Feedback: Out of Class Discussions

Saira Mall, CTSI Educational Technology Liaison, writes:

“The Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation is looking for effective examples of how faculty are using technology to conduct discussions with their students outside of class. If you would like to share your experiences with us, and possibly the UofT community, please contact us at:

Responses will be used to inform some of the work undertaken by the Faculty-Student Interaction Sub-Group of the Council on Student Experience, and may appear on the CTSI website and in future newsletters.”

Feedback: Lecture Capture Functionality

Below is a link to a working document containing a running list of suggested lecture capture functionality for the University of Toronto. It is a work in progress and represents only thoughts so far (based on extensive conversations). If you have anything to add, please send it to us at <ati @> (remove the spaces before sending).

Click here to download the document:

Feedback: Form Scanning

We are starting to look at a new topic, and we’d like to hear from anyone interested … form scanning (a.k.a. Scantron services). So far we have identified 7 departments at UofT that have form scanners that are primarily used for academic purposes (test scoring, evaluations, etc.). A number of issues have arisen, and we will be starting a working group to discuss them (for example, several of the scanners are beginning to show their age).

If you or someone on your team is currently operating a form scanner (Scantron or otherwise), we would very much like to hear from you (or that person). If you have a client who is a very big user of scanning services (emphasis on very) we’d like to get their names as well (it’s likely an administrator with a department or less likely a faculty member/TA who is responsible for large classes).

You can reply to:
Bethany Babinchak,
ATI Research Analyst
<ati @>
remove the spaces in the address before sending

Event: Copyright & Teaching

Can I scan articles or book chapters and post them on Blackboard for my students? Can I prepare a dvd of film clips for use in class? Can I copyright my course materials? This information session is designed for faculty, librarians and staff who would like to know more about the implications of copyright regulations on teaching. Participants will also learn about recent changes to the Access Copyright agreement and the fair dealing policy.

Date: Mar 09, 10 am – 12 pm
– Steve Moate (Senior Legal Counsel)
– Nora Gillespie (Legal Counsel)
– Carole Moore (Chief Librarian)

Location: OISE Library (first floor)
More information:

Event: The iPad Generation @ BPER

Session Description: Meet your future health professions students and find out how they are using technology for learning and how that will affect YOU as their future teachers. The goal of the session is to facilitate a conversation about technological literacy and curriculum planning for future cohorts of health professions students. The session will feature high school students from York Region District School Board and will be facilitated by Academic Technology Initiatives.

Best Practice in Education Rounds (B.P.E.R.) are accredited group learning activities as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. They are also accredited group learning activities as defined by the College of Family Physicians and Surgeons. Rounds are open to all that are interested. Registration IS NOT required. B.P.E.R. is co-sponsored and organized by The Centre for Faculty Development of the Faculty of Medicine (University of Toronto at St. Michael’s Hospital) and The Wilson Centre.

Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 from 12:00pm-1:00pm
Location: St. Michael’s Hospital, Paul Marshal Lecture Theater, Queen Wing Level B1, Queen St. entrance
Or by videoconferencing or webcast:


Documentation: Course Evaluation Framework

The Course Evaluation Working Group was formed in response to queries from a number of units across the University of Toronto who sought to improve their guidelines and practices for course evaluations. From September 2009 through May 2010, the Working Group met to review course evaluation practices from across the institution and relevant research in the area.  As a result of this review, the Working Group developed a number of recommendations for a new course evaluation framework at the University of Toronto.  Documentation about the Framework can be found at: 

Documentation: Clickers

Just a quick reminder that the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation publishes relevant documentation on effective use of Audience Response Systems (“clickers”) here at UofT. Current documentation is geared towards our current default standard, iClickers.

Follow or bookmark this link to access the material directly:

Project Update: Portal (Blackboard) Upgrade

From Jeremy Graham, Technical Manager for Blackboard Learning System Operations:

“In what has become an annual event, staff from CTSI and I+TS will be performing an upgrade on the University’s Blackboard Learn portal ( on Friday May 13th and Saturday May 14th 2011.

The upgrade will bring Blackboard up to the most recent, and now most commonly deployed version of the application – version 9.1.

In addition to fixing a number of known issues with the software, the new version offers several new features. These include course Wikis, a more complete method for managing course files and better integration with third-party media providers such as YouTube. Documentation on the new features will be made available on our Information Site at as it becomes available.

Unfortunately as the upgrade process is disruptive, the portal will be unavailable on the 2 days in question.

Please send questions or comments to

Project Update: Audience Response Systems

Starting the beginning of March 2011, we have begun a retrospective review of Audience Response Systems (‘clickers’) here at University of Toronto. We are initiating this conversation for a few reasons.

A number of years ago, CTSI purchased iClicker brand clickers and in the subsequent years, that brand has become the unofficial default brand at UofT. However, iClicker is going through some changes in its technology, plus, some faculty members have independently been trying different brands (which could lead to some students having to buy more than one clicker). We also have a number of new courses coming, where classes are video-conferenced between our different campuses and will require an audience response system that works in more than one location at a time. In addition to these factors, changes in the use of mobile devices have had an impact on the definition of audience response systems.

All of these factors can/will have a significant impact on our students and faculty, our infrastructure, and our ability to support and make best use of clickers here at UofT.

There are no preconceived expectations on the outcome of such a discussion, other than if we were able to propose a more formal standard for our university, it would need to be financially fair to our students and our school, it must allow for audience responses from more than one campus at a time, and it must make pedagogical sense.

If you are a member of the University of Toronto community with an interest in audience response systems (clickers), we would welcome your input into the discussion. Please contact at us at ati @ utoronto . ca (please remove the spaces in the address before sending).

Project Update: Lecture Capture

Lecture capturing refers to any technology-mediated process that allows instructors to record what happens in their classrooms and make those recordings available digitally. Lecture capture systems are used to describe a wide array of software, system capabilities and hardware that can simultaneously record the audio and/or video from a presentation or lecture, and often the computer output (e.g., PowerPoint slides) as well. The system can be automated or semi-automated. The combined sources are bundled into an archive or product that can be viewed (streamed) or downloaded to any computer with a connection to the Internet.

Many divisions and units at the University of Toronto have expressed a desire to do lecture capturing (in fact, many have already begun doing this).  While some units and even some individual instructors have expressed some unique needs, across the whole University there clearly exists a number of common needs and objectives that could lead to the deployment of a common, base lecture-capturing solution, that could be augmented by a unit or instructor as needed. In particular, Accessibility Services of the University would greatly benefit from having access to lecture capture solutions in support of their mandate.

The goal of this project is to investigate the required functionality for lecture capturing at the University of Toronto, with the possibility of finding a common standard.