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Teaching & Learning Technologies (TLT) engages in a wide range of activities to develop, administer, and support educational technology at the University of Guelph. TLT offers support in the classroom as well as in the online environment and aligns its work with the common themes of service, expertise, leadership and community building.

The TLT team administers the University’s learning management system CourseLink, one of the most heavily used systems on campus. Additionally, TLT develops custom-built applications and integrations, ensures classrooms are well equipped and supported, and delivers online courses and programs while adopting a pedagogy-first approach to educational technology.

With technology playing an integral role in teaching and learning, the TLT unit works on the leading edge, developing solid infrastructure, providing extensive support, and playing a key role in advancing the University’s mission and strategic plans.

Text image that reads: Achievements & Milestones.

Web Conferencing Classrooms

Our Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS) team created programming and resources to support the 39 centrally booked seminar classrooms and lecture halls on campus that were outfitted with web conferencing technology for the start of the Fall 2021 semester. These enhanced rooms allow instructors to teach synchronously to both remote and in-person students, as well as record their classes.

We kicked off the Summer 2021 programming schedule with an introduction to the web conferencing classrooms, as well as technologies and opportunities available for the two room types—seminar classrooms and lecture rooms.

In August, as staff began to return to campus, we offered on-campus (individual and group) orientation sessions in the web conferencing rooms. These sessions—designed to provide an introduction to the technology—explain the set-up process, resolve any technical hiccups with instructor laptops, and explore course design.

Additionally, a just-in-time drop-in session was offered  before classes began to allow instructors a pressure-free opportunity to test their laptops with the room technology, and experience the set-up process with guidance from our ITS and CTS teams.

Together, our ITS and CTS teams offered instructor support (technical and pedagogical) throughout the fall semester.

As the Winter 2022 semester approached, CTS created a web conferencing demonstration room in Day Hall. Ongoing access to this demo room allowed both our CTS and ITS teams to efficiently address instructor laptop-related technical issues and offer orientation bookings with more flexibility via a new online Demonstration Room Booking Form.

The demonstration room launched in December 2021 and allowed our ITS team to book and continue orientation sessions through the end of the fall semester.

The room has proven to be an asset to our ITS and CTS teams, and they continued to book many orientation sessions ahead of the return to in-person learning in January 2022.

App Development

Our Information and Systems Development team, in partnership with Student Accessibility Services (SAS), developed an automated quiz extension tool that will automatically apply a quiz extension using Special Access in quizzes for students registered with SAS.

This new tool provides instructors with significant time savings and reduced input error when adjusting test and quiz times for people with special access.

Infographic with CourseLink stats.


Infographic with stats on CourseLink Support.

Technology Achievements & Milestones

Zoom Pro Licences

CourseLink provided 1200 Zoom Pro licences to instructors teaching courses in Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021 and Winter 22. (This includes 16 Large Meeting add-ons for high enrolment courses.)

CourseLink Integrations

  • SFQ pop-up notification: shows students the courses with available feedback questionnaires
  • RegisterBlast (GH): allows students registered with Accessible Learning Services to quickly book test times and locations


Infographic with PEAR stats.

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Classlist-Linked Microsoft Security Groups

In 2020, in response to an identified need to limit Microsoft Office 365 (O365) resources to students within a class, we successfully collaborated with CCS to create and maintain Classlist-linked Microsoft Security Groups (CLMSGs).

CLMSGs allow access to O365 content to be restricted to course participants listed on a CourseLink course site’s Classlist tool. The CLMSG memberships are regularly synchronized against the course’s class list throughout the semester. 

Over the course of 2021, corresponding Classlist-linked Microsoft Security Groups (CLMSGs) were created for more than 1,200 CourseLink course sites. The continued reliance on these groups and their benefits for collaborative work led to the development of refinements to the CLMSG process throughout 2021.

The improvements were a joint effort of our ITS and ISD teams, resulting in the release of an update that brings access to the resources shared to these groups in line with the access to CourseLink course sites.

Some highlights include:

  • Students not gaining access to the resources until the corresponding course start date
  • Students and TAs automatically losing access to shared group resources after the course end date
  • Students with deferred access to a CourseLink course site automatically regaining access to any resources shared via a corresponding CLMSG

Zoom Transfer Tool

The Zoom Transfer Tool is designed to allow instructors with Zoom cloud recordings to easily copy meeting files from the Zoom cloud to their OneDrive account. It also allows instructors to automate that process for all future recordings through a simple toggle. Not only does this make the recordings easier to re-use in future offerings as asynchronous learning assets, but it also reduces the amount of storage space required to store Zoom cloud recordings.

Our ITS team helped scope and refine the design of the Zoom Transfer Tool, which was developed by our Information and Systems Development (ISD) team.

ITS piloted the tool with some of the University’s largest cloud recording users to test capacity and reliability, and get feedback on the interface and process.

The Zoom transfer Tool was released in Fall 2021 and it was used to transfer over 5,500 meetings and 2TB of data from the Zoom cloud to OneDrive through the start of Winter 2022.

SFQlink Tool

In response to the requirement to collect various data from multiple sources across U of G and provide that data in a format that Blue can import and read, our ISD team—in coordination with the ITS-led SFQ implementation team—conceived, created, tested, and deployed the SFQlink tool.

The SFQlink tool allows student feedback coordinators (SFCs) to map course section data from the Registrar’s Office to a course—including instructor and TA information, start and end dates for the feedback questionnaire, and delivery method (online/paper).

This tool was tested early on by our ITS team, and again as part of the ITS-led SFQ pilot in Summer 2021.

SFQlink was officially released as part of the Fall 2021 SFQ launch and used by 43 SFC accounts to collect and correlate data to push to Blue, delivering questionnaires for more than 1,400 courses during the Fall 2021 semester.

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Project & Pilot Team

  • Lena Kushnir | Implementation Project Lead - provides project vision and overall responsibility of the project outcome.
  • Greg Sabatine | Implementation Project Technical Lead and Team Member - provides various project tasks—including but not limited to the administration of Blue, and integration with the LMS.
  • Carolyn Creighton and Owen Wooding | Implementation Project Team Members - provide various project tasks—including but not limited to the administration of tools, training, and ongoing support for the SFCs.

Student Feedback Questionnaires (SFQ) Launch

In late 2019, the RFP for Student Feedback Questionnaires (SFQ) (CEVAL replacement) was awarded to Explorance for their enterprise product, Blue.

After some interruptions due to the pandemic, the implementation team successfully completed a pilot for SFQ during the Summer 2021 semester. Using the experience and feedback gained from the pilot, we created online support resources, conducted training for student feedback coordinators (SFCs) across the institution, and officially launched the new SFQ process in Fall 2021.

During the Fall 2021 implementation, questionnaires were available in both online and paper formats. For the online questionnaires, over 117,000 questionnaires were delivered to students across 1,500 courses at the Guelph, Guelph-Humber, and Ridgetown campuses. Online questionnaires allowed instructors to complete a new process called question personalization, adding up to nine additional questions to their questionnaires. Over 400 instructors participated for Fall 2021.

The implementation team continues to collect feedback, refine processes, and develop solutions for unique cases where required. This includes an ongoing project with the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) to refine and improve their student feedback collection process through Blue and meet the complex needs of their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program.

RFP Project - Test Scoring

With the current Scantron test scoring system nearing end of life, the University has been working on finding and selecting a new product to replace that system.

Our ITS team, with the assistance of faculty from a variety of disciplines and varying class sizes across several colleges, completed the necessary proof-of-concept testing that had previously been disrupted by the pandemic and presented their findings to the RFP selection committee.

After careful consideration, a successful proponent for a new robust test scoring solution for the University was selected: Gradescope Complete from Turnitin.

Our implementation team is planning the rollout of a bubble sheet focused pilot as well as fulsome resources and Gradescope-related programming for instructors and teaching assistants. Programming will be designed to help instructors better understand the new assignment options available to them through the Gradescope platform, the potential benefits for improved assessment efficiency and feedback, as well as its integration with CourseLink.


Text image that reads: D2L Innovation Guild Research Grant.

2020-2021 – D2L Innovation Guild Research Grant Recipient

Exploring Extended Reality (XR) Pedagogical Initiatives at Three Guild Member Universities: An Environmental Scan

Project Type: Emerging Research
Guild Theme(s): Learning in 2030; Leveraging Learning Spaces; Unlocking Learner Potential
Lead PI: Dr. Mark Morton, University of Waterloo
Co-PI:  Gillian Dabrowski, University of Waterloo
Research Partners: Dr. Brenda Stoesz, University of Manitoba | Dr. Lena Kushnir, University of Guelph

Supported by funding provided by D2L’s (Desire2Learn) Innovation Guild Research Grant ($15,000), Lena Kushnir represented OpenEd and partnered with two other Ontario universities (i.e., University of Manitoba and University of Waterloo) to identify, classify, document, and review the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), together known as extended reality (XR), in teaching.

The goal of this research project was to discern strategies to promote and support XR initiatives in higher education, develop best practices for using and integrating XR technologies into university courses, and provide guidance on conducting SoTL research into XR technologies in higher education.

Graphic that says, "D2L Research Grant Recipient"

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Technology at Work in the "Classroom” – Keeping the Pedagogical Horse before the Technological Cart

Lena Kushnir | Associate Director, Educational Technologies

Keynote presentation at the Canada Virtual EduTech Summit, Digital Government & CX Community, June 2021

Classlist-linked Microsoft Security Groups

Greg Sabatine | Manager, Online Technologies

Presenter at the 2021 D2L Virtual Fusion Conference, July 2021


D2L Virtual Fusion Conference Steering Committee

Greg Sabatine | Manager, Online Technologies

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Andy Robinson | Associate Professor, Department of Animal Biosciences, OAC

Opening quotation mark.I just wanted to say thank you for moving forward and automating  the SAS accommodations process for CourseLink quizzes. These last several years, I have seen a growth in the number of students who are registered with SAS for accommodations to support their learning success in the courses I teach. I used to dread the process of setting up accommodations for online assessments in the bigger classes. Then we had someone to help us with the final exams when we first went fully online for Covid and now - cheers and salutations - the system is fully automated for any and all assessments."

Tom McKaig | U of GH, Business

Opening quotation mark.I want to thank the entire University of Guelph/Guelph-Humber CourseLink team for years of ongoing and helpful assistance in all facets of CourseLink requirements for all of my courses. Without exception, the CourseLink people have always and promptly resolved any and all questions pertaining to CourseLink setup in a thoroughly professional and always courteous manner."


Dr. Baozhong Meng, Associate Professor (Virology) | Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Opening quotation mark.I often call CourseLink Support for questions related to online teaching and the related activities.  Overall, I find colleagues at CourseLink Support very willing to help and knowledgeable. I would like to make a special mention of William.  He is always very kind, competent, and eager to help."

David Mikelberg, Professor | U of GH

Opening quotation mark.The individuals at CourseLink Support have been amazing. They are always available for any assistance I might need. Their knowledge and patience have been much appreciated. I have greatly appreciated all their help each semester over the years."


Carri-Ann ScottSessional Lecturer | University of Guelph-Humber

Opening quotation mark.I was impressed with the team’s design and implementation of the Zoom Transfer Tool. The tool seamlessly migrates all Zoom recordings to a designated space on my cloud drive so that users never have to worry about backing up video lectures or class recordings. It works in the background and gives peace of mind without adding to the instructor’s workload in any way. As always, the support team focused on the impact of the end-user and was quick to answer questions throughout the process. Who could ask for more?