Arts and Science expands onQ supports

Arts and Science expands onQ supports

Mobile unit will help faculty work through some of the repetitive, software-specific operations in new learning management system.

By Wanda Praamsma

August 9, 2016


Professors and instructors in the Faculty of Arts and Science will soon have another resource available to help in the transition to the onQ learning management system: a mobile support unit.

The onQ mobile support unit is made up of several undergraduate students trained by IT Services to help faculty members with some of the software-specific operations that can be frustrating, especially when setting up very large courses. The students will not have offices; instead, they will move around campus to help instructors as needed.

Students working with IT Services provided instructors with onQ support during a recent session in the Centre for Teaching and Learning. 

“These students are available to help with those small, flick-switching operations that can be very time-consuming, repetitive, and crazy-making, such as putting students into teams or groups and setting up the grade book,” says Vicki Remenda, Associate Dean (Academic) in the Faculty of Arts and Science.

“We heard from faculty, and we have adjusted our programs to meet the needs they voiced. This mobile unit is part of a continuum of supports available,” she adds.

Full implementation of onQ, which is based on the Brightspace by D2L platform and replaces Moodle, is on track for this fall. onQ went live for a pilot phase in September 2015, when a number of early-adopting faculty members made the move for fall courses.

Many supports are available for instructors across all faculties through the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and IT Services, but the mobile unit is unique to Arts and Science, due to the faculty’s size and the large number of courses that need to move to onQ.

Many of the students in the mobile unit have been working in ITS and Continuing and Distance Studies throughout the summer, and all are well versed in onQ and how they can best support faculty members.

“The help they can provide is very specific to the software and course administration functions – repetitive tasks that are needed to get a course up and running,” says Nancy Owen, Associate Director, Enterprise Solutions, ITS. “We want to provide faculty with technology and process support – the things that can get in the way of effective teaching and take too much of the instructor’s time.”

Instructors will be able to book an appointment online with the mobile unit starting Sept. 5.

More information regarding onQ and the various supports available to instructors across all faculties is available through the CTL or IT Services.



Arts and Science