Monday July 13, 1:00 – 5:00pm EDT

Delivering an outstanding student experience can be a challenge in a large, complex organization. Staff in different units are responsible for separate aspects of the experience and decision making is often a local activity.

A journey map is a design tool that can shift the conversation away from resources, constraints, and territory towards a student-centered discussion about experiences.

The map itself is a high level overview of a particular path a student may follow as they interact with different university offices and touchpoints. Seeing those interactions from the perspective of a student can empower staff to find opportunities to support students at the right time and in a good way. Building empathy across silos is of increasing importance as our institutions and student bodies become more diverse.

At the University of Saskatchewan, we took a group of 15 staff through a series of journey mapping workshops focusing on the incoming international graduate student experience. We will share key learnings from this exercise and in the course of this session, participants will:

  • Learn about the role of journey maps in culture building and process improvement
  • Create a simple journey map in a small group
  • Reflect on the nature of change in higher education

At the University of Saskatchewan, the journey map approach was used in support of Strategic Enrolment Management goals, to build understanding amongst staff of a particular student demographic. The process itself is agnostic of the application however, and could be used to support retention efforts, inform service delivery, or in any instance where humanizing the experience and building consensus across units is of value.