Innovation Projects

The links below lead to innovation projects at the University of Toronto. These cover the complete range of open initiatives, open pedagogy, open publishing and more. Projects differ from collections in that rather than providing materials, they more often provide access to tools and communities of practice, and share program resources and outputs for re-use and adaptation by others.

In 2021, the University of Toronto received approximately $1.8M through a new Ministry of Colleges and University’s Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS) funding program, targeting improved access and innovation to digital resources for Ontario students. Read more about our Virtual Learning Strategy projects. Projects can be found on the Open Resources page.

Flexible Learning Initiative (FLI) – 2022-23
The Flexible Learning Initiative (FLI) is a new program funded by the Vice-Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education to provide support to instructors in the development of fully online or hybrid undergraduate courses. The program’s aim is to increase the range of online learning opportunities at the University of Toronto while building capacity for innovative approaches to teaching and learning. A key outcome of the course design process is the availability of more flexible options that leverage online technologies to accommodate scheduling or geographic constraints while providing a rich learning experience. The funding call for the 2023-24 cohort is open until June 28, 2023

Data-Driven Design: Quercus Analytics (D3:QA) – 2021-22
The D3:QA initiative for 2021-2022 further 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. The initiative is part of a broader 
program of learning analytics coordinated by the office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education. 

Quercus Instructor-Facing Dashboard – Phase 1
This project will extend existing analytic tools within the university’s core learning environment to better support instructor and staff access to learning analytic data. The focus will be on planning improvements to Quercus core reporting functionality to enhance instructional quality and evidence-based planning.  The initiative is part of a broader program of learning analytics being coordinated by the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education.  

Data-Driven Design – Quercus Analytics Project – 2020
The D3:QA initiative, facilitated by ITS Online Learning Strategies, extends course design programming to examine opportunities provided by the Quercus New Analytics module.

Participating instructors will explore the use of student data to make design decisions in hybrid and online courses, meeting quarterly over the course of a year for facilitated workshops related to extracting and making meaning of Quercus data patterns. This project includes the evaluation of tools, and practices, with an expectation of sharing and dissemination of outcomes within the broader university community.

Data-Driven Design – Innovation Network Project – 2018
This project aims to develop models for use of data-informed design at the course/instructor level and encourage effective implementation through a peer-based, collaborative faculty development initiative. It will impact practice through development of a collaborative community network; a series of example cases describing methods for collecting and analyzing data to support course design iteration; and a faculty development program format that can be replicated or extended.

Active Learning Opportunities Through Virtual Lab Curricular Integration – 2018
The goal of this multi-disciplinary initiative is to assess the potential impact of web-based, 3-D virtual lab technology when deployed in a range of online and technology-enhanced learning course contexts.

Accessible Learning Object Design 
These materials have been created to support those involved in the development of online interactive learning objects using Articulate Storyline (Adobe Captivate to come). These self-directed learning resources provide guidance for designing for compliance of interactive learning objects with WCAG 2.0 AA Web Accessibility standards.

Open eText – Start Up Project 
This project will undertake an environmental scan and needs analysis related to instructor support and workflow integration for open eText publishing processes. The primary output of the project will be an overview of key considerations in this domain presented as a resource guide to getting started in Open eText Publishing that can be integrated into the eCampus Ontario portal and other existing provincial organizations.

Motivation and Retention in Large Online Classes
These resources have been developed to provide those who are teaching (large) undergraduate online courses with strategies to motivate and retain their students. The material includes UofT examples and a literature review of practices related to motivating and retaining students in online courses; use of simple learning management system (LMS)-based analytics to predict students at risk; and a “readiness self-assessment” for learners.

Experiential Learning (EL) Modules
This project aims to create a set of re-usable online learning assets to support curricular and co-curricular experiential learning (EL). Designed with customization in mind, these modules will touch on a range of topics to foster effective partnerships, incorporate EL into instructional practice and support the student learning process. These modules will be used to support students, faculty and community partners and employers through all stages of the EL process.

Experiential Learning with Riipen Pilot
This pilot project looks to support experiential learning across a range of discipline and course contexts, targeting opportunities for undergraduate students. Within a course context, students work on mini-projects, or “micro-experiential learning” assignments that are aligned with course goals, as well as an external partner need. The project leverages a third party platform, Riipen, to facilitate partnerships with community organizations and businesses by helping with the matching process, project set up, and ongoing coordination.