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.

Introduction: Keeping students engaged with your course is integral to their learning. Developing a learning community within your course is necessary for student engagement, and can be achieved by intentionally planning for and communicating your plan and expectations. Below are a number of techniques and tools that can be employed to establish student engagement in your course.

Recommended Actions for Engaging Students
Recommended Action Why How Examples
Articulate your plan for learner-to-learner, learner-to-instructor, and learner-to-content interaction. Demonstrating your own commitment to establishing a learning community and relaying the expectations to students will help students adapt to and feel comfortable in the new course environment. Communicate to students the methods being employed to promote interaction and establish a learning community in the course. Include information in a course introduction video, participate in discussion forums, and post weekly announcement videos outlining the tasks and activities for the week.
Provide opportunities for students to interact through activities. Maximizing opportunities for students to interact with other students, instructors, and the content benefits engagement with the course. Refer to your learning outcomes and determine the best activities that require students to actively engage and to demonstrate their learning. Group problem solving activities, group collaborative projects, tutorials/help sessions, virtual office hours, ongoing “course questions” discussion forum.
Promote learner engagement through online tools. Active engagement promotes longer attention and deeper learning. Integrate tools that require students to actively engage rather than passively engage with content. Collaborative documents, e.g. wikis and blogs, animations and simulations, and self-check exercises.

Queen's University offers many tools that integrate directly with onQ as well. See the full list here, under 'Integrations'. You may also wish to look at the pages for Feedback Fruits and Perusall directly. For support with these tools, chat with the ETLT in the bottom right corner of this page or send us an email.
Verify that students are regularly logging in to the course and not falling behind. Identify at-risk students quickly and connect with those who haven’t engaged with the course or are performing poorly. Utilize OnQ functionality like the Class Progress tool or Intelligent Agents  to check for student engagement in the course. The Class Progress tool in OnQ provides information on each student's engagement through OnQ.

Intelligent agents can be set up to automatically check if students haven’t accessed the course content over a certain period of time. Contact the ETLT if you would like assistance to set these up for your course. More information on intelligent agents can be found here.
Poll your students. Discover what is working and not working so that you can adjust for a better learning experience. Elicit feedback from your students early and regularly. Read the feedback and consider adjusting your strategies to better meet the needs of the current learners. OnQ Survey or Discussion Forum
Create an online method for class communication to establish and encourage community in your course. Intentionally establishing a place for communication and actively contributing to that space encourages student engagement and negates feelings of isolation. Utilize the discussion forums in onQ, or create an MS Team for questions and answers related to the course content. Model the behaviour that you are seeking from your students. Answer their questions quickly and encourage a non-judgemental and open community of learning. MS Teams Tutorials

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.