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Last updated: 10-22-2010



Announcements is a useful tool for getting information out to students. Announcements are listed on the Home Page of the course so it would be difficult for anyone logging into the system to miss them. You can also reinforce the message by sending an email to users when you post an Announcement.

Add an Announcement

From the course to which you want to add an Announcement:

  1. Click on Announcements in the left menu bar.
  2. Click Add
  3. Enter a Title for the Announcement
  4. Enter the text of your Announcement in the "Body" window.
  5. Choose the access you prefer:
    1. The default is that the Announcement is only viewable by members of this particular course (site).
    2. You may select to make the Announcement publicly viewable, which means that it can be accessed without logging in to e-Learning in Sakai. For example, the Instructor could send the URL of this Announcement to a colleague who is not enrolled in this particular course, and the colleague would be able to go to the link. You may also set up an RSS feed to Announcements that are Publicly viewable.
  6. Choose the availability you prefer:
    1. By default the Announcement will be available as soon as it is added.
    2. You may choose to hide the Announcement until you come back to this setting and change it to "Show."
    3. You may choose to show this Announcement during a specific time frame. Select the Beginning and Ending dates boxes and use the drop-down menus to determine when the Announcement will appear and disappear.
  7. If you want to add an Attachment to this Announcement:
    1. Click Add Attachments
    2. Either browse your computer for the file you want to attach, or if the file is in your Resources folder, locate it at the bottom half of the screen and click Attach a copy to the right of the file.
  8. Email Notification
    1. The default is that no email notification is sent.
    2. From the drop-down menu, you can choose to send a high-priority email which will go to all users regardless of their personal email preference settings.
    3. From the drop-down menu, you can choose to send a low-priority email which will go to all users unless they have set up their personal email preferences to not receive low-priority email reminders. Those users can also choose to receive a daily digest of low-priority reminders, in which case the Announcement email reminder would be part of the daily digest.
  9. Click Add Announcement

Assignments and Tests & Quizzes tools offer the option to automatically post an Announcement about the Due Date of a particular Assignment or Assessment. This Announcement will contain a link to the Assignment or Assessment.

Merge Announcements

The Merge Announcements allows you to choose to show Announcements from any or all other sites in which you are enrolled. If you teach three English courses, you can show Announcements from all three. Be aware that you cannot pick and choose the Announcements from each course that you want to merge. If you choose a course to merge, it will bring in every Announcement from that course, even those that are hidden, though they are also hidden here.

Once your Announcements are merged, students will see the Announcements for the courses in which they are enrolled. To follow our example above, if you teach three graduate level English courses and several of your students are enrolled in all three courses, those students will be able to see the Announcements for all three of the courses. Students who are not enrolled in all three courses, will only see the Announcements for their course(s).

To merge Announcements:

  1. At the top of the main Announcements screen, click Merge
  2. Check the box next to the course(s) from which you want to display Announcements
  3. Click Save

Announcements Options

"Options" allows you to determine how you want your Announcements to appear, and also allows for the creation of an RSS feed to your publicly viewable announcements.

To set up your Announcement Options:

  1. At the top of the main Announcements screen, click Options
    • Display options -
      • "Sortable Table View" allows you to change the order of the Announcements based on Subject, From (the person who created the Announcement), Site (from which course this Announcement originated), For (public or specific to a course), Date (the date on which the Announcement was created, Beginning Date and Ending Date. In the Sortable table view, click the heading for the item you want to sort. For example, you might want to sort them according to the Beginning Date, so click that heading to arrange the announcements from the earliest to the latest beginning date. Click the heading again to sort them from the latest to the earliest beginning date.
      • "Sortable Table View with Announcement Body" is like "Sortable Table View" except that the body of your Announcement is also displayed.
      • "List View with Announcement Body" provides a list of your Announcements, with the most recently created Announcement first. You cannot change the order of the Announcements in this view. The body of the Announcement is listed under each Announcement subject. The subject is hyperlinked so that you can view all information about the Announcements.
      • "Characters in body" allows you to determine how much of the body of the Announcement will be revealed in the table or list. By default, "All" is chosen so that the entire text of the body is displayed. You may choose to show only the first 50 or the first 100 characters from the drop-down menu.
  1. RSS Feed Options public announcements only
    1. You can create an RSS feed that students can add to an RSS feed reader such as "FeedDemon" or "Google Reader." This will enable them to receive the Announcements inside this reader along with the other RSS feeds to which they subscribe.Only publicly viewable announcements can be viewed in the RSS feed.
      1. Type an RSS Alias. The alias should contain lower case letters, numbers and no spaces. An example would be "arc101-announcments."
      2. Click Update. Once you click "Update," the RSS URL is updated to include the alias you entered.
      3. Click Options again to return to this screen. Now you can click the RSS URL to add this RSS feed to your RSS reader of choice.
        1. If you want students to be able to add the RSS feed, you will need to place this RSS URL into an Announcement for them.
  1. Display Limits
    1. Insert the number of days in the past that you want Announcements to appear. For example, if you enter "30," and create an Announcement on September 1, it will disappear from the list on October 1. If you enter nothing, your Announcements will stay on the list until you delete them.
    2. Insert the maximum number of Announcements you have in the list at one time. For example, if you enter "10," once you create the 11th Announcement, the first one you created will be dropped from the list.
  2. Click Update
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