Support from FASE's Education Technology Office

Overview of Education Technology Strategies

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In the event of a campus closure or emergency, there are many tips and tools that you can use to lessen the impact on students and their learning. This guides provide technical instructions for how you can leverage educational technologies to support students in the event of an unexpected closure, cancellation, or any other disruption of schedule. These suggestions are not solely emergency tools or features; they absolutely can be implemented into your regularly scheduled courses.

What is Course Resiliency?

The University’s Policy on Academic Continuity (January 26, 2012) “recognizes that events such as pandemic health emergencies, natural disasters, prolonged service interruptions, and ongoing labour disputes are potential threats to academic continuity” and states that “good stewardship requires that the University undertake appropriate planning and preparation to promote continuity.”

The Policy emphasizes the extent to which "resilient course and program design and other preparedness" can minimize the potential for disruption of the University’s academic mission. The following best practices are intended to support Teaching Staff in their efforts to ensure the resiliency of their courses.

1. Track campus closures and updates

  1. Track campus closures and updates using official University of Toronto communication sources.

2. Use institutional tools to communicate with your students and teaching teams

Start communicating now - Share your course continuity plan with your students early. You can model this plan by using communication tools now versus waiting until there is a disruption.

Suggested communication mechanisms:

  1. Remind students to enable their Quercus notification settings
  2. Post course announcements
  3. Record an "on the fly" video message
  4. Start a Quercus discussion
  5. Send emails via the Inbox Tool or your email client

3. Download and/or test access to applicable tools

Outside of Quercus, there are a variety of tools that you can use to extend your online options. No one likes searching for login and download links, so commonly used tools have been listed below. As always, it is highly recommended to download and test these tools prior to needing them; this not only ensures that the tool is working technically but that it provides the functionality you are looking for.

Quick links to the most commonly used tools:

  1. Self-recorded screen capturing: TechSmith SnagIt
  2. Video Hosting and Streaming: MyMedia | Microsoft Stream
  3. Webinar: ZoomMicrosoft Teams
  4. Content Authoring: Office365
  5. Survey/Feedback: Microsoft Forms

4. Transition your course online to continue teaching

If you suspect students (or yourself) will have difficulty making it in to class, or if the campus is closed, you might want to continue teaching using online options. These are also ways to reduce the frequency of visiting campus, which could be especially helpful for commuting students.

5. Consider granting access to your Quercus course

If you know that you will not be able to continue teaching your course for any reason, you could pro-actively grant permission for whoever continues your course to access your Quercus course shell. In general, EdTech staff do not enter courses without permission, nor do we add new enrollments. By granting permission to access your course contents, you'll facilitate a smooth transition for the incoming instructor.

Suggestions on how to add people to your course:

  1. Grant permission for a new instructor to be assigned to your course
  2. Add someone to your course yourself



Still have questions? Contact the FASE EdTech Office