Distribute Course Work and Manage Assessments
Quercus offers a variety of features instructors can use to share course materials with their students and ensure the ongoing success of your course if a disruption affects access to the physical campus. You can leverage these features to accomplish the following:
Distribute Course Syllabus
- Post the syllabus on your Quercus course site so that students have ongoing access to this important document.
- Consult guidelines for developing a course syllabus.
- Prepare the course syllabus in advance of your first class meeting.
- Share course procedures:
- Highlight important course procedures, including those that might be particularly relevant should you or the students be absent
- Point out key dates in your course, such as assignment deadlines, in-class activities, and tests
- Include information about how you will communicate with your students in the event of unexpected circumstances (including absences).
- Provide a copy of your final syllabus to your department.
- Contact Syllabus Services offered by the U of T Libraries’ Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office to ensure course materials that distributed online to students comply with Canadian copyright law
- If your department is using the Course Information System (CIS) contact your divisional educational technology representative
Share and Deliver Course Content
- Use Modules and Pages to organize and post content (e.g., readings, links, notes and handouts). Watch video: Quercus Course Design: Modules or Pages? For information on copyright and the use of copyrighted materials in your courses, please visit the University of Toronto’s Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office.
- Use lecture capture software to record mini lectures and share with your students via one of the available streaming options in Quercus. For considerations, please see CTSI’s Audio and Video Recordings of Lectures and Class Sessions page.
- Canvas Mobile apps are available to view posted content and receive course notifications and updates from a phone or tablet, but they should not be used for any high-risk activities such as submitting assignments or quizzes—important tasks and assessments should be completed on a desktop or laptop computer instead.
Grading Policies and Practices
- Review the University of Toronto Assessment and Grading Practices Policy, notably the following statements, keeping in mind that if a disruption is declared by the Provost or Academic Board, more flexible procedures may be implemented:
- “Student performance in a course shall be assessed on more than one occasion. No one essay, test, examination, etc. should have a value of more than 80% of the grade” (B, 1.4.1).
- “At least one piece of term work which is a part of the evaluation of a student performance, whether essay, lab report, review, etc., shall be returned to the student prior to the last date for withdrawal from the course without academic penalty” (B, 1.5.1).
- “After the methods of evaluation have been made known the instructor may not change them or their relative weight without the consent of a simple majority of students attending the class, provided the vote is announced no later than in the previous class. Any changes must be reported to the division or the department, or in the case of graduate courses, the graduate unit” (B, 1.3).
- Include multiple points of evaluation in the design of a course so that it is possible to drop and re-weight assignments if required.
- Provide copies of tests and exams to your department/division in advance of their scheduled date. This allows departments/divisions to administer the tests or exams in the event of that you are absent due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Consider designing your course so that a portion of assignments and activities can be or are delivered online through Quercus.
- Review CTSI’s Tips for Online Assessment
- Use the Quercus Assignments tool to distribute and accept electronic assignments. Share information with students on how to submit online assignments via Quercus.
- Use the SpeedGrader to provide feedback on student assignment submissions.
- Use the Quizzes tool for low-stakes online assessments, including surveys.
- For administering high-stakes tests and exams, consult CTSI’s information on Online Exams and Online Proctoring Guidelines, How to Hold a Vote to Modify Methods of Evaluation, information on the University’s plagiarism detection tool, Administering Take-Home Exams Using the Assignments Tool in Quercus (video) and Using Quercus Quizzes Tool for Automated Online Test (video).
- Use the Rubrics tool to define assignment expectations and grading criteria to students before they submit. After they submit, use the rubric to facilitate providing feedback.
- Use the Gradebook to give students access to their grades and feedback. View the tip sheets: Enter grades manually in Gradebook, Adding a grade column for a non-submission assignment and Multimedia feedback in SpeedGrader
- For all information about the course evaluation framework at the University of Toronto, including important dates and timelines, and any important notices, please visit courseevaluations.utoronto.ca.
Consult the CTSI Online Learning Instructor Toolkit for additional strategies for effective teaching in the online environment.