Digital Learning

Recognizing that online, hybrid and virtual experiences are common pedagogical approaches across the University of Toronto, the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education (OVPIUE) supports the development, funding and assessment of online courses and digital learning innovation in partnership with both institutional offices and academic divisions.

Digital Learning Projects

Academic Toolbox

The Academic Toolbox is an initiative overseen by the Academic, Research & Collaborative (ARC) technologies group to manage new and third-party teaching tools that extend the functionality of the University of Toronto’s Academic Toolbox — Quercus and the Office 365 Collaborative Suite. These tools add new capabilities to the system, including access to external course content, additional grading or assignment capabilities or new ways to interact with and between students. As new open-source or vendor applications and tools are released, instructors may be interested in leveraging them within their courses, often as fully integrated tools within Quercus and the O365 Collaborative Suite. ARC supports a formal process to review, approve, implement and integrate these new tools and alternate “apps” at U of T.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

The OVPIUE oversees academic and policy matters related to the design, development and delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) supported by the institution. The OVPIUE also provides seed funding to support the development of new MOOC offerings, and partners with Digital Learning Innovation to support the development and implementation of new not-for-credit MOOCs. U of T supports partnerships with both the EdX MOOC platform and Coursera MOOC platform.

Online Course Development (OUCI)

From 2012-2020, the Online Undergraduate Course Initiative (OUCI) provided funding to support instructors in the development of fully online or hybrid undergraduate courses. The program, supported by the OVPIUE and Digital Learning Innovation aimed to increase the range of online learning opportunities at U of T while building capacity for innovative approaches to teaching and learning. The OUCI was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now supported by the Flexible Learning Initiative.

The Future of Digital Learning (LEAF+)

In 2022, LEAF+ funding was provided to four divisions to support a collaborative exploration of post-COVID opportunities for digital learning. The integrated report highlights seven overarching themes and shares some potential action items to advance success through support of the people, processes and technologies that underpin the future of digital learning at U of T.

Supports and Resources for Digital Learning

The primary mandate of the Digital Learning Innovation (DLI) portfolio is to lead the incubation of emergent digital learning initiatives in support of the broader academic mission of the institution. Liaising with service areas from across functional areas allows DLI to contribute to the extension and enhancement of learning innovation across undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Academic, Research and Collaborative Technologies group is a partnership between the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) and Information + Technology Services (Office of the CIO), working in close collaboration with the Centre for Research & Innovation Support (CRIS) and the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL). ARC provides strategic and tactical leadership in the development and implementation of information technology services that support the academic mission for the university as a whole.

The Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) provides leadership in teaching and learning at U of T. They support pedagogy and pedagogy-driven instructional technology for all teaching staff and teaching assistants across U of T’s campuses and divisions. They support online learning resources as well as offering Quercus and Academic Toolbox support.