Active Learning: Online Redesign

The Active Learning: Online Redesign (ALOR) project is an initiative which spans five divisions as well as the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) and the Online Learning Strategies (OLS) portfolio. This interdisciplinary undertaking will improve the quality of learning by breaking down large classes into smaller learning experiences, while maximizing efficiencies through the use of web-based tools. A more detailed description can be found on the Project Overview page while the specific divisional activities can be found on the Target Activities page.

News and Updates

November 10.

On November 3 the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation held the 9th annual Teaching and Learning Symposium on “Planning for Change – Responding to Change.”
We were pleased that every ALOR team was able to participate and present their work at the symposium. View the pdfs of the presentations.

June 09.

At a community event co-hosted with the UTM library, Rosa Hong presented examples Educative Assessment through Online Collaborative Writing that she has developed on conjunction with the ALOR project. The talk demonstrated how to create and assess an online collaborative writing activity within an existing course. Participants learned how Rosa scaffolded her project throughout the semester and aligned the course learning outcomes, activities and assessments.

June 05.

Each of the ALOR leads and the educational technology professionals attended an afternoon wrap-up event celebrating the project. The occasion allowed each team to present on their project’s successes, lessons learned and future plans. It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the process and see the benefits of the ALOR project in action.

ALOR Event - Concept Map - Biology

May 29.

Scott Ramsay lead a session for University of Toronto’s Online Learning Community of Practice roundtable series: My journey to Khan Academy (and other video formats). In this event he discussed some of the approaches, formats, software and platforms he has used, and challenges faced while creating and publishing Khan Academy style screen captures, green screen videos, and some more traditional videos.

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May 07 – 08.

TechKnowFile Conference

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Steve Joordens and his development team presented ALORing Technologies Facilitate Course Redesign. They demonstrated the progress of their three online tools PeerScholar, mTuner and Digital Labcoat as it relates to the ALOR project.

April 24.

Scott Ramsay held a special seminar Reusable Learning Objects in Materials and Chemistry on April 24 for engineering faculty and students on his reusable learning objects and the new strategies he’s used to produce them. A recording of the event can be found on the Materials Science & Engineering site.

April 15.

On April 15 Bloomberg Nursing held a half-day faculty development event to explore online learning design and technology integration. During this workshop, participants were engaged in activities centered around a course design process framework with emphasis on assessment and learning activity design for online and hybrid courses. Faculty leads also demonstrated a range of tools and strategies for engaging students and showcased their various uses within the context of nursing.

April 1.

Bloomberg Nursing faculty newsletter features participation in the ALOR project: Bloomberg team contributes to U of T online initiatives.

March 19.

UofT’s Ed Tech professionals who are working on online learning initiatives gathered around the table for informal updates and exchange news on divisional activities once again. The spotlight was on the colleagues working with instructors on the ALOR project who agreed to lead out the round table with updates on their local ALOR initiatives.


February 28.

Marg Blastorah was a co-presenter at the February round table held by UofT’s Community of Practice on online learning. The session focused on re-considering the use and purposes of discussion forum activities in online learning. Great conversation and many new ideas!

February 04.

A new blog post describing the project is available on theUofT Online Learning Strategies site. The project has been also announced in the CTSI Connect newsletter.

December 09.

Instructional leads and support teams met for an afternoon workshop (in person and distance) on December 09.
It was a wonderful opportunity for our teams to define and clarify their roles and goals.
Importantly, it provided us with a chance to focus on grounding curricular redesign in the context of student engagement (motivation and active learning) and to reflect on a variety of online models.

December 04.

Read the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities news release on promoting innovation in Ontario’s colleges and universities.

December 02.

ALOR orientation webinar. Our goal for the webinar was to have the lead from each division and as many team members as possible join in to get started working together. This online meeting served as a project orientation and included a review our proposed deliverables, activities and some general discussion of project team needs.

Useful Links

HEQCO – Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
Contact North – Ontario’s Distance Education and Training Network
NCAT – National Center for Academic Transformation


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