Use announcements to increase student engagement

8 November 2023

Announcements via your Akoraka | Learn course page are an important tool to use to increase student engagement.

Establishing and maintaining instructor presence is an important part of teaching. Announcements are one tool that can help you do this.

This tip covers the basics of what to include in an Announcement, and when to post them. 

What to include in Announcements
When to post Announcement

Post a welcome announcement that introduces your students to you, the course, what your expectations are for the semester, tips for success you’ve noticed good students often do, and a few instructions on how to get started and the first things students should do. 

This is your chance to set the tone for the whole semester. Be warm and encouraging. First impressions matter.  

Post before the first day of class, sometime in the week prior to the first day of teaching when students have access to course pages. This will help them hit the ground running from day 1. 

Recap of last week/module. What were the key themes covered, what are the main takeaways you want students to have? Comment on participation – specific students who stood out or made positive contributions to the discussion.  


You can typically combine this with a Preview announcement into a “Welcome to Module X” Announcement that starts off with a recap and transitions into, “looking ahead to this week...” 

Preview of upcoming week/module. Review your content and learning activities in advance each week and post an Announcement that highlights what's coming up and how it relates to assessment/why it’s important to participate. 


You can typically combine this with a Recap announcement into a “Welcome to Module X” Announcement that starts off with a recap and transitions into, “looking ahead to this week...” 

Connections between course content and current events. Did you read or see something in the news that helps illustrate a topic of your course?

Announcements are the perfect tool to share that with students and help them see the connection.  

As they occur throughout the teaching period.   

Assessment updates with general feedback. Students will typically not know their assessment has been graded and released to them unless you tell them. Post an Announcement directing students to review their grades and any individual feedback you have given. But also use the Announcement as a way to provide general feedback to the whole class -- i.e., “A lot of you did X, which was great.” or “Next time, try to focus more on Y.” or “As I read your reports, I was reminded of Z.”  

After you finish marking an assessment and have released the student grades.

Schedule updates such as a change in guest lecturer. Your Course Outline is the source of truth, and any deviation from that needs to be communicated to students, ideally via an Announcement.  

If/as they occur.  

Anything that builds trust and connection with students. Share a bit about yourself with students. Allowing them to see you as a human being and not just an all-knowing lecturer can go a long way towards building trust and rapport.  

Towards the goal of “humanising” yourself and your class, did you know that Announcements don’t always have to be text-based? Use these two icons in your message toolbar to send an audio or video Announcement! 

As often as you can.  


In summary, use Announcements to provide clear and consistent communication about your course. What things do students need to know about your course prior to starting it? What things do students need to be reminded of at regular intervals? Where in a module can you send small bits of encouragement? Creating a plan for this communication at the beginning of the semester can be hugely beneficial for your students, both to help keep them on track with deadlines and to remind them that you are there for them if they need support.