.)
Department/Industry silos (everyone sticks to their own)
Lack of diversity (limited subjects (lack of choice in specialized topics)
Uncertainty due to Design Studies closure (availability of courses and teaching staff)
Blackboard (waste of space)
Travel to and from Uni (better public Transit system needed)
Parking at Uni (too few spaces, too expensive, limited parking time)
Distance between lectures theatres too great
Library (too few seats, too open, no phone reception, too loud, noise from adjoining spaces)
2nd hand Textbooks (hard to find and buy, inconsistencies in price)
Changeable weather (umbrellas needed)
Design of lecture theatres (long continuous rows/desks)
Not enough outside seating
No Food places open at night or on weekends
North Dunedin (loud, problems with rubbish)
Too cold in Uni flats (more and better heaters needed)

SOLUTIONS

Increase in interactions between Departments (400+ course)
Better advice with mixed departments (job prospects, course advice)
Networking (between graduates, with industry representatives)
Smartphone App for locating classes from your PIMS timetable
Mash up between campus map & personalized schedule
Lectures Online – Audio, video etc.
Better link/library soundproofing- planning, architecture, policy, personal device
Improve course approval process (fewer stages & sign-offs, auto updates online)
More specialized papers (perhaps offered by other institutions)
Clearer communication between admin, staff and students
Login portal with notifications, class schedules etc.
Universal Uni (offer the best papers from around the world eg, Harvard business etc.)
Cross-institutional study, study and learn from the best of the best
More quiet study areas
Better wireless networks
Book exchange service
Better design, integration, and consistency of campus maps
Outdoor seating with power points and USB ports
Better Rubbish collection and recycling system (for Uni flats)
Moving Vending machines to areas with late night and weekend access.
Better trading hours for campus shop, late night and weekend food bar
Umbrella Exchange, pick up and drop off stations for students. (sponsored umbrellas – advertising)
BLOG/Website/online magazine providing student referrals, ratings, and suggestions of uni courses
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