Third Party Instructional Technologies

The University of Toronto supports a variety of instructional technology tools which are used alongside Quercus. (more...)   These are known collectively as "The Academic Toolbox" because they have been vetted for usability, pedagogical alignment, enterprise scalability, security, best practices and interoperability (more...).  Usually the university has entered into a formal contractual agreement with the providers of these services.

Some third party instructional technologies represent new and unproven systems which instructors may want to explore since they involve new forms of teaching and learning.  But--

If you are considering using a third-party teaching tool, please consider the following:

- Is there a tool already in the academic toolbox or elsewhere at U of T which supports your goals, that has been vetted for best practices?

- Does the third-party tool integrate with Quercus?  If integration is important, or many instructors are requesting the tool, a review must be conducted.

- Is the student data stored in the cloud?  Our learning community needs to ensure students feel comfortable opting-in or opting-out based on informed consent of the risk-benefit.  We also need to be vigilant that service-providers honour end user agreements.  Review the instructions for third party integrations and, "Piazza Statement for Instructors".

- Does this tool cost students money?  Review the Provostial Guidelines on the Use of Digital Learning Materials.  Most students are on a budget; how much will it cost and does it fall within the limit?  In this connection consider if this tool might be bundled with a course pack or if a subscription can serve more than one course in a program.

While third party tools might involve additional effort at assessment over time, U of T is fully committed to instructional practitioners exploring new methods with students as this is how we grow and improve teaching and learning practice.

Please contact Brian Sutherland, Dina Soliman, or Adon Irani at for further information, if you are considering the use of a Third Party instructional tool in your course: we can help!