Instructor Toolkit

These resources have been developed to support departmental and individual needs related to online course design and development. Instructors may also access divisional or departmental support available locally.

Planning Online Learning
Resources and templates to guide the early stages of course design

Online Course Design
Checklist of components for use before, during and after course design

Accessibility Guidelines
Tips and advice to ensure you are reaching all your students

Tools Beyond the U of T Portal
Guidelines for those considering moving beyond Blackboard


Online Courses: A course is considered to be “online” if it has been designed such that all of the instructional interaction occurs without the student and instructor being in the same physical location, with the exception of final or interim assessment requiring attendance on campus no more than once per term.

Hybrid Course: A hybrid course is one in which face-to-face teaching time is reduced, but not eliminated. At the UofT, a course is considered to be hybrid if at least 30% of scheduled class time is replaced by online activities. Instruction may be offered via synchronous or asynchronous web-based learning technologies, including video, discussion, collaborative tools or self-directed learning modules. Historically hybrid courses have also been referred to as “blended” courses.

Inverted Classroom: Also known as the “flipped” model, the inverted classroom does not reduce face-to-face class time. Instead, the course is enhanced with additional digital resources such as video lectures and quizzes that students review prior to class. This allows for design of active learning and hands-on activities to be incorporated into the classroom time. The term “flipped” refers idea that video lectures might be provided outside of classroom, and what would have been homework assignments completed during class.

MOOCs: A MOOC is is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. Access to direct instructor and learner feedback is very limited and it should be noted that University of Toronto MOOCs are not for credit. The University of Toronto has partnered with two organizations providing MOOC platforms, Coursera and EdX as described on the Open Utoronto web site. Currently some of our MOOC content is being repurposed in conjunction with selected University of Toronto degree program courses through use of the inverted classroom model.

Clear as mud? Don’t be discouraged. With the swirl of new online modes emerging and plenty of jargon to go along – there is a lot of terminology to keep up with! One more term… perhaps the most confusing of the lot, is “blended” learning.

Blended Course: Blended learning is a catch-all term that refers to any combination of traditional face-to-face classroom methods with any computer-mediated activities such as discussion, video presentation, synchronous webinars, assignments, group projects, etc. Traditionally the blended model referred to reduction of class time, as noted above. More recently it is used to refer to the inverted or flipped classroom in which class time is not reduced.