Online Undergraduate Course Initiative (OUCI)

Online and Hybrid Courses – 2020

NOTE: The OUCI is currently suspended


The Online Undergraduate Course Initiative provides funding to support instructors in 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. 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. Successful applicants will be supported in the exploration of transformative instructional approaches that respond to particular needs within their academic program context. All proposals will be reviewed by the Office of the Vice-Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education. Successful applicants receive $12,000 funding for design of fully online courses, or $6,000 for hybrid courses.

It is anticipated that proposals will demonstrate consideration of potential affordances of online learning for improving flexibility, enhancing learner experience and supporting student success across dimensions such as:

Flexible access online or hybrid courses that provide flexibility of location or timing
Content design interactive learning, open educational resources, virtual reality
Course format synchronous or asynchronous; self-directed modules
Digital enablers peer feedback, work integrated learning supports, online proctoring

Criteria and Requirements

  • Priority is given to courses that are part of a first entry undergraduate degree program
  • Lead instructor must have a continuing appointment
  • Either fully online or hybrid courses are eligible for redesign
Fully Online Hybrid
•  All course activities must be online, allowing a student to complete course from a remote location

•  May be a section of course also offered on campus

•  Assessments to be available online, with the exception of a final exam that may be invigilated at a remote test centre or via online proctoring

•     Course reduces in class time on campus by at least 1/3

•     Course format both online and on-campus is redesigned

•     Tests and midterms may be held during the term during in class sessions.

Funding: $12,000 per redesigned course Funding: $6,000 per redesigned course

Each instructor undertaking an OUCI projects will be recognized as an “online learning innovator” and given recognition (e.g. through a letter for their teaching dossier, innovation profiles on web).

Use of Funds:

Use of funding will be determined by the Dean or Chair responsible for the program area. Example course development expenses include:

  • course buyout for instructor in accordance with unit-level Workload Policy provisions
  • media/technology design support (buyout of time of educational technology staff or hire contract)
  • software or hardware
  • professional development activities, conferences
  • Teaching Assistant support in course preparation

The funding is to be directed to professional development and support of online course design activities. Additional resourcing will not be provided on an ongoing basis.


  • Course instructor will participate in faculty development related to online course redesign/teaching (workshop format or consultation meetings)
  • Form a design team including instructional designer, TA, librarian and/or others as appropriate
  • Participate in regular online course redesign team planning meetings as needed.
  • Courses will meet UofT standards with respect to quality, security, accessibility and branding
  • Courses must be intended for offer in online/hybrid format for a minimum of three years


  • Online or hybrid course to be developed within coming academic year.
  • Courses must be intended for offer in online/hybrid format for a minimum of three years.

For more information contact:

Other Application Details:

  • Applications are received on a continuous basis and may be submitted at any time in the academic year.
  • Instructors are asked to contact Laurie Harrison for consultation and to receive a copy of the OUCI proposal application form.

Prior to submission VP-IUE, proposals require approval of the department chair and also divisional support through the endorsement of the appropriate academic leaders within the local Office of the Dean. These approvals may be confirmed by email. Please also consider necessary arrangements for any governance processes related to minor modifications that are normally approved within divisional curriculum review committees.

Following divisional review, a proposal may be formally submitted by email from the local Office of the Dean to Vice Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education for review.

Proposals will be reviewed and considered for approval at the time they are submitted to allow resource planning to commence. Confirmation of acceptance of proposals will be received via email/letter from the Vice Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education.