In November 2011, when the University of Toronto Student Chapter’s student executive, Kim Pham, learned author and well-known usability expert Steve Krug was in Toronto for an event, she invited him to present at their chapter’s inaugural event. Steve gladly accepted the invitation at no charge, and praised Kim for taking the initiative to reach out to him. The session at which Krug presented gave students the chance to learn about usability, design practices, and the principles of human-computer interaction. Over 125 people attended the session, and it was lauded as a major success.
As the year continued, more and more people attended events offered by the student chapter, with an overall average of 42 people per event. The chapter also offered engaging professional development opportunities through the year, including a 3D printing workshop and hosting the second annual IBM Code Rally workshop. At the latter, students played and explored the interactive IBM game, Code Rally, to facilitate the learning of Java and team coding in March 2013. While the object of the game was to pass all the check points on a virtual race track, the Code Rally challenged the students to apply their newly acquired and refined Java skills while strategically honing their programming abilities.
The chapter was also successful in creating a formal communication structure, solidifying leadership roles, creating a greater digital and non-digital presence, and developing and maintaining relationships with external companies to host annual events for the future.
Improving annually, the University of Toronto’s AIS student chapter continues to offer its members extremely interactive and advanced workshops in hopes of refining their skills as future IT professionals. View the video below, or click here, to access the full interview of Professor Lyons’ thoughts on Code Rally, the iSchool, and the current technology landscape.