2013-2014 MTCU-Funded Productivity and Innovation Projects

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Collaborative endeavour among the Teaching Support Centre, the Instructional Technology Resource Centre, and the Classroom Management Group. Entitled, "WALS - Western Active Learning Space", our project is the construction of a learner-centred teaching space to support technology embedded, active pedagogy. The space is being transformed from a traditional 60 seat general use, flat classroom space into a welcoming environment filled with D-shaped tables each seating 6-8 students with a short throw projector and large white boards for collaboration by each learning team. In addition to constructing the classroom space (with an observation room), the Teaching Support Centre is creating a series of modules to support instructors who choose to work in the space. The topics of the modules cover a range of both pedagogical and technological aspects of learner-centred teaching. Our website is currently under construction.


Foundational Course Redesign involving the creation of several new online courses for Trent, an expansion campus-wide of our Panopto lecture capture system including quite a few more lecture halls and the ability to record from the desktop for all. The PIF is also funding the development of online student success modules to support learning pathways in online/hybrid foundational courses.


Development and Delivery of Blended and Online Teaching Certificate Program: A blended and online teaching certificate program (30 to 40 hours in length) will be developed to build the skills, competencies, and confidence needed in Carleton’s teaching and learning community to design, develop and teach blended and online courses. It adopt's a learning outcomes approach, and by the end of the program, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate the learning outcomes they aim to achieve through the use of educational technologies;
  • Develop a realistic plan for designing an online unit or course;
  • Create online teaching and learning activities to engage and motivate students;
  • Integrate an online teaching or assessment tool into the design of a current or upcoming course; and
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of educational technologies in achieving learning outcomes.

All materials created will be made available as OERs and are deliberately being left unbranded.


  • "Train the Trainer" designed to help professors teach more effectively, particularly with technology.
  • Instructional Media centre enhancements to the D2L platform - Capture, Insight, LOR and Campus Life.


The Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation in conjunction with the Online Learning Strategies portfolio is working alongside five divisions across the University of Toronto on a new project entitled Active Learning: Online Redesign (ALOR). This initiative aims to improve the quality of student learning through design of active learning experiences, while maximizing efficiencies through the use of web-based tools.

  • Supporting curriculum redesign through development of effective and scalable active learning strategies in online environments.
  • Building faculty and teaching assistant team capacity at the local level (e.g., Divisions/Departments) to expand future active online learning.
  • Providing the university community with innovative instructional tools for (a) re-use in a range of discipline areas, and (b) integration with the Blackboard learning system.

For full details about the project [visit the ALOR website http://alor.onlinelearning.utoronto.ca/].


Design, development/adaptation of courses and student support services through e-learning strategies based on a revitalized core multimedia educational infrastructure that supports standards-based connectivity to expand accessibility for learners at immersive videoconferencing sites, regular videoconferencing rooms, or using individual desktop or mobile systems.


Piloting Echo360 lecture capturing tools (15 largest classrooms enabled with appliances and several others with software), and personal capture software rolled out to all faculty. Lecture Tools student engagement platform is also being piloted as an institutional SRS. These tools engage students in deep learning both in and outside the class, through digital polling, rich media recordings of instruction, and social learning opportunities. The tools also provide instructors with deep usage analytics to help them understand student progress. The project provides funding for faculty engagement and training, provision of technology and other support to faculty to do this work, development of a community of practice, and upgrading classrooms to facilitate the new tools. We are focussing initially on hybrid models in our 25 largest undergrad classes.

The PIF also funds expanding our ePortfolio pilots (in WordPress and Drupal), and development of an Electronic Course Outline System (eCOS) that will manage course syllabi and draw data from authoritative sources for required elements of course syllabi.


The Blended Learning Initiative, a large-scale project launched by the University a few months ago, will benefit from $335,000 in funding from the Ontario government’s Productivity and Innovation Fund. This funding will help professors design, or convert to, blended learning courses that combine classroom teaching and online activities. Online tools to help professors develop lesson plans and evaluate their students’ learning. The second project will implement a methodology to more accurately assess the viability of current or future programs.


Hosted a presentation by NCAT (the National Center for Academic Transformation) on Jan 14. Ryerson will be transferring 18 courses based on the 6 models they recommended. Each course will use one model from the NCAT list (online, flipped, hybrid....). This project was assigned to a teaching chair who is taking the lead on coordinating the efforts. Link to model http://www.thencat.org/Articles/NewModels.html


Transformational Teaching and Learning at the University of Guelph, focusing on large, required, foundational, gateway courses in Math, Chemistry, Business and English, as well as a proposed School of Civil Society and Engagement. The aim is to improve productivity and learning effectiveness and follows earlier work with NCAT, the National Centre for Academic Transformation. We will be adding Desire2Learn's Capture hardware, software and portal, to support presentation, capture, and distribution of course materials where needed.

Multi-Institution PIF Initiatives

  • Learning Outcomes Assessment PIF - mapping the outcomes and program competencies of an online graduate program in Public Health using D2L's Insights tool (Guelph as lead, but including Laurier, Waterloo, MacMaster and Mohawk College); (Sandy, Richard, Aldo)
  • A Multi-institutional Feasibility Study to Explore Mechanisms for the Development of Shared, Modular First-year and Large-enrolment Courses (Windsor); This project is looking at whether it will be possible to collaboratively create and share modular courses under a licenced model, including all the conditions this requires for success. Part of it is an institutional inventory of things like technologies available at institutions, standards for design etc.(Nick, Patrick)
  • Creating and serving online training modules for graduate skills. Examples – Being an Online TA; Intellectual Property for Grad Students (MacMaster); (Richard, Aldo)
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