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Online and Distance Education at OISE

Online Learning Environments

Where do you start and what else can you do?



Comparing common online learning environments at OSIE



  • Based on peer-to-peer online collaboration
  • BEST for learning through online discussion or if your course is at a distance.
  • accessible via web browser
  • any email is possible, but is not an email repository
  • three permission levels available - instructor, student and observer.
  • administrative control (e.g. entering participants) by instructor
  • Accounts for non-OISE or UofT visitors easily handled.
  • very simple user-interface
  • uses one layer of conferencing (no nesting) for discussions and resources.
  • allows for linking of notes and ideas BETWEEN conferences.
  • threading of discussion in same window
  • resources stored in one area - requires re-upload with each new curse, no transferable content storage system.
  • extra features
  • can use HTML and customize message
  • small learning curve for both instructors and students 

Quercus (Canvas)

  • Based on managing institutional information and resources
  • Best for resource-oriented courses
  • excellent for large courses
  • management of resources, grades...
  • UofT's official LMS.
  • linked to ACORN and other UofT services and information
  • accessible via browser and mobile app
  • requires UTORID login
  • a course shell is automatically created if the course is official
  • administrative control by instructor, participants are automatically entered if registered in the course.
  • online web conferencing
  • excellent for resource posting and adding web-based information
  • has content storage system and courses can be transfered (copied) for another rendition of a course.
  • offers extra features such as portfolios, grading, assignment uploads
  • small learning curve for students
  • medium learning curve for instructors (administration and setup) depending on complexity of features used



Student Photographs in the EC Online Portal - myStudents

ECStudent photographs are not going to be a standard orientation.  However, any faculty who wishes to use the student photo system for their own course or option is more than welcome to use the self-serve system.  Download our 1 page guide for taking and accessing student photos, or follow the steps below:

Students - taking myProfile photo

You will need a webcam enabled computer and your UTORid username and password to take your photo.

Step 1: Click on "EC Online Portal" link in the Educaton Commons menu above.
Step 2: Login with your UTORid username and password.
Step 3: Click “myProfile” near the top right corner.
Step 5: Click “Edit Profile”.
Step 6: Click “Take Photo”.
Step 7: Scroll down and click “Allow”.
Step 8: Click “Capture” to take a photo.  (You can redo this step as many times as you wish)
Step 9: When you are happy with the image, click the “Save Image” button.
Step 10: Important! When image is saved, also click the “Save Profile Changes” button.

Faculty - accessing myStudents photos

Step 1: Click on "EC Online Portal" link in the Educaton Commons menu above.
Step 2: Login with your UTORid username and password.
Step 3: Click “myStudents ” in the Tools section.
Step 4: Select your Course or Cohort group to view your student's photographs.


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