Getting started with Ontario Exchange
OEX Process at a Glance
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 support for 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?
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.
Project Types and Requirements
Project types and typical use-cases
Currently, three types of projects can be submitted for Ontario Exchange support, Funded Support , Fast Track and Support for Recent Graduates:
Support for Recent Graduates
Matching and Funding
After signing up for an account, you can use the ‘New 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 Client-Supplier Agreement (CSA).
- 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.)
Please note that at the project application (EOI) stage the signing authority of the institution must be aware of the project and be willing to properly authorize any reporting or agreements throughout the Project, including sign off on the Client-Supplier Agreement.
Requirements for Fast Track projects
- Eligibility: All eCampusOntario member institutions are eligible to apply.
- 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.
Requirements for Support for Recent Graduates projects
- Eligibility: All eCampusOntario member institutions are eligible to apply. All qualified service providers are eligible to apply. An individual with signing authority to bind the member institution/business must sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). A recent graduate is defined as an individual that has graduated within 24 months of the project application date.
- Project Creation: Applicants must submit a project application to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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).
- Reporting: Support for Recent Graduates projects must complete a monthly reporting process to submit invoices for payment and record their progress. Reports are completed via pdf form submitted to email@example.com, at the end of each month. Timely payment for recent graduates can only be guaranteed for institutions/businesses who complete their reporting on time.
- Licensing and Retention of Final Product: Preference will be given to projects that will result in Open Educational Resources (OERs) that will be shared with eCampusOntario’s Open Library. This will enable the final product to be released with the appropriate license which may allow others to freely retain, revise, reuse, remix and redistribute the content.
- Acknowledgement of Provincial Funding: Acknowledge Government of Ontario and eCampusOntario in all communications regarding the project.
- 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.)
Quick Start Guide
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. Though this process is subject to change, a typical Funded Support application window might look like:
- The application windows will be announced on the eCampusOntario website and on eCO’s social media accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn).
- The application window opens. Funded Support launches on the platform, and projects can be created from your user dashboard. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds have been distributed.
- Evaluation begins, during this time, your project card on your dashboard will read ‘Project pending’. Successful projects will be announced at the end of an internal evaluation process, informed via email, and their project cards will then allow them to browse the supplier directory.
Support for Recent Graduates through Ontario Exchange is available via the Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS). Funding windows will open periodically throughout the year and applications are only accepted while these windows are open.
- Submit an application form to firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the application form, visit Other resources. Submissions will be internally evaluated, and successful projects will be informed via email. Applicants can be either a member institution or qualified service provider.
- Sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Once you have been approved for funding you will be required to sign a MOU. To view the MOU, visit Other resources on your dashboard if you create a profile on the OEX portal. After finalizing the MOU, which requires the submission of proof of the recent graduate’s completed degree or certificate (i.e., diploma or transcript), the recent graduate can begin working.
- Complete monthly reporting. Monthly reporting will be required for payment and can be completed by submitting the monthly reporting form for recent graduates to email@example.com. To view the form, visit Other resources on your dashboard if you create a profile on the OEX portal. The monthly reporting period opens on the 15th of each month, and reports are due on the last day of each month. For example, September reporting will open on September 15th and close on September 30th. It is the institution/business’ responsibility to complete Monthly Reporting for each month along with submitting an invoice. If the submission deadline is missed, your invoice will not be paid until the following payment period.
- Complete an exit survey. When your recent graduate has completed their work, you will be sent a link to complete an exit survey for your OEX Support for Recent Graduates project. Your final invoice will not be paid until the exit survey has been completed. Your feedback supports the further development of OEX, provides key data towards our reporting requirements for the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and ensures accountability for our Qualified Service Providers.
- (Preference will be given to applicants that plan to submit the project’s final output.) Submit an open educational resource (OER). The final step will be to submit open educational resources (OERs) to the Open Library, if your project has resulted in an OER. In the past this has been completed via online form. As the completion date approaches, more details about project submission will be provided. For further information please visit the FAQ page, which can also be found on your dashboard.
Creating a new project
- After creating a new account, users will land on their Dashboard page where they can create and manage projects. Create a new project via the “New Project +” button.
- Select a project type before proceeding. See the section “Project Types and Requirements” above for the differences between project types.
- Each Project Type will have a separate application form, with mostly common questions between them. For an overview of each project applications questions, see this document and be sure to check the next section for evaluation criteria.
- If you have submitted a Fast Track project, you may proceed to Step 5.
Funded Support and Support for Recent Graduates projects will need to go through an evaluation before being able to match with a Service Provider. Your project card in the Dashboard will show ‘Project Pending’. Below are the general evaluation criteria used by our evaluators, subject to change.
|Project scope and objectives are clearly articulated||20%||Project objectives, scope, deliverables, content, and value are well articulated, and fit into larger strategic plans to increase the impact of the resource created.|
|Overall accessibility of the resource being created||20%||A plan to meet AODA compliance is a minimum. Higher scores are given to applications that have plans in place for increasing the impact of a resource by increasing its overall accessibility. Also, applications with explicit articulation of OER creation/usage/re-usage will be prioritized.|
|Demonstrates commitment of PSI resources and effective use of OEX service providers||15%||PSI resources will be committed to support OEX service providers, making effective use of OEX support by ensuring smooth onboarding, necessary project management or subject matter expert (SME) support, clear communication channels, accountability structures etc. |
E.g., PSI explicitly lists ample project management and subject matter expert (SME) support when requesting OEX multimedia and graphic design support.
|Project timeline and/or milestones clearly articulated||15%||Application provides a clear timeline and milestones, as well as describing any current progress or resources currently committed to the project.|
|Requested resources and service request are appropriate to scope of project||30%||Considering all the above, the application demonstrates an understanding of the services being requested. Support hours requested are appropriate to the scale of the project, supportive roles have been committed, the deliverables well-articulated, and timelines realistic.|
‘Connecting’ and Choosing a Service Provider
See an in-depth Connecting and Matching guide here.
- Should your application be successful, your project card will show the number of connects you have, and a new ‘See Matched Service Providers’ button will appear. Use this button to access the Service Provider Directory. Change the filters on the left-side bar to narrow or widen your search.
- Note: Funded Support and Support for Recent Graduates projects will only show Qualified Service Providers, vetted by eCampusOntario. Fast Track projects will show both Qualified, and then General Service Providers, qualified service providers will be displayed in the list first and with a green background to their name.
- Click on a Service Provider to see what services they offer and browse their portfolio. Once you have found a Service Provider you are interested in, use the button in the upper left corner below the profile picture that says ‘Connect with [supplier name]’ to connect with the supplier. Connecting with a Service Provider will forward your application to the supplier so they can review the project and decide if they would like to dialogue further with you about the project. At this point you may also decide to reach out to the Service Provider to meet.
- Note: PSI Leads have three available Connects to use per project. Connects can be returned by Service Providers who reject your project. If a Service Provider with whom you have Connected has not responded in two weeks, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- After speaking to a few Service Providers, you may finalize your choice on your dashboard via your Project Card.
- Fast Track projects: Find the ‘Actions’ menu in the Card, and select ‘Select Final Service Provider’, using the drop-down menu to select your Service Provider. This is the end of the process! You may begin your project.
- Funded Support projects require a few more steps. Continue to the next section before using the ‘Select Final Service Provider’ button.
Scoping work and completing the Client-Supplier Agreement
- For Funded Support projects, you will need to complete a Client-Supplier Agreement or CSA. The CSA sets the scope, deliverables, and requirements of the project, and is a document both the Service Provider and Project Lead will need to agree to. You can find a copy of the CSA in Other Resources. Work with your Service Provider to complete the document and come to an agreement on the final deliverables and scope of your project.
- Once complete, submit the CSA via the OEX portal. Navigate to your dashboard and use the ‘Actions’ button on your Project Card to ‘Select Final Service Provider’. From the pop-up, choose your Service Provider from the list provided, and upload your CSA.
- The OEX team will take some time to review your CSA. Should we have any feedback, or should your CSA be approved, we will reach out via email.
- After receiving your email approval, you may start your project!
Monthly reporting for Funded Support projects
See an in-depth Monthly Reporting guide here.
The Monthly Reporting period opens on the 15th of each month, and reports are due on the last day of each month. For example, September reporting will open on September 15, lasting until September 30.
During this time, your Project Card’s ‘Actions’ menu will display ‘Submit Monthly Report’. As the PSI Lead, it is your responsibility to complete Monthly Reporting for each month, regardless of if work has been completed for your project, until the completion of your project.
- Click ‘Submit Monthly Report’ to begin the process.
- If no work has been completed, select that option and submit your report. You have now finished Monthly Reporting
- If work has been completed that month, select that option. Complete your status report, reporting any amendments if required.
- Your Service Provider will be prompted during the Monthly Reporting period to submit any required invoices. They will be displayed on this page once they have submitted them. Be sure to download a copy of the invoice for your own records.
Closing and submitting your finished project
Congratulations! You have completed your Funded Support project. Two small steps remain, completing an Exit Survey, and submitting your project to the Open Library.
- A link to a survey will be sent to you to complete an Exit Survey for your OEX Funded Support project. Your supplier’s final invoice will not be paid until the exit survey has been completed. Your feedback supports the further development of OEX, provides key data towards our reporting requirements for the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, and ensures accountability for our Qualified Service Providers.
- The final step will be to submit educational resources to the Open Library, a requirement of OEX Funded Support projects. In the past this has been completed via online form. As the completion date approaches, more details about project submission will be provided.
Glossary of Terms
|Connect||Connects are like tokens that enable Post-Secondary Institutions (PSIs) to connect with a service provider. Connects are present in all project types and are used when a PSI Lead would like to express interest in a Service Provider, usually leading to discussing the details of a project. When a Connect is sent, the information in the project application will be sent to the Service Provider.|
|CSA||Client-Supplier Agreement. A CSA is signed during a Funded Support or Support for New Graduate project once a PSI Lead has decided to proceed with a specific Service Provider. The CSA outlines the project scope, which both parties will agree to.|
|eCO||eCampusOntario – is a provincially-funded non-profit organization that leads a consortium of the province’s publicly-funded colleges, universities and indigenous institutes to develop and test online learning tools to advance the use of education technology and digital learning environments.|
|EOI||Expression of Interest – this is the project application that a PSI submits on the Ontario Exchange portal.|
|HEI||Higher Education Institution – see PSI description.|
|Member Institution||The Ontario Colleges, Indigenous Institutes, and Universities that are members of eCampusOntario.|
|Monthly Report||Process in Funded Support and Support for Recent Graduate projects in which Service Providers submit their invoices, and PSI Leads submit their status report for the month.|
|OER||Open Educational Resource – these are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. To learn more, you can visit https://www.ecampusontario.ca/open-education-resources/|
|OEX||Ontario Exchange – a matchmaking platform connecting educators at Ontario post-secondary institutions with professionals and service providers in the virtual learning industry. May also be referred to as the ‘platform’ or ‘portal’.|
|PSI Lead or Project Lead||For OEX, we will refer to the lead contact (or project applicant) on the institutional side as the PSI Lead or Project Lead.|
|PSI||Post-Secondary Institution, this includes Ontario Colleges, Indigenous Institutes, and Universities that are members of eCampusOntario.|
|PSE||Post-Secondary Education (i.e., sector)|
|RFSQ||Request for Supplier Qualification. Process in which Service Providers apply to become qualified as Vendors of Record with eCampusOntario.|
|Service Provider||Freelancers and companies that create profiles on Ontario Exchange, offering their services to create digital-by-design educational resources. Service Providers can be General Service Providers or Qualified Service Providers, the latter of which are qualified by eCampusOntario and able to take on Funded Support Projects and Support for Recent Graduate projects. Service Providers may also be referred to as suppliers or vendors.|
|Dashboard||This is the home page that both PSIs and Suppliers will see when they are logged into their OEX accounts. It will contain project cards, and links to the Getting Started Guide, FAQs and Other resources.|
|Project Card||Project cards represent your submitted projects and can be found in your dashboard. Use them to ‘See Matched Service Providers’ or complete certain actions when they are available to you (i.e., Monthly Reporting).|
|Supplier||See Service Provider description.|
|Vendor||See Service Provider description.|
|Fast Track||Applicants who do not require funded support but would like to be matched with a skilled virtual learning services supplier for last-mile support or to fill a key role can apply through Ontario Exchange’s Fast Track program.|
|Recent Graduate||Successful applications through this track will receive funding for recent graduates (defined as those who have graduated within 24 months of the application date) from post-secondary programs in instructional design, learning experience design and other programs relevant to developing virtual learning materials. Ontario Exchange will provide funding to cover the project costs associated with hiring of a recent graduate.|
|Funded Support||Successful applications through this track will receive matches with skilled professionals and consultancies, and have their projects funded by Ontario Exchange. Projects will have to meet eligibility and reporting requirements, described within the application.|
|Submittable||Ontario Exchange is using the platform Submittable for efficient intake of project applications (EOIs). Privacy and security considerations Submittable encrypts the transmission of information using secure socket layer technology (SSL) and follows industry standards to protect the information they store (GDPA & HIPPA compliant). Submittable uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to store data and all data/information will be transmitted and stored outside of Canada. Submittable also maintains industry standards in accessibility (WCAG 2.0 compliant).|