Open Resources

We are happy to release these various open educational resources (OER) and support open pedagogy! All materials on this site are publicly accessible and free for any user to use, adapt and redistribute. Take a moment to explore the resources UofT is proud to share.

Open Textbooks

These open textbooks are available to read online, download in PDF, ePub and mobi (Kindle) formats for free.

Designing for Meaningful Synchronous and Asynchronous Discussion in Online Courses
This book is intended to support instructors who are newer to online teaching (or newer to using online tools for supporting in-class teaching), but it may also be helpful for those who have already been teaching online and/or integrating online discussions into their courses for a number of years and are looking for ways to improve their practice. The inspiration for this book emerged from the work of a small professional learning group at the University of Toronto that began early into the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Each chapter begins with “Setting the Context,” a personal narrative that describes why the topic is important to the author; a “Scenario” that provides an example situation on the topic being discussed in the chapter; “Learning Outcomes” and “Key Terms.” Throughout the balance of the chapter, a number of self-directed learning prompts (e.g., ”Pause and Consider”) encourage readers to consider their own understandings and individual teaching contexts in relation to the ideas and examples being shared.

International Students: stories & Strategies for academic success in postsecondary education
Open educational resource created in Pressbooks to support the academic experience of International students considering or currently studying in Ontario postsecondary education. It is a mix of stories from current international students about their student experience, and expert advice across a range of themes relevant to to that experience.

Introduction to Animal Physiology
This text integrates several resources in a single comprehensive presentation in order to enhance the quality of learning within the UTM Introductory Animal Physiology course and serve as a model for other instructors in biology and other related discipline areas.

Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science
The open text will cover the central philosophical questions concerning science: Can there be absolute knowledge? Is there a universal and unchangeable method of science? What is the mechanism of scientific change? What is the difference between science and pseudoscience? Also, the eText will provide a snapshot of some of the major worldviews that have been accepted throughout the different periods of the history of science: Aristotelian-medieval, Cartesian, Newtonian, and contemporary. The textbook will consist of an introduction and 10 chapters, together equivalent to the content for a one-term course.

Learning and Teaching Qualitative Research in Ontario: A Resource Guide
The purpose of this open text is to systematize educational information for Ontario graduate students (master’s and PhD), postdoctoral fellows, and health care professionals who would like to expand their training in qualitative health research. The book is interdisciplinary, including opportunities for training for students and practitioners of all health disciplines, such as public health, physical education, nursing and social work, to mention a few. The content is divided into three sections: (a) current opportunities to study qualitative health research (QHR) in Ontario; (b) foundations for successful QHR; (c) future developments for a shared certificate program for Ontario.

Neuroscience – Canadian 1st Edition
This book is the first modifiable open textbook within the discipline that provides the flexibility to address instructional content needs related to the rapidly changing technologies, theories and concepts in neurosciences.

Understanding American Politics
The main body of the open text will consist of approximately ten chapters which approaches the study of American politics with the interests and needs of Ontario university students in mind. Understanding American Politics will be distinctive, not merely by virtue of being open-access, but because it will approach American politics from a Canadian perspective, taking into account the background knowledge and distinct needs of Canadian university students.

Open Modules and Courses

These sets of self-contained learning modules may be used in online, blended or flipped classes, or may be used as part of the curriculum for a fully online course.

An Introduction to Programming Language Structures in C
This project has created new modules to support students as they obtain a working familiarity with the C programming language. The modules are intended to support two levels of courses in two disciplines – one in the first year where engineering students start from a novice level and one in the second year where computer science students with prior experience need to quickly move to more advanced topics.

Arrival Activities: Increasing Student Connections and Engagement at the Start of Classes
Arrival activities are short low-stakes activities that students can do right when they join lectures. They are designed to foster community, develop connections, gather feedback, and enhance student engagement during the opening moments of class. For example, they can invite students to engage with the course; act as wellness check-ins; gather feedback from students; acclimatize students to what participation and engagement might look like in a digital learning environment; and provide opportunities for connection and perspective-taking. This resource includes an overview of arrival activities and has an associated PowerPoint slide deck that you can use and modify for your own teaching practice.

Building Science Fundamentals Open Course Modules
This set of seven modules will focus on sustainability and will cover the basic science of controlling the movement of heat, moisture, and air in buildings.  Topics include: heat transfer mechanisms, moisture movement, properties of moist air and psychrometrics, wind on buildings, solar radiation, and energy required for conditioning buildings.

Chemistry/Environmental Chemistry Virtual Labs
Five virtual labs in areas of physical chemistry, organic chemistry and environmental chemistry. [link to resource to come in May 2022]

Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience for Designers and Engineers
Ten new online learning modules support the teaching of an introductory course on cognitive neuroscience in engineering and design programs. The modules are suitable for courses in both cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology and they are informed by rapid advances in the understanding of brain structures and functions in recent decades.

Data Visualization Literacy 
These modules support learners’ conceptual understanding and integration of fundamental statistical principles and procedures. The interactive web-based software tools foster the connections between the conceptual and the numerical dimensions of basic statistical procedures, modelled upon data-based scenarios that are scaffolded to assist students in building data visualization literacy.

Design Thinking <> STEM Education
We created a workshop for instructors to share teaching strategies, discover active learning tools, and learn how to prototype solutions… all within the framework of design thinking! Our aim is to equip instructors with ways to increase student belonging in the classroom. This workshop is well-suited for a variety of instructors, from high-school teachers, graduate student teaching assistants, to university faculty. For example, an ideal case use is for incoming graduate students during orientation before becoming teaching assistants themselves. To hold the workshop, you do not need any experience in design thinking, just a willingness to facilitate discussions. All information is included in the presentations (e.g. embedded videos) and workbook.

Digital Labcoat: Virtual Lab Learning Modules
Virtual lab learning modules provide social science students in online, hybrid or flipped classrooms with the opportunity to experience the scientific method through hands- on active learning. The project is built on an existing prototype tool already in development, the Digital Labcoat. This is an interoperable web application, currently used in Introduction to Psychology, allows students to create and test hypotheses, replicate findings submitted by peers, and ultimately provide theoretical descriptions of the most interesting replicable findings.

Digital Learning Producer Training Program
This Digital Learning Producers Training Program provides training so that you can become Digital Learning Producers. You will learn the appropriate technical skills to support Faculty with synchronous online instruction and will be trained to use Open Broadcast Software in conjunction with virtual cameras to integrate them with video conferencing platforms, like Zoom, Teams, and BB Collaborate, as well as skills in post production video editing for asynchronous instruction.

Electromagnetic Physics and Electric Circuits
A set of new learning modules supports the teaching of foundational level electromagnetic physics and electric circuits in engineering programs. This comprehensive set of topics represents the full range of foundational material in the electromagnetic and circuits field for many engineering disciplines, and particularly what is commonly found in first year mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering programs.

Engineering in a Changing Climate – A Transdisciplinary Workshop Series for Engineering and Climate Science Students
Climate change poses an imminent threat to humanity through its increased stress on infrastructure (among other stresses), leading to increasingly deadly natural disasters, food shortages, and the failure of our built environment. Despite the clear need for collaboration between climate scientists and civil engineers to address and adapt to this threat, there are limited post-secondary educational and training resources available to students at the climate science-engineering interface. To address this gap, the University of Toronto Centre for Climate Science and Engineering in collaboration with the University of Western Ontario has developed a short-duration learning opportunity targeted at senior undergraduate and graduate engineering and climate science students at this educational interface.

Entrepreneurship Open Learning Series
This series consists of five modules focusing on core management principles for emerging entrepreneurs. Introductory content guides learners through a self-assessment to better understand their own entrepreneurial potential, followed by topics such as value proposition, defining target markets, market research, and developing usage scenarios. The open series concludes with a look at the Resources & Capabilities Model and an exploration of the chosen industries’ utility gaps.

Project team: Bill McConkey, Sarah Shujah, Dave Fenton, Al Hearn, Mariana Jardim, Carey Toane, and Danielle Moed

Ethics in Engineering
This project offers a new set of learning modules on engineering ethics that will guide a student from ethical conduct at university through to ethical conduct in the profession.

Humanizing Learning: A Student-Generated Framework
When students were asked what humanizing learning means to them, one student replied: “When instructors see us as people – unique, with different hopes and different stresses – and treat us as more than a number.” Another student said that it depended on the definition of humanize. In order to explore how we can humanize our courses, this work centres both student and instructor experiences, and this guide is a way of thinking about humanizing learning by exploring key pillars that are important to students and instructors alike. It provides contextual practice ideas to humanize learning.

Introduction to Heavy Civil Engineering Operations and Equipment Management
There are six learning modules in this project with topics that include an introduction to heavy civil projects, principles of soil mechanics and aggregate production, equipment performance and planning, earth moving operations, tunneling operations, and a review of new technological advanced in heavy civil operations.

Islam and Muslim Civilizations Online
This project created high-quality digital Open Education Resources (OER) in Islamic Studies that are accessible, inclusive by design, and modular. Instructors of courses ranging from literature to religion and from history to philosophy may repurpose these modules to ensure that Muslims, who represent one-quarter of the world’s population, are also represented in their classes.

Mathematics Skill Development
Twelve new online modules may be used as self-directed learning support for mathematics skill development with focus on learning support. Modules 1-7 cover foundational concepts; modules 8-12 cover advanced concepts.

Physics – Newtonian Mechanics
Ten new online modules support the development of basic skills in Physics, in the areas of Newtonian Mechanics. The content follows the core topics typically presented in most first-year calculus-based introductory physics courses at the university level, including kinematics, dynamics and Newton’s Laws, and conservation laws.

Planet Earth Online
Ten online modules that explore the fundamental concepts of how our planet works, including plate tectonics, the deep internal structure and composition of the planet, the evolution of the biosphere and atmosphere, the relationship between geology and human history, and modern natural and anthropogenic environmental challenges.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Clinicians with TeleOralHealth
TeleOralHealth is the delivery of oral healthcare (in real-time or asynchronously) by a clinician or other professional to a patient at a distance. Three primary rationales for its use relate to a changing clinical landscape; increasing access to care both geographically and in alternative contexts; and enabling flexible workflow and efficiency. The learning materials in this series of modules focus on patient-centered care in technology mediated interactions.
‘Preparing Tomorrow’s Clinicians with TeleOralHealth’ is a series of four interactive digital modules that highlight communication strategies and techniques and demonstrate their use through “how-to” instructional and scenario videos. The content and videos focus on their application in clinical interactions. These modules serve as a starting place for students and educators to review best practices, check their understanding, and analyse simulated patient/provider scenarios. [link to resource to come in May 2022]

Principles of Engineering Drawings
This project offers a set of learning modules to introduce students from all engineering disciplines to the basic concepts and the use of engineering drawings in the design, construction, manufacturing, and maintenance fields. In these modules students will learn the basic knowledge and skills in engineering drawings concepts, develop the capability to read and interpret blue prints, and gain an understanding of 2D, 3D, and Building Information Modelling (BIM) formats of engineering drawings.

Project Management Essentials
This set of learning modules support the teaching of introductory project management courses across all engineering programs. The modules progress with the students’ development, culminating in material that is appropriate for students getting ready for their first role in a project coordinator or an assistant project manager position.

Re-usable Learning Modules and Objects for Instruction in Neuroscience
This module project provides instruction and active learning objects to support core concepts learned within most neuroscience courses. The modules will lead students through explanations and enhance their understanding of core, foundational concepts.

Scientific Data Analysis with R
This project involves the development of a full set of open course modules to build students’ skills using the popular open-source statistical software, R, to analyze and interpret scientific data.

Statistics for Research
A new set of online learning modules support teaching statistical thinking and methods and develop the facility in quantitative reasoning that is necessary for students embarking on research. The modules are designed for integration with discipline-specific courses focused on the quantitative research skills required for the particular discipline, integrating the statistical content with case studies and current research.

Tibetan Language Online Learning
Materials and exercises in “Units” linked from the rights side of the course web site include targeted vocabulary lists and quizzes; short video tutorials on grammar; and contextual information (e.g., how Tibetan is classified by historical linguists, genres of Tibetan literature); and problem sets or assignments focused on key topics for each unit.  Source texts for these modules are provided by the Tibetan in Digital Communication project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK (2012-2015). This project built a part-of-speech tagged corpus of Tibetan texts spanning the language’s entire history. The use of digital texts that have already been tagged with grammatical parts of speech allows us to mark word divisions, quotations, case markers, and so on, such that students can initially focus on reading the text rather than deciphering it.

Understanding Indigenous Perspectives
This set of learning modules has been created to support and inspire educators and future teachers to gain a deeper understanding of Indigenous perspectives and an appreciation of how Indigenous knowledge and worldviews can assist all learners in their educational journey.

Virtual patient case-based learning modules
This new series of nine online virtual patient learning modules include interactive multimedia presentations that use virtual patients to demonstrate real-life clinical problems to teach basic medical knowledge to first year MD students of diverse educational backgrounds to Medicine.  These modules represent the first unit or a semester course worth of material in the MD program.  However, they are designed for use across the curriculum in other health professional programs (e.g., MD, Pharmacy, Nursing).

Visual & Interactive Media for Undergraduate Life Sciences
This project focuses on generating alternative biochemistry learning modalities using technologically enhanced tools. Our goal is to promote active, inquiry-based learning through the design of multimedia resources and to augment existing curricula in undergraduate life science courses such as biochemistry, molecular biology, and chemistry. These digital tools are intended to be used by instructors and learners to supplement their existing in-class resources.

Windvane: Paths to Wellbeing
Windvane is a collection of reflections, insights, exercises and practical resources to help students and other members of the U of T community “put student flourishing at the centre of post-secondary course design.”

These projects have been developed with funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).