The following material serves as an extension to the Center for Teaching and Learning’s Transforming Teaching Toolkit. You are encouraged to examine those resources as well.

Inclusivity is a key factor in creating a safe and welcoming learning community. Making small intentional adjustments and additions to your course can make a big impact for students to overcome the potential feeling of isolation.

Recommended Actions for Inclusivity
Recommended Action Why How Examples
Include a Land Acknowledgement in the Begin Here section of your onQ course  or within the syllabus. Inclusivity and diversity are critical components of making a learner feel like they belong and including statements such as a Land Acknowledgement is just one of the many ways you can do this. You could write your own by following the guidelines here: Land Acknowledgement, use the provided example, or poster to the right.

Use the Syllabus Template, which includes a Land Acknowledgement statement. This is available for instructors in the Instructor Resources course. Please let us know if you do not have access so that we can provide it for you.
Sample text and poster provided by the Queen’s University Four Directions Indigenous Centre:

To begin, let us acknowledge that Queen’s is situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory. We are grateful to be able to live, learn and play on these lands."

Sample Poster
Syllabus Template
Utilize a Learner Introduction Discussion Forum

Create a Discussion Forum where students/learners can post an introduction. 
Creating a learning community with your students is a great way to engage students and build connections. A Learner Introduction Forum is available in the Instructor Resources  onQ template course  under the Communications tab, then Discussions. Review this sample forum and make adjustments to suit your needs or context.
Help students become aware of supports available to them. Providing students with detailed information of the various supports available to them will help students thrive while at Queen's University. Utilize the Syllabus template which will have the most current links to the following policies and resources: Academic Integrity, Absences and Academic Accommodation, and Academic and Student Supports.

There is also a First Year resource module that is available in the APSC Template course that outlines some academic, wellness, and other resources. You can access it by clicking here. If you do not have access but would like to view or use these resources, please get in touch with the ETLT.

An updated Syllabus Template is always available on onQ. Search for the Instructor Resources course and let us know if you don't have access so that we can provide it for you.
Set up accommodations within onQ. For students who have documented accommodations, it will be very important to ensure these accommodations are built into the online assessments for these students within onQ. This is done by adding students to  Special Access which allows instructors to apply accommodations such as extra time, alternate due dates, extra attempts, etc. to a student who requires it or has an approved extension request. Review the ways you can add special access to assessments here.
Demonstrate your understanding of the student experience. Demonstrating compassion and understanding for students has a positive impact on everyone’s experience and helps students thrive. Predict potential stresses and challenges to learning that students may face.

Outline instructional strategies that positively impact the student learning experience.

Refer to guidelines from the ETLT and CTL for different teaching strategies. 

Refer to student feedback survey results and aim to implement successful strategies in your course. 
Linking students to mental health and academic support resources, like Student Wellness Services.

Signs of students not coping well in an online or blended environment may be different than in a face-to-face environment. Be aware of things like students not logging in regularly, not responding to instructor communications, or not completing low-stakes assessments.

Resource: Student and Instructor Well-Being (CTL)
Connect with the students on a personal level. Humanizing yourself for students in an online environment gives them the chance to connect with you.  Feeling a better sense of connection will help students feel more comfortable reaching out and asking for help during the course.  Use the Begin Here section of your course to not only introduce yourself and provide the students with a picture of yourself but also to connect with them on a more personal level by telling them a little more about you.

In the Begin Here section of your course, provide students with an introduction about yourself and a photo, so they can feel more of a connection.
Give them some fun facts about yourself in your introduction  in the Begin Here section.

Ask them questions about themselves and provide your answers as well. You could do this in an Introduction forum in onQ if you would like everyone to see all of the responses. Depending on your class size, you can make your own posts and also respond to posts from your students to engage the class in introductory conversations. If you would like the responses just for yourself, you could set up a Microsoft Form and send it out to the students during the first week of class.

Create a fun introduction video. It can include a visit to a place you like, a clip of you doing an activity you enjoy, or a show and tell about something that you love - maybe even a family pet can get involved!

At any time, you can reach the Engineering Teaching and Learning Team at or via the LiveChat widget found at the bottom of this page with any questions you may have. We are here to help.