What is Quercus?
Quercus (Canvas) is the University of Toronto’s academic toolbox (or Learning Management Ecosystem). Quercus offers an advanced content design, a variety of student communication tools, easy-to-use course administration features and mobile applications for access to key functions from a phone or tablet. Through a number of built-in tools and effective integration of other educational technologies, this powerful “app store” platform allows for greater pedagogical flexibility and engagement. TA roles and responsibilities in Quercus can vary from developing and managing course content, creating rubrics and adding grades, to moderating various activities. This tip sheet will guide you through the process of getting training, accessing resources, and exploring strategies to enhance your expertise on Quercus.
Visit Quercus. Use your UTORid and password to access the toolbox. To activate your UTORid, visit the Activation website. If you are experiencing issues with your UTORid and password, please contact the Information Commons Help Desk. You can also use the Canvas Teacher App to access and manage Quercus.
Identifying Local and Central Quercus (and EdTech) Support
Each division at U of T has identified key contact and supports related to Quercus. If you have questions or wish to speak with an individual, please contact your divisional support representative. If your division does not have a key EdTech support contact, does not offer training or technical support, you can reach out to the central office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training and support are offered divisionally and centrally in-person through online webinars and self- directed online learning resources. Begin with the “Quickstart Quercus: a basic introduction” video for U of T faculty and staff.
The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program offers a one-hour online asynchronous “Introduction to Quercus” module. Consult the Quercus Videos and Workshop Recordings webpage for additional online training videos.
External resources and free training options are offered through the Canvas Training webpage and the Canvas Community website. To get started with Canvas, visit the Canvas Instructor Guide and the Canvas Glossary.
Using Quercus and the Academic Toolbox
Quercus support resources are housed under the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation’s “Educational Technology” webpage. Here, you’ll find information about building a course, adding students to Quercus, using the gradebook, and more. Use the links below to access specific aspects of building and managing course elements in Quercus:
- Organize Content
- Connect and Communicate with Students
- Assess Student Work and Provide Feedback
- Teach from a Distance
Integrated Tools in Quercus
There are various built-in tools available in Quercus as well as external apps, which have been integrated into the toolbox. View the list of Integrated Tools that are available for use in Quercus courses.
If you want U of T to integrate new tools (apps, platforms, software, devices, etc.) into the Toolbox, you can submit an idea on the Academic & Collaborative Technology (ACT) Submit Ideas page.
Supporting your Students in Quercus
When your students have questions about course access, need an introduction to the toolbox, require instructions on finding their way around Quercus, view grades, or have other questions, direct them to the Student Quercus Guide PDF and the Quercus for Students blog. Share with your students the introduction to Quercus video: “Overview of Quercus for students” to get them started. More documentation related to specific tools integrated into Quercus is available on the Student Quercus Support Resources.
Quercus Accessibility Considerations
Quercus (Canvas) is designed to provide an accessible experience to all users. Consult the Accessibility within Canvas webpage for the platform’s accessibility standards. TAs can use the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor to create accessible content. Alt text should be added to embedded images, and closed captions should be included for uploaded videos.
The TATP Toolkit provides additional information about document, image, and video accessibility: