Text image that reads: CourseLink accomplishments...

Microsoft Security Groups 

In partnership with CCS, OpenEd participated in a new project to automatically create Microsoft Security groups base on CourseLink Classlist users.

Microsoft Security Groups are used to grant and limit access to various Office 365 resources such as Stream videos, OneDrive files and Teams - Live Events.

Hypothes.is Integration 

The Hypothes.is integration in CourseLink allows instructors to add Hypothesis annotation content directly in the course website.

Instructors can use Hypothesis to hold discussions, read socially, organize research, and take personal notes.

Pearson Revel Integration 

Pearson Revel was integrated into CourseLink. This integration allows Pearson Revel content to be directly linked to the course website. 

Revel improves results by empowering students to actively participate in learning. More than a digital textbook, Revel delivers an engaging blend of author content, media, and assessment. 

D2L Virtual Fusion Conference

Greg Sabatine, manager, online technologies, participated as speaker for the Instructional Technology Meet and Greet at the 2020 D2L Virtual Fusion Conference in September 2020. 

Greg also participated on the 2020 D2L Virtual Fusion Conference steering committee.

CourseLink Support Phone Queue Emergency Line 

To better serve students and instructors during exams, an emergency line option was added to the phone queue.

Automated Quiz Extension Tool 

OpenEd, in partnership with SAS, developed an automated quiz extension tool that automatically applies a quiz extension using Special Access in quizzes for students registered with SAS. 

Zoom Pro Licences

CourseLink provided 1200 Zoom Pro licences to instructors teaching courses in W20, S20, F20, and W21.

CourseLink Support Website

A new CourseLink Support website was launched with the first phase focusing on CourseLink support documentation.

Infographic showing CourseLink data.

Infographic showing PEAR data.

RFP Projects

Test Scoring 

With the current Scantron test scoring system supported by CCS nearing end of life, OpenEd has been working with U of G to find and select a new product to replace that system. At the beginning of 2020, the Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS) team, along with other members of OpenEd and a project manager from CCS, formed a group to review, test, and select that replacement as part of an RFP. This included live demonstrations from the vendors who were deemed to be on the final consideration list. Testing was followed by on-campus proof-of-concept testing led by the ITS team with the assistance of faculty from a variety of disciplines and varying class sizes across several colleges. Unfortunately, this proof-of-concept testing was disrupted by the pandemic; however, work has now resumed on this project and a new system should be selected in time for a S21 pilot. 


In late 2019, the RFP for Student Feedback Questionnaires (CEVAL replacement) was awarded to Explorance for their product, Blue. In the new year, the ITS team began planning the campus rollout and for an S20 pilot of Blue. Again, the S20 pilot was disrupted by the pandemicWork on this project has now resumed with plans for a S21 pilot and full campus implementation for F21.

Ed Tech Boot Camp banner.

During Reading Week, the Instructional Technology Specialist team hosted their first-ever Educational Technologies Boot Camp. This two-day event provided instructors with opportunities to learn more about the tools available in CourseLink and receive one-on-one support for their courses. Student response systems and peer assessment were highlighted as powerful ways to engage students. The event was attended by faculty and staff from several colleges. 

Pandemic Shift to Remote

Academic Continuity 

With the rapid shift to emergency remote delivery in March 2020, the ITS team, along with other members of OpenEd, hosted a series of college webinars to introduce faculty to the available web conferencing tools on campus, suggest options for remote assessments, and answer questions.

The webinar series was accompanied by the rapid development of OpenEd’s Academic Continuity web page, which provided educational technology support resources to assist faculty, staff and students in the completion of the Winter 2020 term. 

Remote Teaching & Learning Website 

With the continuation of remote delivery for Summer and Fall 2020, the ITS team worked to develop a comprehensive website to support the movement of entire courses to remote delivery formats.

The Remote Teaching & Learning website provided instructors with a holistic approach to development of their courses for Fall 2020 and facilitates thoughtful and intentional approaches to remote delivery of coursesThe website is updated regularly to include new resources. 

Summer Webinar and Workshop Series 

In June and July, the ITS team facilitated two online series to support faculty in the planning and development of their Fall 2020 courses.

The first series—Remote Teaching Webinar Seriesprovided high-level guidance on web conferencing tools, course design, and common CourseLink tools to support remote delivery.

The second series—Remote Teaching Workshop Seriesoffered hands-on guidance for several tools that were identified as important by faculty and sessional instructors.

Instructional Videos 

To simplify and streamline instructor support, the ITS team worked with the Multimedia Development team to produce instructional videos on the topics most relevant to instructors shifting to a remote teaching and learning environment.

Using a standardized format and process, four Educational Technologies Instructional Videos have been released, with hundreds of views.

Additional videos are planned and in various stages of development.

Infographic showing the stats for the Remote Teaching & Learning website.

Infographic showing Instructor Resources page views.

Classlist-Linked Microsoft Security Groups 

In response to an identified need to limit Microsoft 365 resources to students within a classOpenEd successfully collaborated with CCS to create and maintain Classlist-Linked Microsoft Security Groups. These security groups allow Microsoft 365 content to be linked against a CourseLink course site. As a result, its members are regularly synchronized against that course’s class list throughout the semester. 

Released for the fall semester, and implemented as part of the course request process, instructors have since created and managed these groups for over 35% of CourseLink courses.

Freshwater Field Kits 

Working with Sheri Hincks, a lab coordinator from the College of Biological Science, the Instructional Technology Specialist team developed an interactive online map that visualizes data collected by students who are learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Custom-made field kits enabled students in a fourth-year freshwater course to sample and learn about water chemistry and the effects of pollutants on aquatic health in local streams, and then share the data through the online map.

Details about this hands-on learning experience can be found on the U of G News page.

Water testing kit.

Online Events

The ITS team hosted 32 online webinar and workshop events in 2020 for faculty, teaching assistants, and various instructional staff. These events saw a total of more than 1,400 registered participants in the Academic Continuity series and the four distinct event series listed below:

2020 OpenEd ITS Event Registrations  
2020 OpenEd ITS Event Registrations
Series Event Registrations
Here Comes W21: Preparing for Another Remote Semester  Just in Time for W21  49
Here Comes W21: Preparing for Another Remote Semester  Microsoft Teams for Synchronous Lectures  15 
Here Comes W21: Preparing for Another Remote Semester  Zoom for Synchronous Lectures  38 
Here Comes W21: Preparing for Another Remote Semester  Reflecting on Remote Teaching in Fall 2020  23 
Rethinking Your Assessments for Remote Teaching with Ed Tech  Building Student Generated Question Banks  23 
Rethinking Your Assessments for Remote Teaching with Ed Tech  Critical Thinking with Video Assignments  23 
Rethinking Your Assessments for Remote Teaching with Ed Tech  Dropbox for More than Documents  23 
Rethinking Your Assessments for Remote Teaching with Ed Tech  Next Level Discussion Options  23
Rethinking Your Assessments for Remote Teaching with Ed Tech  Quizzes that Promote Academic Integrity  30
Rethinking Your Assessments for Remote Teaching with Ed Tech Rubrics & Equitable Assessments  28
Remote Teaching Workshop  Zoom for Synchronous Lectures  110
Remote Teaching Workshop  Video Assignments  29 
Remote Teaching Workshop  PEAR (Peer Assessment, Evaluation & Review)  18 
Remote Teaching Workshop  CourseLink Quizzes & Respondus  29 
Remote Teaching Workshop  CourseLink Groups Tool  24 
Remote Teaching Workshop  Creating a Video with Embedded Quizzing  38 
Remote Teaching Workshop  Virtual Classroom  60 
Remote Teaching Workshop  Creating Simple Asynchronous Lectures  68 
Remote Teaching Webinar  Synchronous or Asynchronous? Which is the Best Option for Your Course?  65 
Remote Teaching Webinar  Tools for Assessment & Evaluation  81 
Remote Teaching Webinar  Tools for Engaging Learners  85 
Remote Teaching Webinar  Course Design 2: A Nuts & Bolts Approach to Go Remote  99 
Remote Teaching Webinar  Course Design 1: Tips, Best Practices and Strategies to Go Remote  81 
Remote Teaching Webinar  Pick a Web Conferencing Tool: To Zoom or not to Zoom  68 
Remote Teaching Webinar  Tools for Communication & Social Presence  74 

In addition to the OpenEd-hosted series, the ITS team saw continued collaboration with The Office of Teaching and Learning through contributions to their University Teaching Foundations workshops. The ITS team also continued to build relationships with other departments and colleges across campus, including contributions to webinars with both LANG and CSAHS, as well as a joint session dedicated to the CourseLink Grades tool with the CBS Office of Educational Scholarship and Practice (COESP). 

When the pandemic shut down campus in March of 2020, the ITS team participated in OpenEd’s series of academic continuity webinars offered to each college. These sessions introduced faculty to the available web conferencing tools on campus, offered options for remote assessments, and answered questions. 

Academic Continuity Webinar Attendance 
Academic Continuity Webinar Attendance
College/Campus Attendees
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences 48
Ontario Veterinary College 67
Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics 42 
College of Social and Applied Human Sciences 40 
College of Biological Science  21 
College of Arts 21 
Guelph-Humber  45 

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Opening quotation marks.  CourseLink has been fantastic to me. 

Only yesterday, someone from CourseLink posted my midterm exam to the course library. It was done less than one hour after I had submitted my request. 

I have communicated a lot with William, and he was always patient, fast, and very helpful. 

Other people in your department, Alex, Henry, Navneet, and Dhruvi were also very helpful. I feel that I could contact CourseLink, for a small or bigger issue, at any time, and always be helped. 

I recommend CourseLink to all my colleagues. Thanks a lot for the great service. Closing quotation marks. 

Eli Lewin | Instructor

Opening quotation marks.  Courselink Support has been vital and indispensable. All members of the Courselink Support team are knowledgeable, friendly, and always willing to help. Couldn't ask for a better support team. Closing quotation marks.

Hugh Lambe | Instructor

Opening quotation marks. As we headed into online teaching in the Fall 2020 semester, I was so very grateful to have the assistance of the CourseLink team. 

Throughout the summer of 2020, I was frantic about how to modify so many components of my courses in order to be able to teach them online. I was in regular contact with CourseLink and they assisted me greatly in setting up my shells for the courses I would be teaching.  As well, CourseLink worked with me in designing the sites to be efficient and greatly accessible for student use. 

I had so many questions in setting up my courses with Assessment Tools that I had never before incorporated, such as various types of online Quizzes and Discussion Post/Response Assignments. The CourseLink team always responded to my questions very professionally, efficiently and politely. 

Henry Nguyen, in particular, has been exceptional in responding to my questions and helping me with course design. Henry is always so patient, with those of us less technologically inclined, and I very much appreciated his technological assistance, patience and humour. Henry always goes the extra mile in ensuring that all my questions are answered completely, and that I understand all the steps needed to move on to the next challenge. But in moving on to the next challenge, I know Henry would be there to guide me through that as well. Thank you, Henry! Closing quotation marks.

Linda Hunter | Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Opening quotation marks.  I want to take a moment to thank you for your guidance in helping to set up my restaurant operations class for online learning last summer. The lectures on how to set up a zoom meeting as well as creating an online quiz were well written, informative, thorough, and easy to understand. I also appreciate the real-time advice and the speed at which you answered all my inquiries. 

My class is probably one of the more experiential courses at the University and your assistance in helping me pivot to online learning was invaluable. The responses on the course evaluations at the end of the semester were very positive and I definitely have you and your department to thank. Closing quotation marks. 

Simon Day Instructor, School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management 

Opening quotation marks.  Throughout the past year, the leadership and expertise of the Instructional Technology Specialist team at OpenEd has helped me realize and confidently implement best practices in educational design and innovation—an area that is more dynamic and necessary than ever during our remote teaching experience. They have also helped me harness the potential in technological tools available to me for remote teaching and learning. The one-to-one support, webinars and online resources delivered by their team have been instrumental in the ongoing success of the students, staff and faculty with, and for whom, I work.  I look forward to future interactions with the instructional technology specialists for continuous improvements to teaching and learning in the College of Biological Science. Closing quotation marks. 

Charlene Winchcombe-Forhan | Biology Coordinator, College of Biological Sciences 

Opening quotation marks.  Despite the challenges brought on by the move to online teaching, I feel like a I learned so much last semester. Thanks to the Instructional Technology Specialist team, I was able to incorporate new tools to facilitate communication between my students and me.  I’m especially grateful to Carolyn Creighton whose support was invaluable. She listened and offered practical solutions on such matters as the creation of groups, setting up peer review for student presentations, and using the bookings tool for end of term student oral exams.  Her instructions were detailed, easy to follow and were instrumental in my success implementing these tools. I feel that there is so much more to learn in the field of instructional technology and I hope to have the benefit of consulting the team even more in the future. Closing quotation marks. 

Dr. Frédérique Arroyas | Associate Professor, School of Languages and Literature