University of Canberra/Innovation

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Innovation at UC
Completion status: this resource is just getting off the ground. Please feel welcome to help!

Welcome to Innovation at University of Canberra.

You can start discussing innovations anywhere and everywhere. We need to foster such discussions, then gather these ideas and work out the themes and consider what is important and achievable. We can then promote some community-endorsed flagship projects and work to implementation. As we learn, we will hopefully become more effective.

Got an idea? Start a new section below and describe it. Others can then edit and improve.

  1. Anyone can suggest and discuss innovative ideas for improving the University of Canberra.
  2. All ideas can and should be discussed.
  3. More promising ideas are escalated and promoted for possible implementation.


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Bike-friendly campus

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Bike-friendly campus for staff, students and community. This could include:

  1. Bike racks at Scrivener; Upgrade UC bike racks
  2. Showers
  3. On-campus transport bikes
  4. Improve cycle pathways to UC and between UC and Scrivener (lobbying)
  5. Cycling promotion e.g, UC cycleway map, UC pedalometer, UC bike expo

What are good examples of successful innovations you've seen work?

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  • When processes are clear and easy this can facilitate innovation
  • Networking, ECAP, WGMP
  • Going out to Schools & students coming in, viracommunication, started with 3 Faculties on board then got 7 Faculties future tertiary students
  • Library being open all hours, people had to really change their thinking
  • Barbara’s outreach program, taking the message out to regional areas
  • Teaching commons, the concept of space
  • People allocation tool that captured how long it took to do jobs, then could negotiate needs and priorities going forward
  • Ed O'Daly's email of what events are coming up
  • Student liaison officers
  • Teaching commons, student commons area
  • Early career academic program and writing skills
  • Yammer
  • ROW (GD staff member) student competition
  • reduce paperwork by encouraging Pete to send electronically - eg USyd. academic self-service = ownership. Saved time to central service
  • ADEs worked - created someone with explicit responsibility. Defining responsibility is always good.
  • devolved Lines of responsibility has reduced admin told from Deans office - ownership by heads of discipline. Put processes in place so we can manage ourselves. Is it the system or the people? Trust professionals? - as long as you know how they're going to do it?
  • Summer Book Club
  • Problem Solving Group
  • Job Share

Possible Projects - What opportunities can we see for new innovations and building innovation capability at UC?

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  • Problem solving group

o People can often sit with problems and not share them, like yammer but in person o Work related o Yammer o forum meeting other UC people as well o learn how to use Yammer

  • Job swaps across uni

o job share opportunities o job swaps to learn new skills o shared training across faculties

  • Communication

o spend less time but get more info out there o Pivotal need o Cosmic consciousness

  • Team teaching as job sharing
  • a bike-friendly campus for staff, students and community would be a great flagship project for community-innovation. sustainable transport options eg cycle system to get to Scrivener;
  • Build the foundations for innovation - communication, culture, attitude; multidisciplinary work
  • Only one building with photovoltaic panels - massive opportunity for more solar. We don't harvest water - money saving opportunities. Current bill is >$1m. Eg More efficient toilet flushing
  • Less paperwork. Why can't it be electronic? Travel forms. Contracts.
  • ICMS - online but still have to keep paper copies? Don't accept scanned receipts. Make ICMSICMS online easier to use. Too many people in acceptance process. travel approval & getting car process too wieldy. Much easier before - on campus vs Scrivener - could leave own car overnight
  • Challenge is for various faculties to consider themselves part of one university. Still siloised. Feel like we protect our own patch? What is the patch- UC or your org unit?
  • Personal achievement vs team mentality. More likely to be stand out and be promoted as individual. Driven by externalities eg PDR
  • Collaboration between teaching and admin – mix and match
  • Walking Group – wetlands, meet people across campus
  • Unit budgets – money saved on tutors to pay for plagiarism software

What are the emerging themes?

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  • communicate our successes!
  • Key success factors - clarity, responsibility, accountability, trust
  • roadblocks (e.g., due process, risk aversion etc.)
  • communication (e.g., Yammer but the majority aren't engaged - yammer cuts across silos, as does this innovation group),
  • too much paperwork e.g., travel forms, iCMS, ITM are required to comply with ACT audit guidelines

Final personal insights shared in the group

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  • What are the next steps?
  • A structure offering a way forward
  • shared frustration
  • pick one project and show/learn how to make it work
  • Good to talk with people from different areas (breadth of conversation) and find issues/ideas in common;
  • Avoid treating this as an innovation group (stays open to anyone)
  • Bridge gap between Scrivener and here;
  • improve bureaucratic business processes;
  • Integrated flagship projects (community, learning, campus, students, staff e.g., community garden - has to be done via community-engagement initiative);
  • Where do suggestions go?
  • How do we gather these?