Announcements

System: Wattle »

Overview

The Announcements forum is for general news and information that you might like to communicate to students. It automatically appears at the top of your course in the General section.

 

Benefits

The Announcements forum is a great way to communicate news to students. Its unique features are:

  • Students automatically have “forced subscription”, so will receive your messages in their email (usually at 5:30pm each day)
  • Only lecturers (and similar) can post, and students cannot reply
  • The most recent messages can also be displayed in the Latest announcements block
  • Students can refer to the forum for past messages whenever needed.

Please note: A Wattle forum cannot be used to send an immediate message to students. Instead use the Messages tool - see the User Guide Contact students 

Steps

Step 1

To make any changes to your Announcements forum go to the Gear menu (cog icon, top-right) and click Turn editing on.

Then click the Edit menu to the right of Announcements. From here you can Hide the forum, Show it if it is hidden, or adjust a range of other settings.

Tips:

If you don’t want to use the Announcements forum, it is best to Hide it rather than delete it. To hide the Announcements forum from your course site click Edit and select Hide. The Announcements forum is now hidden from students until you return to Edit and select Show.

 

If you need to reinstate the Announcements forum after deleting it:  

  • add the Latest announcements block 

  • go to  Edit course settings > Appearance 

  • set the Number of announcements to zero, then Save and display 

  • set this back to any higher number  

  • wait a few minutes, it doesn’t always happen immediately 

Step 2

To send a message, go to your Announcements forum, click Add a new topic and compose your announcement. You can insert images, audio and video, and attach different types of files. You can also enable the announcement to appear for a determined timeframe under Display period. Once the message is complete, click Post to Forum

Tips:

The newly posted message will allow a 30-minute editing-time before it is queued to be sent out with people’s Email digests (explained below). Lecturers can tick the Send forum post notifications with no editing-time delay option, meaning the 30-minute editing-time will be disabled.  

Step 3

Participants enrolled in your course receive the message as follows: 

  • It appears within a few seconds in the Announcements forum 
  • At the same time the subject line is added to the Latest announcements block (see below) 
  • 30 min later it is added to the Email digest queue for everyone subscribed to this forum (earlier if the option has been ticked to disable this editing-time) 
  • 5pm each day Email digests begin to be sent out 
  • 5:30pm each day people will usually have received their Wattle digest 

Step 4

To add a Latest announcements block, which will show the three latest announcements at a glance:

  • go to the Gear menu (cog icon, top-right) and click Turn editing on (if necessary) 
  • go to the hamburger menu at the top left of your screen and scroll down to the very bottom to select Add a block 
  • Choose Latest announcements.  

Once you have created the Latest Announcement block you can open the Gear menu within the block by clicking on its cog icon. From here you can configure or hide your announcement block, edit or check permissions. 

If you want to change the number of announcements shown, this is set in Edit course settings > Appearance

Step 5
Types of Email Digests

In your Forum Preferences are three options of Email digest type, which will send you the messages from every forum to which you are subscribed: 

  • No digest – a single email containing the whole message is sent to you when a new post is available (delayed by the 30 minute editing-time, unless that has been disabled). 
  • Complete - one email per day after 5pm with full copies of all posts from all your subscribed forums. The whole message will be sent out after 5pm, combined with all the other Wattle posts for the day. 
  • Subjects - one email per day after 5pm containing just the subject lines of all posts.  

The default preference is Complete and not many people seem to change this. To read more, see Set up a forum and Profiles and preferences

 

Page owner: ANU Online