Data-Driven Design: Quercus Analytics (D3:QA)

The Data-Driven Design: Quercus Analytics(D3:QA) initiative examines opportunities provided by the Quercus Analytics module and related services. Building on our earlier experience with a cohort-based approach (2019-2021), the primary goal will be to provide support to instructors in using Quercus student data to make course redesign decisions aimed at enhancing instruction and learner experience.

Instructors involved in this project will participate in a peer network that facilitates capacity development with regards to extracting (data exports and log files) and making meaning (assessing and applying data) of Quercus analytics. The network will also support the instructors to modify their course design decision informed by the available data, implement the redesigned courses, and reflect on and revise their course redesign decisions after the initial implementation. An important outcome of this project will be additional adaptable examples of Quercus data use to be shared across U of T to advance instructional design and implementation processes. Areas of need for further development related to learning analytics will also be identified.  

Criteria for Application

U of T instructors who meet the following criteria can apply for the D3:QA cohort:  

  • Must have a continuing appointment in the following appointment types – Tenure Stream, Teaching Stream, or Contractually Limited Teaching Appointment (with an end date of winter 2023 or later) 
  • Must have a course on offer for the Winter 2022 term identified for the D3:QA program activity 
  • Instructors teaching either undergraduate or graduate level courses are eligible 


  • Instructors must participate in one orientation session meeting in December 2021 and three workshops (meeting quarterly) in 2022 to support the redesign process.   
  • Instructors are supported in access and use of analytics data from log files by analysts who will utilize R or SPSS software to prepare reports.
  • Instructors identify areas of redesign in their courses and plan use analytics data to inform their design decisions.    


  • [Re]designed courses (any mode of delivery)  
  • Progress updates at cohort workshops   
  • Instructor project reports evaluating impact of the redesign using analytic data   
  • Participation in showcase of examples of use of analytics by instructors   

Use of Funds 

Successful applicants will receive $2,000 to be used by the instructor at their discretion. Engagement of students in program support is encouraged (e.g. the hiring of work study students to consult on how they think data reflects student behaviour; data visualization preparation).  

Other uses of funds may include: 

  • personal development activities (e.g. conference attendance, fees) 
  • software or hardware purchases 
  • TA/RA support for course design/scholarly activity 

This funding is on a one-time only basis. Funds will be transferred to your Principal Investigator (PI) account.

Evaluation Process 

The review committee will consider proposals based on Data-Driven Design: Quercus Analytics Funding Rubric. Recommended proposals will be forwarded to the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education for final review and approval. 

Other Application Details

  • Application Deadline: Monday November 8, 2021 at 11:59 PM
  • Instructors are asked to contact for consultation on application process. 
  • Please submit proposals via this gravity form.  

Prior to approval, successful applicants will be asked to provide further documentation indicating endorsement of academic unit head (e.g., Chair, Principal, Director or designate) and also divisional support through the endorsement of the appropriate academic leader(s) within the local Office of the Dean. If changes to mode of delivery are contemplated, please also consider necessary arrangements for any governance processes related to curriculum modifications that are normally approved within divisional curriculum review committees prior to application. 

Confirmation of acceptance of successful proposals will be received via email/letter from the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education by November 18, 2021.