Video Tutorials: Pepper, Quercus, Zoom

This space can get you started with resources around PeppeR, Quercus and PeppeR and integrating Zoom resources. We will add more resources later, based on your feedback. 

Helpful Tutorial Videos 

What is PeppeR?

PeppeR can be described as a web-based collaborative learning environment that provides a workspace where students can engage in in-depth inquiry.  PeppeR offers a variety of specialized knowledge building features and social networking tools that support learners of all ages in their efforts to share information, identify key ideas, and progressively work to improve those ideas.

In doing so, PeppeR allows educators and instructional designers to customize the learning environment to their pedagogical or instructional preferences. Accordingly, tenets of flexible learning (ex. inform, engage, communicate, collaborate, curate, inform, assess) enable participants to optimize the educational experience. You can learn more about PeppeR HERE

Two versions of PeppeR

There are two versions of PeppeR, Quercus Pepper and Standalone Pepper.  Quercus Pepper is designed for people who are familiar with Quercus. We generally recommend that novice instructors use Quercus Pepper, but both versions are available to all OISE instructors.   


HERE are some resources to get yourself oriented with Quercus.

The Centre for Teaching Support and Learning at UofT (CTSI) has a quick guide set up to Learn how to do specific tasks on Quercus. You can also get one-on-one support on using Quercus from a staff member at CTSI.

Quercus PeppeR

To use Pepper within your Quercus course shell, simply add Pepper as a Quercus class utility.  Here’s a video that shows you how you do that: Adding Pepper to Quercus 

Once you add Pepper to your Quercus course shell, both you and your students will have full access to Pepper. 

Here is a brief introduction to Pepper in Quercus for instructors.

If you have any problems setting up Pepper in Quercus, please contact Jim Hewitt at

Watch Dr. Alexandra Makos run a course environment overview using Canvas + PeppeR HERE (10 minutes)

Standalone PeppeR

The standalone version of Pepper doesn’t require Quercus.  However, it requires an additional step or two to set up. 


Step 1 If you don’t already have a Pepper account, create one for yourself.  Go to:

 -On the sign-in page, click on the “Register” button and create a Login name and Password for yourself.  If you have any problems doing this, please contact Jim Hewitt at   

 -Once you have created a login and password, return to the login page and enter your new Login name and Password:

 -Click on the “Sign In” button. You should now be signed into Pepper!


Step 2 Create a Pepper community for your course.  Here is how you create a Pepper community: 

 -When you create your Pepper community, be sure to write down the access code.  You will need to give the access code to your students.


Step 3 Set up your course with readings, discussion questions, and so forth. 

 THIS video that shows you how to do these things. 

Step 4:  Invite the students in your course to join your Pepper community.  Be sure to give them the access code. Here is a template email message that you can use:

Pepper Sign in Page

Here is the link to the Pepper sign in page

TIP: Please create a Bookmark (or a Favorite) for this link.

Already have a PeppeR account?

Step 1: If you already have an account on Pepper, you can skip this step and go to Step 2.  Otherwise, you will first need to create a Pepper account. To create an account, click on the “Register” button on the bottom of the sign in page.  This will prompt you to enter your name, email address (please use your university email) and select a password. Once you do this, you will have an account.  Please write down your user name and password so you do not forget it! Then return to the sign in page and login.

Step 2 After you login, you need to connect to our course.  Click on “Join a community” and enter the access code

Getting set up on PeppeR 

The following short videos take you through some of the set ups you’ll want to consider prior to your course start.

How to create a profile picture  (1:06 minutes)

How to change your password  (0:47 seconds)

How to join a Pepper Community (1:04 minutes)

Questions about PeppeR folders? 

In Pepper, course content is grouped in folders that can be shared between communities. Folders can be nested,  be visible or hidden from students or have custom access permissions. Learn about some of folder fundamentals on the PeppeR platform here:

How do I create an announcements folder? (3:52 minutes)

How do I create a dropbox folder? (6:03 minutes)

How do I change the name of a folder?  (0:50 seconds)

How do I delete a folder? (0:32 seconds)

How do I share a folder across several communities? (3:46)

What is a ‘Note’ in PeppeR?

What is a note, you ask? The essence of Pepper discussions are the “Notes”. Notes in PeppeR are a powerful tool for knowledge construction through a collaborative, threaded discourse and are the focus of many courses that use this environment. Instructors or students who want to share content with or reply to others in the community can do so via writing a Note. 

Much like online forums, the body of the environment is structured in folders, within which threaded discussions take place. Student participation within these discussions typically involves the posting of “notes” in a folder associated with course content, reading notes posted by others, and then replying to them. 

How to create a note (1:13 minutes)

How to reply to a note (0:41 seconds)

Below are other videos to help with specific needs:

How to embed a video in your note (1:14 minutes)

How to add an image to your note (0:52 seconds)

How to add audio to your note  (1:00 minute)

How to link to another note or to a web site (1:48 minutes)

How to attach files to a note (0:48 seconds)

How to coauthor a note with other people (0:44 seconds)

How to make a note private (0:24 seconds)

How to reply to someone privately  (0:40 seconds)

How to read notes more effectively

How do I delete a whole bunch of notes at once? 

Check out some recordings from previous PeppeR courses

Below are some recordings from courses using the PeppeR platform. You might find it helpful to see how experienced instructors navigate the PeppeR environment differently.

Watch Dr. Alexandra Makos run a course orientation on PeppeR HERE (15 minutes)

Watch Dr. Clare Brett provide a weekly video summary of her course HERE (9 minutes)

 Make a student sign-up sheet

Where can I find a class list / grade sheet? 

How do I change the text in the banner?

Gamification on PeppeR

Zoom Resources can be found here

Zoom How-To Videos

Managing Breakout Rooms in Zoom

Sharing and Annotating on a Whiteboard

Zoom Security Resources by Education Commons

Recorded Training Sessions


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