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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Directives on the use of Digital Learning Resources for Assessment Purposes

Classification number ACD 1599.07
Parent policy Academic Staff Responsibilities with Regard to Students
Framework category Academic
Approving authority Academic Council
Policy owner Vice-President, Academic and Provost
Approval date June 25, 2019
Review date June 2022
Last updated Editorial Amendments, February 18, 2020


To provide direction on the use of those digital learning resources (DLR) for which there is a charge in accordance with the Ministry Tuition Fee Framework and Ancillary Fee Guidelines for Publicly-Assisted Universities.


For the purposes of these Procedures the following definitions apply:
“Digital learning resource (DLR)” means materials (e.g. online applications) as well as associated devices (e.g. clickers) that would aid or facilitate instruction, learning, and assessment.
“Ministry” means the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Scope and authority

These Directives apply to the use of DLRs for assessment purposes in credit courses and programs at the university.
Digital Resources approved through the ancillary fee process are exempt from these Directives.
The Provost, or successor thereof, is responsible for overseeing the implementation, administration and interpretation of these Directives.


The Ministry permits, under certain conditions, the universities to ask students to purchase digital learning materials/resources. DLRs can include access to online learning resources or databases. Digital test/assessment tools can include simulation tools, online quizzes and online exercises.

Note: In establishing these Directives, the University acknowledges that it is the responsibility of instructors to determine what resources are most appropriate in supporting students’ learning.

  1.  In all cases, instructors are strongly encouraged to consider the affordability of the resource(s) for students. Instructors should first reach out to the University's Teaching and Learning Centre to discuss DLR alternatives and seek cost-effective measures already provided at the institution prior to determining if they may need to ask students to purchase a DLR for assessment purposes.
  2. When such DLRs are not appropriate, the instructor may ask students to purchase DLRs provided the following conditions are fulfilled:
    1. Instructors may require students to purchase physical and/or digital textbooks that have bundled software or online access to additional learning resources, provided students have options to purchase the bundled components separately (students shall not be required to purchase e-textbooks to obtain the assessment component of the materials).
    2. When selecting a DLR, instructors should ensure that the resource meets the requirements and guidelines of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). For guidance or help on whether a DLR is compliant, contact the Teaching and Learning Center.
    3. Instructors may assign 20% of their students’ overall grade in a course to assessment activities purchased as DLRs. In exceptional circumstances the Dean can approve written requests for the use of these resources for mandatory assessments that have a higher value.
    4. Where an exception is made to the maximum assessment amount the instructor must provide a no-fee alternative to assessment activities upon request (this may include re-weighting of other assessment components).
    5. The maximum cost permitted per one term course for purchased DLRs will be $100 (before taxes). Instructors may request an exception to the maximum amount with the Dean. Such a request must be made and approved in writing.
    6. A general bursary is available through financial aid to assist students in need.
    7. Instructors will communicate details concerning the use of DLRs clearly in their course syllabus. These outlines are submitted to the dean’s office. Course syllabi will indicate, where relevant:
      • The DLRs (required or optional), including test/assessment tools;
      • The weight of the total course grade associated with the use of the test/assessment tools;
      • The details on how to obtain such material, and;
      • The details on the no-fee alternative (if applicable).
Deans must report their faculty use of DLRs to the ancillary fee committee annually by November 1st. The report must include the following: course code, cost, digital learning resource name, and assessment weight. The purpose of this reporting is to gather data that will help the University to review and revise this policy as necessary.

Monitoring and review

These Directives will be reviewed at least every three years unless the Ministry’s Tuition Fee Framework and Ancillary Fee Guidelines is reviewed and updated before then. The Provost, or successor thereof, is responsible to monitor and review these Directives.

Relevant legislation

Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, Tuition Fee Framework and Ancillary Fee Guidelines for Publicly Assisted Universities.

Related policies, procedures & documents

Academic Staff Responsibilities with Regard to Students (ADM 1599.02)