From the course homepage, click the arrow next to “Announcements” and you’ll see a drop down menu that will allow you to create a new announcement.

Announcements can be in a variety of formats, including:

  • Text
  • Video
  • Image
  • Audio
  • Web Link
  • Document Attachment


Yes!  Announcements and reminders can be posted immediately or scheduled to appear at a set date and time.  You can also choose a date for announcements to be removed, should you so desire.  These scheduling features can be found under the availability section when writing your announcement.


At least once a week.  Encourage students with more frequent communication in the beginning of the course when you’re trying to build community and enthusiasm for the course.  Research shows that the more often you engage - with a mixture of formal and informal communications - the better.

Within 24 hours.  Most importantly, set expectations upfront as to where and how often you will communicate.  Instructors and TAs can do this through announcements.

Encouraging students to use the discussion forums for their questions is a great way to reduce redundancy and promote peer to peer community-building and learning.  If students ask a question that would benefit other students, feel free to tell them to post their question in the discussion forum and that you will answer their question there so all students can see the answer.  Encouraging students to use the forums first (except for personal accommodations or questions on grading) will allow the teaching team to efficiently share the online workload (dividing up days or times to monitor the forum, for example) and can minimize response time to as little as 15 minutes per day.

The best place to communicate is to post a course announcement, which appears on the course homepage so it is hard for students to miss!


Instructors can also email the entire class list (or a segment thereof) to double up communication methods.  The class list can be accessed from the drop down menu under “People”. 

From the “Classlist” page, students, instructor, and/or TAs can be emailed directly from within onQ (a pop-up window will open). 

Email Class.mp4

Students can always set their notifications and reminder preferences in onQ (via email or even text message).  Notifications can be found on the drop down list students see when they click on their name at the top right of the onQ menu. (see screenshot below). 

Yes.  Under Announcements, select New Announcements.  In the Content Box, select the Insert Stuff button, then select Video Note from the pop-up menu.  Here you can upload a pre-recorded video, embed a video that has been uploaded to YouTube, or record a 3-minute video from your webcam.  This is a great way to introduce yourself to the class.


Yes. Instructors should be in touch with TAs the same way they would in any other course, and can share the online workload with TAs to ensure the online course forum is being looked at daily.

Online Office Hours

Not necessarily.  It’s best to assume diverse time zones and be as flexible as possible.

If you like, you can conduct a poll to see which are the preferred office hours for your particular students by following the instructions below.

Follow these 8 quick steps!

Step 1: Navigate in onQ to the "Course Admin" section of the main menu.

Step 2: Select "Surveys".

Step 3: Select "New Survey".

Step 4: Input the name of your survey as "Office Hours", and select "Add/Edit Questions". If you like, you can choose to make respondents anonymous here as well.

Step 5: Select "New".

Step 6: Select "Multiple Choice Question" if you want students to select only one possible choice for office hours. Select "Multi-Select Question" if you want students to select all choices for office hours that work for them. Select "Ordering Question" if you want students to rank their choices for office hours.

Step 7: Input the office hours options in your question.

Step 8: Select "Done Editing Questions".

Your survey is now created, and can be added to a course announcement by following these next 6 quick steps:

Step 1: Add a new announcement by clicking "Announcements" and selecting "New Announcement".

Step 2: Insert the title for your announcement, and add relevant text/instructions, and proceed to insert the link to the survey by selecting the link icon.

Step 3: Select "Surveys" from the Quicklink menu.

Step 4: Find your office hours survey by searching for it by name or selecting from the list that appears. Click "Manage Surveys" (the edit icon to the right of your survey), which will open in a new tab.

Step 5: Type what you would like to show in the "Title" box, select the "New Window" radio button, and choose "Insert".

Step 6: Your survey will now appear as a hyperlink in the new announcement window. When your announcement is complete, select "Publish".

They can be; it’s up to you.  It’s recommended to ask students to send their questions ahead of time so you can address them more efficiently.  Office hours can also be conducted through Skype, or another platform of your choosing depending on how formal or informal you would like your office hour sessions to be.

For more information on Zoom, visit the Zoom for Instructors wiki resource.

TA Student Engagement

Yes.  TAs are a great resource for you as instructor and for students.  TAs can facilitate the forum, comment on students’ forum posts, and answer students’ questions about course assessments, etc.

Instructors and TAs can go to onQ->People->Classlist->Class Engagement to see which students have not engaged in the course in the past 7 days.  Students can be selected by clicking the button with the highlighted number of students who have not engaged and this group can be emailed directly by clicking the “Email Class” button (you will see the filter applied of last visit more than 7 days ago).  

Similarly, various groups of students can be emailed by applying different filters (i.e. current grade: 0%-50%), or the whole class can be emailed by removing all filters. NB: Please exercise caution when using filters to be sure you are emailing only the students you are intending to email.  When in doubt, please contact your LMS specialist.

Additional Training & Resources

The TA Resource Guide for Online Learning can be downloaded from your course’s Teaching Team Resources widget, or at

Yes.  They are available through your course’s Teaching Team Resources widget or in the playlist below.


Assignment rubrics can be found when grading by selecting either an Assignment or forum under Activities->Assignments or Activities->Discussions. 

 Assignments can be graded by accessing the proper activity under the Activities menu item in the navigation bar.

Technical Support

Yes.  During working hours (Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm) students and/or instructors can contact the ASO office if they are experiencing difficulty in the course site.  We recommend to instructors that quiz and assignment deadlines fall during these working hours.

The main ASO email ( is monitored on weekends to provide technical support as needed.

If your course uses Zoom for synchronous sessions (or other similar platforms such as Adobe Connect), we will provide technical support during mandatory course sessions.  If you would like training in using Zoom, please contact and/or visit the “Zoom for Instructors” wiki resource at

Yes.  Please contact for any multimedia related questions and/or concerns.

Download the FAQs as a PDF: 

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