Enhancing Quality in Online Learning

Fostering Flexible Learning Access

Advancing Technological Innovation

  • Enhanced the quality of fully-online and hybrid University of Guelph-Humber courses by aligning course outlines with Quality Matters standards
  • Achieved our 3rd Quality Matters course certification for HIST*2120DE - Animals and Society (Instructor: Susan Nance, Department of History)
  • Redeveloped three courses for the Equine Studies Online program—as part of a larger program refresh—to ensure program and quality standards alignment, and to introduce technological innovation to better connect theory to practice
  • Redeveloped five courses and developed five new courses for the online Horticulture Studies program—as part of a larger program restructuring—to ensure program and quality standards alignment, and to introduce technological innovation to better connect theory to practice
  • Worked with the Experiential Learning Hub to develop Inclusive Workplaces: Access Ability—a new module aimed at co-op students
  • Partnered D2L and the Department of History to develop Thinking Like a Historian—an online module that utilizes a competency-based approach to assist first-year students with identifying, evaluating and using primary sources in historical research. The module augments the curriculum of HIST*1010DE - Early Modern Europe, offered in both classroom and online formats
  • Partnered with the Ontario Agricultural College to design and develop Flexible Internship in Agri-Food—a third-year blended course, partnered with a 40-hour internship in the agri-food sector with government, industry, or civil society organizations
  • Supported the executive programs in using Zoom videoconferencing technology to increase synchronous learning opportunities in fully-online courses
  • Introduced a number of technologies—Goosechase, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom—into online offerings to increase student and instructor interactivity, and engagement and collaboration

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Text that reads: thinking like a historian...

In 2017, the University of Guelph was successful in receiving funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development to develop a number of competency-based modules to foster deeper learning in courses that have been identified as having high-failure rates. The modules augment course curriculum and allow students the opportunity to progress throughout the material at an individualized pace, moving more quickly through concepts they have mastered and spending more time on concepts they find challenging. As of December 2019, three modules have been developed in varying disciplines, including history, math and chemistry.

Phase 2 of the project will focus on using a CBE approached to deliver the curriculum for entire courses.  

UNIV*3140 - Flexible Internship in Agri-Food

As a leading Canadian institution in food and agriculture, the University of Guelph is well-positioned to partner with the industry and respond to their evolving needs to address the growing labour gap.

In 2017, OpenEd was successful in receiving funding through the Ontario Provincial Government’s Career Ready - Employer and Regional Partnership fund. In this project, we developed a flexible internship course that partners with food and agriculture industry leaders to develop a work-related experience where students combine learned applied skills with real work experience.

The Flexible Internship in Agri-Food course aims to create a flexible, accessible and scalable model that meets the needs of students and employers wanting to engage in experiential learning opportunities. Designed for third-year students from any discipline, the 12-week degree-credit course includes online and classroom components along with a 40-hour internship in the agri-food sector with government, industry or civil society organizations.

Students develop knowledge of current and future trends in the agri-food system, and at the same time, develop career-readiness skills and awareness of the types of agri-food sector careers available on farms and beyond.

Learning Enhancement Fund Projects

College of Biological Sciences (CBS) Career Readiness Module

We provided expertise in the areas of instructional design, accessibility, and web design for the CBS Career Readiness Module. This second-year non-credit online module is designed for students to:

  • Reflect upon their professional development
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Gain opportunities and resources for career exploration and professional development
  • Plan for future careers

The module includes embedded experiential learning opportunities offered on campus and is scheduled each fall, with approximately 800-1000 second-year students.

Microlearning in ENGG*1100 - Engineering and Design I

We partnered with John Donald to create a series of micro-learning modules that are embedded in the classroom support website for a large introductory engineering design class. The goal was to increase student engagement and enhance student learning in professional skills concepts—such as ethics and leadership, which compete for attention with the technical content in the engineering curriculum. We provided instructional design and multimedia expertise in the project.


The following tables illustrate the number of new/existing course and module developments/redevelopments per semester for 2019.

2019 New Course and Module Developments 
Semester DE CE UGH Exec Modules Blended Total
W19 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
S19 1 0 5 0 0 0 6
F19 4 6 1 0 1 1 13
Total 7 6 6 0 1 1 21
2019 Course and Module Redevelopments 
Semester DE CE UGH Exec Modules Total
W19 5 4  1* 1 0 11
S19 1 3 0 0 0 4
F19 3 4 0 0 0 7
Total 9 11 1 1 0 22


Text image that reads: forty three countries reached through online learning

Text image that reads: 35387 total online degree-credit enrolments/221 total online degree-credit offerings

Text image that reads: 19883 exams written using Respondus technology.


opening quotation mark.  The newly revamped course in landscape design is thoughtfully done. These courses reinforce the message that the environment is our client too, and we must give it a voice. Thanks to the excellent courses in ecological design by Prof. Porter, and plant identification by Prof. Tracey (which complement each other); we can now help our traditional clients see that the environment is their, and everybody's, client.  closing quotation mark.

Martine Jaworski | student

opening quotation mark.  Working with a distance learning specialist (DLS) to redevelop my course was a great experience from beginning to end. The process was clearly explained, and relevant documents and examples were provided to assist in the redevelopment. Particularly impressive was the knowledge of the DLS in appropriate pedagogical approaches for distance education. I appreciated the time taken at the beginning of the project to help me carefully craft a mapping document that was used to guide the rest of the redevelopment. This detailed mapping document ensured that the learning outcomes were met, and gave a clear direction for the content and assessments. Throughout the process, the DLS remained mindful of my goals for the course, provided very helpful and creative suggestions for the implementation of my ideas, and worked to help me integrate my vision into the development of the course. I feel that the end result is a unique course that challenges some of the typical expectations of distance education courses.  closing quotation mark.

Jennifer Lasenby-Lessard | Course Developer, PSYC*3800DE - Psychology and Education (F'19)