Foundational & Institutional Intersections

Enhancing lines of communications and supporting mechanisms for collaboration are prime objectives for the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI). This annual report is one mechanism for sharing our work this past year, 2017-2018.

CTSI teams and individual staff members support instructors and initiatives across the University through programming, resources and consultations. The partnerships listed below demonstrate some of the long-standing and continuing collaborations that are the bedrock of CTSI’s involvement in, and influence with, the University of Toronto year-after-year.


CTSI’s Academic and Collaborative Technologies (ACT) team is supported by a partnership with Information Technology Services (ITS) and Online Learning Services (OLS). Working with OLS this past year, ACT established the Augmented/Virtual Reality Network to share initiatives and approaches, and create a community of learning and support around this emerging technology. The ACT team also provides continued support for OLS for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at U of T – both in progress and in-development.


This past year, OLS and ACT worked on a variety of projects funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) and administered by e-Campus Ontario. These projects include an Open Textbook Startup Kit, two Open Textbook Creations and two Open Textbook adaptations, four Open Module projects and a Virtual Labs with Labster Pilot (a web-based, 3-D virtual lab technology). The Data Driven Design (D3) project, in collaboration with the OLS and SoTL teams in CTSI, developed models that allow already available data to inform course design decisions and encourage effective implementation through a peer-based, collaborative faculty development initiative.


Since 2010, CTSI has collaborated with University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) in the Partnering for Academic Student Success (PASS) initiative. This past year, seconded librarians Tim Neufeldt (Instruction, Music Library) and Heather Buchansky (Student Engagement, UTL) participated in the planning and delivery of CTSI programming, including: Tune into Teaching: Assignment Design; the Course Design/Redesign Institute; and, the Undergraduate Research Workshop, a part of the Integrated Learning Experience workshop series.


The MADLab, now in its 5th year, supports innovation in mobile app development and other emerging technologies at U of T through one-on-one consultations, workshops, talks, and events. The MADLab presented on 3D printing for students in a number of Faculties and departments this past year, including OISE’s Critical Thinking and the use of Technology for Teaching and Communication course (in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning), virtual and augmented reality apps for Computer Science 2nd Year Learning Communities and Canadian Studies’ Digital Tools in a Canadian Context, and on mobile app development for the iSchool, the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education and the University of Toronto Libraries.

The MADLab also provides app development services for U of T departments and outside clients, and has employed work study students from U of T to assist with these projects, including the development and distribution of the PharmaOTG app with the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and developed a new version of the Best Practice in Surgery app for Android and iOS in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine’s Department of Surgery.

MADLab’s reputation as a leader in 3D printing and app development at U of T was recognized by its inclusion in the proposal for the new Faculty of Arts & Science minor in Digital Humanities (that passed governance in February 2018) as a campus resource that has enriched the curriculum and student experience in hosting 3D printing workshops for students in Woodworth College’s Intro to Digital Humanities, a required course.

CTSI supports the MADLab through faculty and staff consultations, resource development and mutual programming.


CTSI’s work is enriched by long-standing collaborations with teaching and learning centres across the university – Centre for Teaching and Learning (UTSC), Robert Gillespie Centre for Academic Skills (UTM), Faculty of Arts & Science, and Centre for Faculty Development (Faculty of Medicine). Over this past year, CTSI and the Centre for Faculty Development initiated a U of T Educational Developers’ Network. The network provides a collegial space for educational developers across the University to share experiences, resources and ideas to advance teaching and learning at U of T, building on existing connections and supporting future collaborations.