Academic & Collaborative Technologies

The Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT) team provides support, consultations, training and resources to the university community, whether it be a new online learning project, a teaching and learning grant (for submission, project planning and implementation), an interest in a new technology, or the migration and integration of institution-wide technologies. Team members contribute to regular CTSI and TATP programming (e.g., workshops on strategies for writing U of T grants and using multimedia in the classroom), support U of T’s Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and produce new online resources (e.g., Teaching with Social Media guide).

See Appendix B for ACT metrics and data.


With the institution-wide move from Blackboard to Canvas as the University’s new Academic Toolbox scheduled for September 2018, the ACT team has played an integral role in the selection, promotion and integration of this new system – known as Quercus.

Starting with an early adopters’ pilot and designing a migration strategy, ACT Support staff provided specialized training to U of T educational technologists and instructors. This included three Quercus Day events (one on each campus), numerous training sessions (in-class and online) and individual consultations.

Members of the ACT team participated in the Training and Support Working Group, the Communications Working Group, the Technical Working Group, and the Integrations Working Group, connecting with colleagues across the University and planning the rollout of the new system. Using a ‘train the trainer’ model, the ACT team, in close collaboration with the ITS group, held sessions for educational technology support staff in every Faculty and division, and developed resources and sessions to help instructors and staff build Quercus courses and migrate content from the old system.

Awareness Presentations: The ACT Support team participated in nearly 100 divisional and departmental meetings to raise awareness of the Quercus migration.
CTSI-led Training Sessions: 30 CTSI-led Quercus training sessions
Divisionally-led Training Sessions: The ACT Support team participated in 50 divisionally-led Quercus training sessions.

Certina Ho
Lecturer, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
“With the help of ACT Support (ITIF) staff, we were able to learn about resources and key elements for best practices in online learning … we were able to storyboard 5 online modules of patient/medication safety, of which one of them was developed and pilot tested.”


Two team members on the ACT Support team in CTSI supported ITIF recipients with the development and implementation of five funded projects:

  • Enhancing Dental Students’ Communication Skills Using an Integrated Online Formative Assessment Module, Faculty of Dentistry
  • U of T Libraries Undergraduate Information Literacy Online Modules
  • Web-based Virtual Labs to Enrich Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Biology Curriculum, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • A Multimedia Resource for Health Professional Students to Provide Safe and Quality Patient Care, Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Collaborative Online Design, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)

Additionally, longitudinal assessment of the ITIF program was supported through the creation of an online final report template.


7: Participation in seven sessions to provide ITIS-related support
11: Eleven articles for ACTion Journal – articles drafted to describe the high impact teaching practieces that resulted from previous ITIF projects
3: Two ITIF in Action workshops and one CTL Teaching Showcase workshop at UTSC
17: Seventeen project design and application consultations


The ACT team works closely with ITS on a number of projects and initiatives. In the past year, the team supported two large institution-wide initiatives – our new Academic Toolbox Quercus and the instructor and staff migration to Office 365, which also closely involved the Organizational Development and Learning Centre. This involved ACT Support team members providing training and resources for endusers and information technology staff.

ACT Support team members collaborated with the Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre, School of Continuing Studies, and the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education to design, build and deploy a university-wide sexual violence education and prevention awareness campaign. These modules were launched via U of T’s Portal and are now available on Quercus.