EdTech Tip Sheet: March 2022

Related people and/or projects: MADE for U of T | Ep. 02 | Cheryl Lee

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What would be helpful for summer ETO Support Programming?

In March's EdTech Tip Sheet, we're thinking about warmer and sunnier weather as we look towards summer ETO support programming. Each summer, we try to develop new or extended support resources that are helpful to you when and as you need them. Which leads us to ask - what would you like to learn more about and how do you want to learn it? Examples of previous resources are the Lessons Learned Webinar Series, Start Strong course design modules, and content production tip sheets like self-recording instructional videos and how to film in teaching labs. These resources were all developed based on your feedback. The survey will be open until April 22, 2022 but the sooner you submit, the better chance we'll be able to implement your idea(s)!

Take the 5-minute survey and let us know how can we help this summer:

Take the ETO Summer Programming Survey
What else is in this newsletter? Meet two new ETO staff, listen to Episode 02 of the MADE Podcast, and share your thoughts about what is necessary for U of T's online grading tool (feedback is due by April 05, 2022). And a quick tech tip on using a colour contrast checker to ensure that your visual materials are accessible to all learners.


Hiya Irina and Hello Marisa!

We're pretty happy to announce that the ETO has recently hired two new staff members (and to wish Joanna Lau, the ETO's previous Educational Technologist, a belated congratulations as she accepted a permanent role at the iSchool).
Irina Belaya joins the EdTech Office as our new Educational Technologist, Academic Toolbox. You might think that with the return to on-campus learning that the ETO might be getting a little quieter - and that would be....incorrect. Fortunately, our ability to provide support is expanding with our new Educational Technologist. Irina will be your first point of contact when you submit an inquiry to fase.edtech@utoronto.ca

Marisa Curmi joins the EdTech Office as our new Multi-Media specialist, Content Production. As the type of work performed by the ETO changes and grows, it was clear that we needed to expand the team's resources for producing high-quality instructional videos that promote and encourage learning (and run on sentences, apparently). We're very excited that such a talented and experienced multi-media specialist has joined the team.


Using images in your media projects (EP02 | MADE Podcast)

In this second episode of MADE for U of T (see all podcasts), we hear from Cheryl Lee, the ETO's Educational Graphic and Media Developer, who shares her experience researching how (and how not) to use images in media projects (and who to go to at U of T if you have questions). Ensuring copyright compliance and fair use is a question that we get a lot when creating digital learning content. While there's no easy answer, we're here to help you use images appropriately - and connect you to the experts when things are especially tricky.

Listen to Ep. 02: Using Images in your online content

Listen to EP02 on the ETO Soundcloud or read a transcript of EP02 of the MADE Podcast.  This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.



It's Download time!

Remember to Download your Zoom Recordings

Cloud storage on all U of T Zoom Education accounts includes up to half a gig of storage with a 120 day retention period (see ACT's Zoom Information website for full details). As such, it's more of a temporary solution and not a way to archive your videos or host them for sharing. Because Quercus has a storage limit (3 GB per course), we also don't recommend uploading the videos directly to Quercus; better to upload them to MyMedia or MS Stream.

See How do I download my Zoom recordings? for more instructions. If you would like support to get started downloading, please book a consultation to help you define a method that works for you.



Do you use Crowdmark?

Or maybe, did you consider using Crowdmark, but something wasn't working for you? This is your chance to share your feedback on what UofT requires in an institutional online grading tool.

Academic and Academic Technologies (ACT) is working towards an RFP process for an online grading tool for the Academic Toolbox. Previous tools of this type that have been used are Crowdmark (currently licensed at FASE; see how to configure Crowdmark in your course) and Gradescope (a newer tool popular especially in Math courses). This process collects your thoughts and feedback on what the key features for this type of tool should be. 

How to submit your feedback

  1. FASE Online Grading Tool Draft Requirements Feedback Form (due by Tuesday, April 05, 2022)
If you've submitted feedback directly to ACT, you do not need to re-submit - you're done! The ETO created the form to help consolidate and organize the feedback to send to ACT but everyone is welcome to share their feedback directly to ACT.


Low Effort, big impact tip

Use a colour contrast checker on your content

TPGi’s free Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) is colour contrast checker tool that allows you to easily determine the contrast ratio of two colours simply using an eyedrop tool. The CCA enables you to optimize your content–including text and visual elements–for individuals with vision disabilities like colour-blindness and low-vision impairments. 

How to use this tool?

Download the CCA for Windows and the CCA for Mac.

What features are included?

  • Compliance indicators for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1)
  • Multiple ways to select colours: you can manually enter CSS colour formats, use an RGB Slider, or opt for the color picker tool
  • Colour Blindness Simulator
  • Support for alpha transparency on foreground colours


March's Faculty Question(s) of the Week

Each week we answer a real question that we've received about Quercus and other Academic Toolbox tools. Select on the question to read the full inquiry and response. See all faculty questions of the week.

Read the Faculty Question of the Week

  1. Q: Why didn't my student's Quiz answers submit properly? A: The problem you described may be the result of the student having the Quiz open in more than one browser tab or window at the same time.  
  2. Q: Why didn't my students get the extra time I gave them on their quiz? A: The accommodations you described (both the extension to the 'Available to' date/time and the 'Moderate Quiz' extra time) need to be applied before students start the quiz in order for them to apply properly. 
  3. QWhy can't my students upload files and images to the text field in Quiz essay questions? A: The issue you described is actually related to the students' personal file storage quota (despite the fact that the error message suggests a connection error). 
See all of the ETO's blog posts


Articles from around the Web

  1. Alternative Strategies for Assessment and Grading | Duke Learning Innovation. Research shows that grades are often not a good reflection of student learning and growth, and that being graded can be stressful for students. In addition, many traditional grading practices can exacerbate existing academic inequalities.
  2. 12 Golden Principles for Effectively Using Learning Technologies. Dr. Tony Bates. Contact North. I have gradually come to define a set of key principles in their use that have outlasted the many changes in technology, and the fewer changes in teaching practice.
  3. Micro-Credentials – Three Things to Stop, Improve and Start! Need to make sense of micro-credentials? Check out the fourth instalment of Stop, Improve, Start, a new series on what faculty, instructors and education & training providers need to stop doing, improve on and start doing to make micro-credentials fulfill their potential.
  4. Understanding Gartner’s Hype Cycles. Hype Cycles and Priority Matrices offer a snapshot of the relative market promotion and perceived value of innovations. They highlight overhyped areas, estimate when innovations and trends will reach maturity, and provide actionable advice to help organizations decide when to adopt.


Visit the ETO's EdTech Events calendar for upcoming events related to teaching and education technology sessions, conferences, and deadlines.


How can the EdTech Office help?

Check out our service catalogue to get started:
  1. Book a consultation - We're happy to meet with you to discuss any element of your course (related to technology, of course!). We can help with your Quercus course, planning your online assessments, setting up your home recording station and more!
  2. Request a new Quercus course - We can create courses for both academic and administrative purposes (though for the latter you might also consider a Microsoft Team). If you're running a program, committee, group (especially one that has students), this might be a great hub for your work.
  3. Request guest Quercus Accounts - These can be used to provide access to external guests or to be used in testing.
  4. Participate in the Remote Editing Process - We've designed a remote editing process that begins with support as you to record your own content (from wherever) and ends with the Education Technology Office to provide editing services and posting to your Quercus course. This is ideal for trimming and cutting webinar recordings. Due to demand, we've decided to continue this service as a regular offering from the ETO.
Looking for 1-1 support? We're happy to schedule individual (or teaching team) consultation(s) to review your course and current stage of design. You can also email us to get started!


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What is the FASE Education Technology Office? The Education Technology Office (ETO) supports academic teaching activities in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering by providing leadership, consultation, development and support of academic technology solutions. If you’re using a technology tool in the classroom (or thinking about using a technology tool in the classroom), we are here to help you plan and support it at every stage.


Article Category: EdTech Newsletter