EdTech Tip Sheet: September 2021

Related people and/or projects: Supporting Accommodations for Students

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We're back! That's both a general comment on the vibrancy of campus right now as well as a specific nod to the ETO's first in person service since March 2020 - our lecture capture program has resumed! (You'll meet our two camera operators below...)

We're excited to support you as you re-enter the classroom and while we're still transitioning back-to-campus (made easier by the brown poutine truck), we will be continuing to offer our full services:
  1. Participate in the remote editing service
  2. Book a virtual consultation (via our bookings calendar)
  3. Request a special recording session
Notice a new look? Following the advice in 8 tips to reduce burn out, we've re-designed this newsletter to focus on consistent and easy-to-navigate categories (keeping it simple! Or, maybe, simpler...). Let us know (email us using fase.edtech@utoronto.ca) if you like the action-verb categories (or don't)! If you have other suggestions about the newsletter, we'd love to hear those thoughts, too.



Supporting Accommodations for Students

This year, all instructors need to prepare for student accommodations throughout the term(s). Some students are submitting official accommodation requests because they cannot be physically on campus at the start of term, while others may experience illness at any point during the term. For full details, see our guide to creating an accommodation plan.

This blog post on student accommodations has some easy-to-implement strategies to help you develop an accommodation plan that serves your students well without adding too much to your workload. An easy tip? Enable OpenCast now (see How do I enable OpenCast (OCCS) via the instructor and student apps in my Quercus course?) and you'll be set to record selective course sessions for sharing (see How do I record selected sessions (e.g. lectures) using OpenCast?).


Ryan Spooner and Eric McMullan join the EdTech Office as our new Content Production Assistants. This week, we kicked off our Lecture Capture program (learn more about the FASE Lecture Capture program), so there’s a good chance you saw one or both of them carrying video equipment in the hallways, or perhaps even setting up in your lecture room! 

Ryan and Eric are available to help with remote editing projectsspecial request filming, and studio or on location filming (as public health guidelines allow). For general filming inquiries, contact us at fase.edtech@utoronto.ca.


What services does the EdTech Office offer? We review the big ones in this video by Karthik Srinivasa Murthy (M.Eng.). In this 2:00 minute video, you'll learn how to find our technical help guides, how to schedule a consultation, and how to access our blog. And of course, how to contact the ETO!


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Canada’s first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is September 30, 2021. It was established this year by the Federal Government to provide an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools which more than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were forced to attend between the 1870s and 1997. September 30 is also known as Orange Shirt Day, a nation-wide movement rooted in the story of Phyllis Webstad who, in 1973, at the age of six, went to the St. Joseph Mission Residential School. In preparation for school, Phyllis' Grandmother, despite limited means, purchased the shiny orange shirt Phyllis coveted and was so excited to wear to school. At school, she was stripped of the shirt forever and left to feel like no one cared.

What can you do to bring this into your course?

U of T Engineering is committed to truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Everyone is encouraged to participate in their own way on September 30: by wearing an orange shirt, taking a moment of reflection, or discussing this day in class. For more tech-y ideas, you could use an Orange Shirt Day virtual background, start a discussion board post, invite a guest speaker to "join" your course, or find some other way to demonstrate your support for reconciliation and healing.

You can access further supports from Professor Jason Bazylak, P.Eng., Dean’s Advisor on Indigenous Initiatives or Marisa Sterling, P.Eng., Assistant Dean and Director for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Professionalism. This summer FASE also launched the Indigenous Cultural Competency Toolkit, co-developed with an Indigenous engineering student to help the Faculty learn the truths.


Read all our previous Weekly Quercus Updates on the ETO Blog.

From Around UofT and beyond

  1. Work-study students to provide U of T professors with tech support this fall (UofT News) | The University of Toronto has launched a new pilot program that will pair instructors with work-study students to provide their classes with tech support during the fall semester – part of a broader effort to foster technological and instructional innovation in the classroom.
  2. 8 Strategies to Prevent Teaching Burnout (Chronicle) | What can you do this semester to protect your well-being and support your students? We love the practical (build in breaks, find balance, keep it simple) strategies explored in this article (including how to implement them).

From the ETO

Weekly Quercus Update
By Anna | September 16, 2021

This week: Update to Assign to field (Assignments, Quizzes, and graded Discussions) and faculty question: How do I set up the Quercus calendar so students can easily see the monthly calendar just for my course?
Teaching with Zoom
By Inga | September 01, 2021
This blog post provides the recording and session files from the Teaching with Zoom session by Inga Breede on August 31, 2021.
Ouriginal replaces Turnitin!
By Alli | August 27, 2021
After extensive community consultation through a public procurement process, the UofT is pleased to announce that we will be partnering with a company called Ouriginal to be our new plagiarism detection tool (PDT) beginning Sept. 1, 2021. 
Supporting Accommodations for Students
By Alli | August 18, 2021
Do you have students in your course that you're accomodating online until they can arrive on campus? Or any other reason really...


This week's top EdTech questions

  1. How do I enable OpenCast to automatically record my course? OpenCast allows you to capture the content and audio of your course sessions and shares these recordings to your students. Before you can use the application, you need to enable it (just once per term).
  2. Can I use OpenCast to only record one or two lectures? Absolutely! You still enable OpenCast and then you can pause/activate the recording option for the specific times that you'd like to record. This is done manually, but it is doable.
  3. How do I get student emails from a Quercus course? Although it is recommended to use the Quercus Inbox/Conversations tool to communicate with your students, there are times when you would choose to email your students instead of using the Inbox tool. There are two methods to download students' email addresses in a CSV format: 1. A New Analytics report, and 2. The UT Advanced Group Tool.
  4. How do I administer Zoom in my course? This guide provides an overview of how to manage Zoom in your Quercus course, starting from deciding whether Zoom is right for you and ending with sharing (and archiving) your recordings. To access and use Zoom, login to the UofT Zoom Portal. Zoom is not integrated into Quercus and it requires more administrative overhead and planning to use effectively. For example, you will need to schedule and share Zoom sessions to Quercus and for each session that is recorded, you'll need to upload the recording to a video hosting service (see how to select a video hosting/streaming service).


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 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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Article Category: EdTech Newsletter