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Getting started with Ontario Exchange as an Educator

Introduction: Connecting to Create

Ontario Exchange is a matchmaking platform connecting educators at Ontario post-secondary institutions with professionals and service providers in the virtual learning industry. Educators submit projects and service requests and are then able to browse Ontario Exchange’s directory of service providers. Service providers create profiles on the platform specifying the types of services they provide and connect with eCampusOntario’s member institutions via Ontario Exchange.

As an educator, Ontario Exchange offers you a centralized place to find the support you need to start your next virtual learning project: connect to a wide variety of service providers, from freelancers,  smaller boutique agencies and larger companies. Browse profiles and portfolios on the platform, apply for funding when available, and explore other supports offered by eCampusOntario, all through Ontario Exchange.

What support can I receive from Ontario Exchange?

At its core, Ontario Exchange offers two types of support, matching and funding. By submitting a project, you can browse and match with professionals and agencies who provide a wide range of services related to virtual learning: from instructional design to graphic design, and copy editors to extended reality development. Periodically, with support from the Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS), Ontario Exchange is also able to provide funding for projects that meet certain eligibility requirements and successfully pass an internal evaluation. Approved projects are awarded funding on a first-come, first-served basis until available funding has been allocated. Ontario Exchange also offers Fast Track supportfor projects that do not require funding support but are looking for matches to professional services. Read more below in ‘Project Types.’

Who can use Ontario Exchange?

Ontario Exchange is open to all educators and staff at eCampusOntario member institutions. Please contact exchange@ecampusontario.ca with other inquiries.

What types of services providers are on Ontario Exchange?

Click here to see the full range of services that providers can offer, and how Ontario Exchange defines these services. Due to the open and evolving nature of digital-by-design virtual learning, there may be service types not listed that the Ontario Exchange team will consider; be sure

Submitting a Project to Ontario Exchange

Project types and typical use-cases

Currently, two types of projects can be submitted for Ontario Exchange support, Funded Support and Fast Track:

Funded Support Fast Track
Project information
Matching and Funding
– Apply for funding through an expression of interest process, successful applicants receive funding for their service request.
– Successful applicants choose from Ontario Exchange’s qualified service providers, who have gone through a special qualifying and vetting process to be eligible for Funded Support projects.
– This project type must meet certain eligibility, project, and reporting requirements.
– The final product of Funded Support projects must be submitted to eCampusOntario’s Open Library as a shareable and editable educational resource, to be shared across the province.
-Applications open periodically throughout the year.
Matching only
– Fast, convenient access to all industry professionals in the Ontario Exchange directory. This includes all qualified and general service providers.
– Applicants are responsible for funding and communicating with their service provider of choice.
– Always available and can be used any time
Typical use-cases
– Service requests are typically between 50 and 300 hours
– Funding is required to complete the project
– Wide range of cases have been fulfilled by Ontario Exchange: course migration, net new content creation, translation or remixing of existing OERs, course refreshes etc. See what’s been made with support through Ontario Exchange.
– Any combination of services can be requested
– Member institution teams are expected to work closely with service providers: applications evaluated based on how well service provider will be supported (e.g. close integration with team, project management, SME support available)
– Used when missing a key role or require last-mile support for a project already underway
– Used when external funding for institutional team is not needed, or intellectual property cannot be shared
Any combination of services can be requested

After signing up for an account, you can use the ‘Create Project’ button from your dashboard page to submit for available project types. Make sure to read the requirements for all project types and understand what you might be required to do. Even before signing up, you can review the detailed project guides for both types below.

Requirements for Funded Support projects

Funded Support projects must adhere to following requirements:

  • Eligibility: All eCampusOntario member institutions are eligible to apply. An individual with signing authority to bind the member institution must sign the attestation. This may also be the Project Lead and designate for reporting.
  • Project Creation: Applicants must submit a project via the Ontario Exchange web platform from a valid account. Applicants confirm that the details they provide within the project creation process are truthful and correct. 
  • Reporting: Funded Support projects must complete a monthly reporting process to submit service provider invoices for payment and record their progress. Reports are completed on Ontario Exchange, at the end of each month. Timely payment for service providers can only be guaranteed for Project Leads who complete their reporting on time. 
  • Licensing of Final Product: Unless otherwise exempted by eCampusOntario, all final products will be released with the appropriate license which may allow others to freely retain, revise, reuse, remix and redistribute the content. For Open Educational Resources (OERs) applicants must ensure that all content (text, images, etc.) be free from copyright restrictions for inclusion in an openly licensed final product
  • Retention of Final Product: Unless otherwise exempted by eCampusOntario, all final products will be submitted to the eCampusOntario Library. This includes all source files and/or editable files used in creating the resource (including any multimedia files) to easily enable further remixing and modification where permitted by the license
  • Acknowledgement of Provincial Funding: Acknowledge Government of Ontario and eCampusOntario in all communications regarding the project
  • Evaluation of Project Outcomes: Agree to participate fully in any evaluation process regarding the initiative (for example, reporting metrics, interview or exit survey)
  • Digital Standards: All applications will prioritize use of tools and technology that are compliant with appropriate standards for openness and interoperability to support adoption and adaptation across multiple platforms that include W3C standards. Applicants will also prioritize use of tools and technology that demonstrate user-centered design; continuous evaluation and improvement; effective use of data; protection of security; and privacy of personal information
  • Accessibility: All content produced under this initiative must be in accessible formats in accordance with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (Ontario)
  • Adherence to Applicable Laws: All products must be in compliance with all applicable legislation, including the Copyright Act (Canada)
  • Records of Expenditures: Agree to maintain appropriate records of expenditures (e.g. records of salaries, expenses, etc.)

 

Requirements for Fast Track projects

  • Eligibility: All eCampusOntario member institutions are eligible to apply. An individual with signing authority to bind the member institution must sign the attestation. This may also be the Project Lead and designate for reporting.
  • Project Creation: Applicants must submit a project via the Ontario Exchange web platform from a valid account. Applicants confirm that the details they provide within the project creation process are truthful and correct.
  • Evaluation of Project Outcomes: Applicants agree to participate fully in any evaluation process regarding the initiative (for example, reporting metrics, interview or exit survey)
  • Number of Projects: Only three (3) Fast Track service projects may be active at any time. To submit new projects, applicants must clear previous projects by completing an exit survey.
  • Responsibility of Applicant: Applicants understand that they will be responsible for all negotiations, contracts, and payment for the service provider they choose. Fast Track provides contact information only, and applicants are solely responsible for conducting their own due diligence on service providers sourced through Ontario Exchange.

Funded Support application windows

Funded Support through Ontario Exchange is available via the Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS). Funding windows open periodically throughout the year, and applications are only accepted while these windows are open. A typical Funded Support application window might look like:

  1. An announcement is made three weeks before the option is made available on the platform.
  2. A question period opens two weeks before the option is made available on the platform.
  3. The application window opens. Funded Support launches on the platform, and projects can be created from your user dashboard. The application window closes three weeks after it is open. 
  4. Evaluation begins, taking 2-3 weeks to complete. During this time, your project card on your dashboard will read ‘Project pending’. Successful projects will be announced at the end of evaluation, informed via email, and their project cards will then allow them to browse the vendor directory