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Online and Distance Education at OISE

Downtime Procedures

What to Do and Try

Downtime is when you cannot access your course environment online due to technical difficulties beyond your control. There are a number of systems and servers that exist within the institution - UofT systems, OISE systems, course systems and individual courses.

Problems in your specific course?
If you can not access a particular resource, or can not find a file in your course, please contact your instructor FIRST so they can contact us. There are times that corruptions can occur. In such a situation, more than one person in the course will usually be experiencing the same problems. You should attempt to connect with your peers and instructor to find out prior to submitting help requests.

At certain times, a course may go down for various technical reasons. This means that temporarily, you will not have access to the conference or course environment. Please do not be alarmed. Consider these items:


First Aid Procedures

Always Start By:

  • Checking your computer cables - sometimes cables become loose.
  • Checking if you can access other web sites you don't usually visit.
  • Checking for generic computer problems (see Eliminate Other Problems below).
  • Checking for Internet connection problems (wireless, ethernet), always restart and reconnect and/or talk to your service provider.

What to expect...


UofT Blackboard Learning Portal

Blackboard is served through UofT systems. Any maintenance and problems are reported at the UofT Portal site.  Scheduled downtime for the UofT Blackboard Learning Portal will also be posted on the main OISE online/DE home page.

Tutorial videos on how to prepare for a online Blackboard test:

Blackboard Tests Part 1

Blackboard Tests Part 2


Be Assured that All Courses/Systems are Monitored

If an incident were to happen during off-hours, you may be required to wait until the next business day for access. We are sorry for any inconvenience here.

Please attempt to work with your course material allowing for some timing flexibility since technical problems can never be eliminated entirely.

Server Problems

If there is a more serious overall server problem (at UofT or OISE) - these are monitored daily 24/7. Staff resolve such issues immediately.

Planned Downtime

You should be notified of any pre-planned downtime either via our homepage, or from your instructor which will generally be posted in the announcements section of your course. If problems cause course restrictions for any lengthy period, a notification would be given to your instructor to advise you of the exact day and time of the repair.

We aim to provide the best service during the course of the semester and to minimize any downtime that may cause disruption to your learning. We do appreciate your patience in the matter if this situation would arise.

Thank you!


Generic Computer Problems

Eliminate Other Problems
Check these computer considerations to ensure you have eliminated most of the common technical problems:

  • Cookies and Javascript must be enabled in your browser.
  • Disable any proxy accounts while using WebKF.
  • Clear the browser cache.
  • Try a different browser - we recommend Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.
  • Shut things off and turn them back on especially if you detect an equipment glitch. You may do this with:
  1. the browser (close and open Firefox or Internet Explorer) and
  2. your entire computer (shut down and restart).
  • If you feel that you are not able to access the course AFTER eliminating computer glitches, please contact your instructor to advise of the issue and/or contact the main UofT Portal HelpDesk.
  • For technical support NOT related to WebKF, or to aid with your browser settings, contact the CCP.





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