Academic Toolbox Renewal

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We are currently conducting interviews with our major stakeholder groups – academic and appropriate administrative divisions – here at the University of Toronto. The purpose of these interviews and conversations is to identify and solicit the collective functional requirements for our Learning Management Engine. In order to help stakeholders think about these requirements, we are adopting a process loosely modeled on the Mini-Delphi Method, where we will share the ideas being collected back with the community while they are being collected. You can find these “trending” ideas listed below, and of course, you can comment on them using the feedback form available from the menu at the top of this page.

Trending Requirements (last update Nov. 13, 2015):

The need for additional instructional design / educational developer support
 / Faculty Development / Professional Development.

1.    Good user interface
2.    Better mobile interfaces
3.    AODA compliance
4.    Ability to turn on / shut off features at an instructor level, not just global controls
5.    Ability to manage user interface
6.    Sub-domain (divisional) branding

Integration with Educational Administrative Systems:
1.    ROSI/ACRON/eMarks integration
2.    Specialized alternate registration systems (e.g. for continuing education)
3.    Integration with curriculum mapping / syllabus management solutions.
4.    Client Relationship Management software
5.    External partner systems (e.g. LHP, internship/field placement management systems)
6.    Event management systems

Roles and Groups Management  / Access:
1.    UofT Single Sign On (SSO)
2.    Access via federated / guest IDs
3.    Ability to manage different roles / views / groups (including granularity of permissions)
4.    Interoperability with a Learning Records Store / securely exposed data to & from LME
5.    Ability for instructors to allow student self-selection of groups
6.    Ability to use pseudonyms and/or participate anonymously (at discretion of instructor)

Content Management:
1.    Drop-box like functionality
2.    Course content management including the ability to handle large file sizes (of multiple formats).
3.    Access content over multiple years.
4.    Manage cohort experiences (not just course-based experiences) – e.g., the ability to access content across courses.
5.    Link to external content, services, tools (with or without SSO).
6.    Curate / link / export content to external and transportable archive / portfolio (including more automated archiving)
7.    Annotate content, and capture metadata and provenance.
8.    Ability to tag content/activities/experiences against mapped curriculum objectives (e.g. for competency-based education)
9.    Better portfolio options

Grade management:
1.    Easy and reliable grade management
2.    Maintain privacy of grades (and of assignments)
3.    Ease of exporting grades and improved reliability of gradebook data
4.    Ability to important grades from other assessment tools
5.    Ability to create / assign practice (non-graded) activities

External Educational Application Integration:
(note that we are capturing specific tool requests for separate conversations; 
broad tool types are being reported here)
1.    Proctoring solutions
2.    Simulation software
3.    Video recording/hosting/sharing
4.    Interactive module creation tools (e.g. Storyline)
5.    Gamification tools
6.    Integration with Productivity tools (e.g. Office365, Skype)
7.    Integration with Web Publishing tools (e.g. WordPress)

1.    A range of communications options (instructor-to-student, student-to-student, etc.)
2.    The ability for instructors to provide feedback directly to students
3.    Ability to delegate communication tools to student facilitation (e.g. student initiated discussion)
4.    The ability to communicate directly with students from any point within the ecosystem.
5.    Communicate with external partners (e.g. preceptors)
6.    Integration with alternate communication channels (à la Disqus)

1.    More quiz and exam delivery options
2.    More support for co-teaching models
3.    Experimental course sites as safe spaces where instructors can experiment
4.    Protect personal information / intellectual property
5.    IMS and related standards compliance (e.g. LTI, SCORM, etc.)
6.    The ability to access the toolbox / tools from behind firewalls / countries & organization with restricted access
7.    Windows, Mac, Linux / mobile
8.    Integration with Classroom Technologies (e.g. clickers)
9.    Better calendar options and features (including self-subscription)


A portion of our most recent conversations have focused on additional areas of concern around interface design, system interoperability, content control and management, more granularity around roles and permissions.

As stated above, in addition to Learning Management Engine requirements, we are also receiving many suggestions for specific teaching tools and experiences, such as peer review tools, computer-based assessment tools, classroom technology integration, lecture capture, wikis, etc. While those kinds of suggestions are out of scope for this LME portion of the Toolbox Renewal process, we are capturing all that data and will publish out those recommendations under separate cover.

Finally, the following linked document will give the reader a fulsome picture of the range of technical specifications and requirements that may need to be included when considering the deployment and use of an enterprise LME: