Digital Learning

Online and virtual experiences are becoming an increasingly important component of the postsecondary environment. Our office supports the development, funding and assessment of online and digital learning in partnership with both institutional offices and divisions.

Female student on a laptop

Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

ChatGPT and Generative AI in the Classroom

The latest generation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems will impact teaching and learning in many ways, presenting both opportunities and challenges for the ways our course instrutors and students engage in teaching and learning. At the University of Toronto, we remain committed to providing students with transformative learning experiences and to supporting instructors as they adapt their pedagogy in response to this emerging technology. Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information.

Current Projects

Explore current priorities and initiatives related to digital learning.

The Academic Toolbox is an initiative overseen by Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT) to manage new and third-party teaching tools that extend the functionality of the University of Toronto’s Academic Toolbox — Quercus and the O365 Collaborative Suite. These tools add new capabilities to the system, including access to external course content, additional grading or assignment capabilities or news ways to interact with and between students.

New tools come out all the time and many instructors are interested in being able to use them within their courses, often as fully integrated tools within Quercus and the O365 Collaborative Suite. In order to integrate these new tools and alternate “apps” at U of T, the tools first need to go through a formal process.

Find out more about the process of submission, explore existing projects and receive Quercus support.

The LEAF+ Insights: Future of Digital Learning project brought together four divisions of the University of Toronto for a collaborative exploration of post-COVID opportunities for digital learning. Read the integrated report summarizing the project outcomes and highlighting potential strategic actions to support digital learning:

If you have any comments or feedback on this report, please share your additional insights.  

The Data-Driven Design initiative provides funding for faculty interested in employing course design programming to examine opportunities provided by the Quercus New Analytics module

Our office is working with tri-campus divisional leaders to develop a more robust strategy around the use of Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics can be viewed as the intersection between the following three broader categories: analytics, human-centred design and learning, as illustrated below.

Our office oversees academic and policy matters related to the design, development and delivery of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) supported by the institution. An advisory committee has been established to guide the office in development of Open UToronto principles and practice and to provide strategic advice and guidelines regarding online and open-access resources and courses.

As noted in the Open Course Initiative Fund documentation, the overarching goals of the institution are to:

  • Contribute to the education community and broader public by sharing curriculum
  • Explore a range of pedagogical approaches and open course platforms
  • Leverage high-quality digital materials in multiple contexts internal and external to U of T
  • Showcase U of T’s capacity as a leading institution for teaching, learning and research

Institutional Supports

The following are institutional supports for the design, support and assessment of online learning.

The Digital Learning Innovation portfolio is committed to the development and implementation of U of T’s online learning strategy. Their mandate is to identify, recommend and support the coherent provision of online learning solutions, services, processes and related infrastructure required to serve the University’s academic and administrative needs. 


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.

CTSI supports online learning in three key ways:

The Academic, Research & Collaborative Technologies (ARC) unit supports divisional Educational Technology teams that provide pedagogical support for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education instructors, via strategic and tactical leadership in the development and implementation of information technology services. In support of this mandate, ARC is tasked with operationalizing and supporting the following University-wide systems: