2023 MOOC Impact Report

Digital Learning Innovation coordinates the University of Toronto’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) initiative. Our MOOC activity remains strong and for our 2023 report we look at the impact MOOCs have had at UofT and beyond.  

Read the full 2023 MOOC Impact Report for more on our MOOC reach and how our offerings are meeting our institutional goals for MOOC programming.

In the report we discuss our partnership with Alumni Relations to provide MOOCs specifically for UofT alumni and friends. In this year’s offering, participants were invited to embark on a transformative journey with The Arts & Science of Relationships: Human Needs course. Learners are exploring the intricate forces shaping human behavior and relationships through psychology, sociology, and anthropology. While the course will wrap up shortly, over 3000 unique learners are currently participating in the course. 

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One new area of exploration is the potential for MOOCs to provide on-demand continuing professional education (CPE) credits for professional development. We currently have three courses that offer CPE credits and two more are in development. We are encouraged to see that these MOOC offerings still provide free access to content to those who wish, while providing flexible learning opportunities for those looking for certification to extend their professional education.  

You can read more about MOOCs and other open educational resources and activity on our Open UToronto website. 

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Exploring Ethical and Equitable Educational Tech Procurement

Thursday, November 23Graphic showing Game pieces of different colours in the words inclusivity on small blocks.
3:00 – 4:00 pm

Registration and Information

Join the IT@UofT community at this upcoming online event. To broaden our understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our daily work, along with considerations such as indigenization, decolonization, and sustainability, we recognize the need to focus on less visible, yet highly impactful areas and processes. This webinar will delve into the implications of educational technology procurement, a key part of the institutional framework, through which students, staff, and faculty interact. Decisions regarding major technology systems carry significant long-term financial and cultural consequences, impacting resources during and beyond the procurement and implementation phases. The University of Windsor’s Office of Open Learning will share outcomes of a project exploring strategies to guide us in making ethical, equitable, and sustainable decisions when procuring technologies. Join us for a presentation by the project leads, discussing what they have learned about intersections of technology, ethics, and equity in educational tech procurement. This event is part of an ongoing program of activities coordinated by the IT@UofT Inclusivity Working Group.


Ashlyne O’Neil – Learning Specialist, Office of Open Learning, University of Windsor

Nick Baker – Director, Office of Open Learning, University of Windsor


Host: Laurie Harrison – Director, Digital Learning Innovation, University of Toronto

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Spotlight on the Future of Digital Learning

A collaborative initiative exploring opportunities for digital learning in a post-COVID world was recently undertaken by four divisions of the University of Toronto. A new report on this year-long LEAF-funded project draws on input from the community and will serve as an important resource to inform future directions in this domain.

This integrated report summarizing the project outcomes and highlighting potential strategic actions to support digital learning has been published on the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education website under Strategic Priorities: Digital Learning along with a form providing an opportunity for community comment.

Read the Executive Summary or the Full Report – LEAF+ Digital Learning Report – 2023.

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eCampusOntario TESS Conference 2023: Call for Proposals

TESS Conference logoThis year the eCampusOntario Technology and Education Seminar and Showcase (TESS) Conference will be taking place on November 1 and 2, 2023. The call for presentation proposals on the theme of Supporting the Digitally Empowered Learner has just been released with a deadline of June 5. Conference content tracks include:

  • Experiential Learning
  • Transformative Technology
  • The Lifelong Learner
  • The Digital Balance

Visit the eCampusOntario site for information on the TESS conference and to submit your proposal

This annual event, held in-person in downtown Toronto, provides a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and share ideas on new developments in digital learning. Consider submitting a proposal to present, or mark your calendar and plan to attend next fall.


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Ontario Exchange (OEX) support for virtual learning projects

Application Deadline: May 19, 2023

eCampusOntario’s Ontario Exchange (OEX) matches postsecondary institutions with service providers with expertise in virtual learning and content creation services, such as instructional designers, multimedia developers, graphic artists, video specialists, accessibility consultants, etc. Recently an application window was announced for the “Funded Support” stream. Note that funding is not provided to the university applicant, but rather paid to the service provider vetted by eCampusOntario to complete work on your project. 

University of Toronto applicants require the support of the Office of the Vice-Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education (VPIUE) as the “signing authority” on the submission form. Please contact digital.learning@utoronto.ca for consultation and to arrange for institutional endorsement.

OEX Funded Support

  • Using funding provided by the Government of Ontario’s Virtual Learning Strategy mandate, Ontario Exchange will cover the cost of any approved projects in the funded support stream up to $50,000. Service providers contracted for selected projects will be paid directly by eCampusOntario.
  • Institutions can submit project applications through the Ontario Exchange website. Applications must be received by 5:00 pm on Friday, May 19, 2023. 

Support for Recent Graduates

  • eCampusOntario also has funding to support recent graduates* for a short-term post-graduate placement. If you have an existing or upcoming virtual learning project you can apply to receive $15,000 to support the employment of a recent graduate on the project.
  • Institutions can submit project applications to exchange@ecampusontario.ca with the subject line “Support for Recent Graduate Project Application”. Applications must be received by 5:00pm on Friday, May 19, 2023. 

*Recent graduates are defined as those who have graduated within the prior 24-months of June 1, 2023.

For more information visit the eCampusOntario OEX FAQ page for a preview of application questions and to learn more about the program.

Contact digital.learning@utoronto.ca for information or consultation on University of Toronto applications.

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Flexible Learning Initiative (FLI) – New Cohort for 2023

The Flexible Learning Initiative (FLI) program will continue in 2023. Through this program the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education provides funding to support instructors in the development of fully online or hybrid undergraduate courses. The program aims to increase the range of online learning opportunities at the University of Toronto while building capacity for innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Funding will be made available to teams of three instructors who will address a focus area of strategic importance to their discipline, department and/or division as they redesign a course for fully online or hybrid delivery.

Funding Range: $6,000 per instructor with maximum of $18,000 per team of 3 instructors

Funding Duration: 1 year

For more information follow the link above, or contact digital.learning@utoronto.ca.

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Data Driven Design: Quercus Analytics (D3:QA) Showcase: Making Meaning

When: Friday, October 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM  
Where: Online (Teams)
Register for this event

Are you interested in learning how instructor-accessed Quercus course data can be used to inform redesign decisions aimed at improving engagement and learner experience? Please join us for a showcase of results from a group of pioneering instructors who have been participating in the D3:QA initiative during the past academic year.   

All members of the D3:QA cohort were supported in data analysis of available Quercus Analytics exports and log files to better understand student activity patterns in Winter 2022 courses. In this showcase event, instructors from across divisions will share their path of inquiry and adaptable examples of Quercus data reports used to advance instructional design and implementation processes.   

Example topics include: 

  • Active learning: Effectiveness of scientific literacy and communication modules in a STEM course  
  • Strategic design: Assessing impact of scaffolded supplementary content resources  
  • Pinpointing learner hotspots: A closer look at formative assessment results  

Join us to learn more! 

Instructor presenters: 

  • Prof. Stavroula Andreopoulos (Temerty Faculty of Medicine)  
  • Asst. Prof. Naomi Levy-Strumpf (Faculty of Arts and Science – Human Biology)  
  • Asst. Prof. Naomi Steenhof (Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy)  
  • Asst. Prof. Chirag Variawa (Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering)  
  • Asst. Prof. Tingting Zhu (University of Toronto Mississauga – Geography, Geomatics and Environment)  
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Getting ready to “FLI” with course redesign

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.   

Features of the FLI include:  

  • Teams of three instructors from the same department or program that will work collaboratively to explore needs within their discipline area while re/designing their courses. 
  • A faculty development program will leverage the new Course Design for Online materials and include support for use of course data to inform design plans. 
  • Each cohorted team will address a focus area of strategic importance to their program, unit and/or division. Examples include:  
    • Equity, diversity and inclusion  
    • Experiential learning  
    • Data-informed design  
    • Other discipline specific themes  

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Digital Learning Innovation is pleased to welcome our cohort for 2022-23, which includes: 

Department of Statistical Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Science 

  • Bethany White, Statistics and Scientific Inquiry in the Life Sciences 
  • Katherine Daignault, Methods of Data Analysis I 
  • Sam Caetano, Surveys, Sampling and Observational Data 

Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering 

  • Jennifer Farmer, Physical Chemistry 
  • Daniela Galatro, Heat and Mass Transfer 
  • Lydia Wilkinson, Communication  

Department of Mathematical and Computational Sciences, University of Toronto, Mississauga 

  • Alex Rennet, Linear Algebra I* 
  • Jaimal Thind, Linear Algebra I 
  • Maria Wesslen, Linear Algebra I 

*Course to be offered in range of online and hybrid formats 

Programming begins in October 2022 with the first workshop for all participants, facilitated by Digital Learning Innovation unit team. Participants will be building upon lessons learned, and enhance course design work done, during our shift to remote/online teaching and learning during the last two years. Instructors will improve upon those courses that underwent a modality shift to remote delivery and create an intentional, high quality, ‘digital by design’ hybrid courses that meet UofT expectations for meaningful student engagement and assessment.     

Contact digital.learning@utoronto.ca for more information.  

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VLS Showcase

Are you interested in learning more about using open educational resources to increase engagement and interaction in your courses?

In the Spring of 2021 we shared news of a Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS) funding program by the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, to expand and enrich learning through the development of open online course content, modules and textbooks.

The initiative has concluded, and these innovative projects are now available to view, adopt and adapt. Visit our Open UToronto site for a selection of these as well as previous open educational resources. We are also pleased to highlight several examples of the exceptional results in a VLS showcase event.

Join us as VLS teams from across divisions discuss highlights and showcase their content creation. Project leads will provide a brief overview of the open resource(s) they developed and participate in a Q&A period.

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When: Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where: Online (Teams)

Register now!

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IP Matters – New Resources for Students and Faculty

We are excited to share a set of open modules introducing critical elements of intellectual property (IP), developed by University of Toronto Entrepreneurship (UTE) with support from Digital Learning Innovation and the Office of the Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education. The goal of these modules is to provide education and practical resources, relevant to targeted students and faculty engaged in course and co-curricular activities that have IP implications. To date two modules are available: 

  • Module 1 – Introduction to Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Rights
    This module covers the basics of Intellectual Property and IP rights in relation to students and faculty at the University of Toronto. 
  • Module 2 – Understanding the Value of Intellectual Property
    This module explores frameworks that explain the value of IP in a range of contexts at the University of Toronto. 

A third module with a focus on student-created intellectual property arising from curricular activities will be available soon.  

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Speaking to the resources, Jon French, Director, UTE notes: 

“These modules provide relevant insight to guide students and faculty as they navigate course and co-curricular activities with IP implications. Rich with real world scenarios, document templates and FAQs, these are tools that will educate, and also serve as a central hub of related resources to increase our collective IP literacy – a valuable skill in today’s knowledge economy.” 

Materials are available under a creative commons licence and content may be viewed online or downloaded and used in a specific course content. Resources include slides, videos, case studies, and pdfs and faculty and instructors can supplement the material as needed.  

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