Don’t Make Your Students Pay :D

Every so often I like to promote access to open/free, high quality educational resources that instructors can use for teaching (and students can use for learning and projects). The best place to find these great resources is in a searchable repository or collection. Check out this website from my colleague Rita Vine in the University of Toronto Libraries – she’s got links to all the best repositories and collections:

MEMO: Manager, ACT Application Administration

Jeremy Graham, Senior Manager (Operations)
Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT),
University of Toronto

Please join me in congratulating Marco Di Vittorio on his recent appointment to the new position of Manager, Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT) Application Administration.

A 2001 graduate of the University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Marco has worked at UofT since 2006 with the former Resource Centre for Academic Technology (RCAT), the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) and more recently with ACT. Marco has occupied an number of increasingly senior roles, most recently as Courseware Support Supervisor having overall responsibility for Portal support.

In addition to his many years providing exemplary support, quality assurance, reporting and development coordination for the Portal, Marco has in the past 2 years taken on additional responsibilities in managing the rollout of the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing tool, as well as a number of other third-party integrations.

In his new role, Marco will be responsible for managing both the services and the team that provides ongoing administration of enterprise academic and collaborative systems and applications, including but not limited to LMS, CMS, VMC, and online productivity solutions.

Those of you who like me have worked closely with Marco over the years will be familiar with his diligence, tenacity, insight, technical understanding and collaborative focus in managing and responding to complex operational challenges with our systems. I am keenly looking forward to working with Marco in his new capacity.

News: UTSC Centre for Teaching and Learning

Check out UTSC’s CTL Educational Technology News

“CTL’s Ed Tech team supports teaching and learning with technology at UTSC including Blackboard support, WebOption Lecturecasting, Test Scanning Services, Presentation Skills, iClickers, and more. This occasional newsletter features news, events and information related to those programs and services, and highlights interesting emerging educational technologies.”

MEMO: CTSI Manager of Academic & Collaborative Technology Support

It is with great pleasure that I write to tell you that Saira Mall has accepted the position of Manager of Academic & Collaborative Technology Support in CTSI.

As you know, Saira is currently an Educational Technology Liaison with CTSI, a position she has filled for the last number of years. Prior to joining CTSI, Saira served as a librarian at UTSC, at Seneca College, where she served as Information Literacy Coordinator, and at Markham Public Library, where she served as a manager.

Saira has long shaped her career at the intersection of education and information and technological literacy. More specifically, her work in CTSI and in her post-secondary library roles have really focused on faculty development, both in skills and in pedagogy.

In recent years, in addition to her ongoing support for the Portal, Saira has taken on new challenges around collaborative technologies, online learning, and mobile learning, providing direct support, teaching, and developing innovative support resources.

She is a graduate of Trent and McGill universities, and is currently working on her PhD at OISE. When she’s not working or studying, she’s busy with family and is a fan of science fiction and magic.

Please join me in welcoming Saira to this new and important role.

MEMO: Staff Changes in ACT

It is with mixed emotions that I write to tell you that both Rosemary Kasyom and Michael Clark will be moving to new UofT departments in the next few weeks. Both Rosemary and Mike have been excellent colleagues throughout our evolution (AMS, ICS, and ACT), and I want to thank them for their collegiality.

For the last few years, Rosemary has been the lead on a series of major projects for the Department of Medicine, which have occupied her time almost exclusively. The DoM has decided to expand their activities, and Rosemary will be continuing her work as part of that Department directly. As development work expands in the DoM, they are very excited to have Rosemary join them, and Rosemary is excited about the increased opportunities that come with this change.

Like Rosemary, Mike had his start at UofT with what was then called AMS. Mike’s background in understanding design and human interactions through studies in psychology and photography are taking him off to EASI as a user experience designer, where he will be heavily involved in a number of NGSIS projects, among other things. EASI is eagerly awaiting Mike’s arrival, and he too is excited about the new opportunities.

While we won’t have Rosemary and Mike’s conviviality with us on a daily basis any longer, we look forward to seeing them on campus regularly, especially at various community events like TechKnowFile. Please join me wishing Rosemary and Michael all the best as they embark on these new phases in their careers.

MEMO: Turnitin Integration

This memo originally appears at:

PDAD&C #17 2013-14
To:    PDAD&C
From:     Jill Matus, Vice-Provost, Students & First-Entry Divisions
Date:    September 10, 2013
RE:    Update on the University of Toronto’s license

Overview is an electronic resource that assists in the detection and deterrence of plagiarism. It is widely used by universities in the United States and Canada, and by over 1 million active instructors across 10,000 educational institutions from 126 countries.  Each submitted paper is checked for textual similarity against 24 billion pages on the Internet and 300+ million papers previously submitted to Turnitin (including paper mill essays), as well as 110,000 journals, periodicals, and books. Turnitin Originality Reports, which are generated for instructors within minutes, highlight questionable areas and can potentially save instructors time as they investigate the originality of student work and verify citations. Using the information from the Reports, as well as any other relevant information, individual instructors need to exercise their independent professional judgment about whether these highlighted passages represent plagiarism. and Learning Portal Integration
Since September 2002, the University of Toronto has been licensing the plagiarism detection and deterrence tools offered through for use by instructors in courses. As of 1 September 2013, Turnitin will be integrated with the University’s Learning Portal.  This integration allows for the creation of Turnitin Assignments directly in Portal Courses. Instructors set up “Turnitin Assignments” through their course site in the Learning Portal and students submit their work to the site.  Turnitin Assignments are also integrated into the Blackboard Grade Center in the Learning Portal, allowing for easier management of submissions.  All interaction with Turnitin reports and submitted files is directly through each Portal Course.  Every student in a Portal Course will automatically have access to any Turnitin Assignments created within it, which will do away with the class IDs and enrolment passwords required by the Turnitin website.

We ask that you remind instructors in your unit about the Conditions of Use (see below) pertaining to Turnitin use at UofT. While the use of is completely voluntary, when Turnitin is used, instructors must adhere to the University of Toronto’s Conditions of Use. Instructors are responsible for reviewing the Conditions of Use prior to using Turnitin in their courses.

Conditions of Use at the University of Toronto

  1. is a tool that will assist in detecting textual similarities between compared works. Instructors must exercise their independent professional judgment in, and assume responsibility for, determining whether a text has been plagiarized or not.
  2. Students must be informed at the start of the course that the instructor will be using
The course syllabus must include the following statement:

    “Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays to for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be included as source documents in the reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University’s use of the service are described on the website”.

    Please note: this statement cannot be altered in any way.
  3. is most effective when it is used by all students in a particular course; however, if and when students object to its use on principle, a reasonable offline alternative must be offered. A wide variety of non-electronic methods can be used to deter and detect plagiarism; for example, the requirement that all rough work be handed in with the assignment or that the student include an annotated bibliography. Instructors may wish to consult with the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) when establishing these alternatives.

For more information on Turnitin or for support, please visit the website for the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation at: