News: Green Course Recognition

The U of T Sustainability Office offers a green course recognition program. You can earn a green course logo to use on your website or syllabus.
 
The Green Courses Recognition Program was launched to recognize courses where extra steps have been taken to reduce environmental impacts (e.g. double-siding course documents). This year, the focus is paper conservation.
 
It’s a very simple process to fill out a spread sheet. See the website for information:
 
http://sustainability.utoronto.ca/projects/greencourses.htm

Funding: ITIF Submission Extension

Please distribute widely 

MEMORANDUM   

Date:   June 8, 2011 
To:     The University of Toronto Community  
From:   Avi Hyman, Academic Technology Initiatives
Re:     Provost's Instructional Technology Innovation Fund (ITIF) 2011

     SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENSION: July 22, 2011

Several members of our community were concerned that the
timelines for preparing and submitting a proposal for the ITIF
were too short, given the range of summer schedules. After
further consideration, we have decided to extend the submission
date to July 22, 2011.

As a reminder, the ITIF (formerly the ITCDF) is a fund that
promotes the development and/or innovative use of technologies
designed to improve teaching and learning.

For full details, please visit the ITIF website:
http://uoft.me/itif

Funding: Provost’s Instructional Technology Innovation Fund

Please distribute widely.
 MEMORANDUM

 To:     Principals, Deans, Academic Directors & Chairs
         All Faculty
         Professional and Managerial Staff
         Educational Technology Staff

 Date:   June 8, 2011
 From:   Cheryl Misak, Vice-President and Provost
 Re:     Provost's Instructional Technology Innovation Fund (ITIF) 2011

I am pleased to announce that funding is available for a new
round of the ITIF (formerly the Instructional Technology Course
Development Fund or ITCDF). 

The ITIF is a fund which promotes technologies designed to
improve teaching. It is funded by the Provost and administered
by Academic Technology Initiatives, a partnership between the
Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, and Information +
Technology Services.

This year's competition encourages initiatives that promote
the enrichment and enhancement of student-faculty interaction
and collaboration, although other kinds of projects will also
considered.

For full details, please visit the ITIF website: http://uoft.me/itif 

Project Update: Audience Response Systems at UofT

In the intervening six years since the last institutional conversation about Audience Response Systems (‘clickers’), much has changed technologically, even for our current default supplier, i<Clicker.

As a result, the University is undertaking a review of audience response solutions and has initiated a project to settle on a university-wide standard solution.

It is hoped that a standard UofT solution will allow for central support, and will keep costs lower for students, who should ideally only need to buy a single product, rather than be compelled to buy different solutions because individual faculty members have opted for different solutions, even within the same program.

There is a formal process in place for the adoption of standard technology solutions, and we invite all interested faculty and staff to contribute their insight and opinions, and express their needs around this technology; all feedback informs and shapes the system that will be deployed across the university.

WHY A UNIVERSITY STANDARD?
Among the advantages of a single, university-wide standard are the following:

  • A technology that has already been tested, minimizing false starts and system incompatibilities.
  • The ability to develop and share best practices and pedagogical resources across the university.
  • Central support for the technology, through the university’s libraries, teaching and learning centres, and educational technology staff.
  • Simplified procurement and access for faculty and students, through central distribution channels such as the Bookstore.
  • Reduced cost to students: they only have to purchase one unit.
  • Reduced cost to students: the university is better positioned to secure price discounts from the vendor.

Early this year, we conducted an environmental scan to determine the state of ARS technology and its deployment in other universities.

We are currently in the midst of a community consultation, including an online discussion group populated with University of Toronto faculty, staff, and students. Community contributions are informing the creation of a list of functional requirements for a university-wide standard audience response system, which will eventually be included in a Request For Proposals.

Pending project approval, we will proceed with the Request For Proposals process. This will include the opportunity for staff and instructors to test technologies and run pilots, where necessary.

If you would like more information, would like to join our discussion list or access its archives, or would like to share your insight and opinion, please contact Bethany Babinchak at ati@utoronto.ca.
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