Contributor: Rumi Begum
The News and Announcement forum is widely used by the members of staff at the School of Law. All modules have a block to display all their new posts and many modules display the news items at the top of the page within topic 0.
We had a chat with Rumi Begum, the E-Learning Officer from the School of Law about the different ways they use the forum tool.
The School of Law wanted to ensure they were communicating with their students on a regular basis regarding important information and notices. They wanted to replace the traditional use of emails to communicate with their students. They wanted to be able to communicate with their students via the online learning system they used for their teaching.
The forum is visible on all their modules and they commonly introduce the forum to their students on their first week of study where they post a welcome message to all their students. Each week the administrator posts information about the upcoming lecture, seminar and any event with dates and times. The forum is used to send urgent information regarding room changes for lectures/events or cancellation of lecture/events. Students are encouraged to check their emails on a regular basis and check the module page for any updates.
The name of the forum can be changed to something short and simple. It is known as the ‘Module Announcements’ at School of Law. The forum is a forced subscription which ensures all student and staff are automatically subscribed to the forum and cannot unsubscribe. By being subscribed they will receive an email each time a post is sent out.
Outcomes / Evaluation
“An effective way of sending messages to a particular audience.”
Overall, the School felt that their students were more prepared for their learning. Students could reach their course convenor if they had any questions/comments regarding a news item in a forum by replying on the post through QMplus. This meant students were able to access the forum post directly through the course and respond to the post without having to open their emails.
- You can see the history of all the posts on the same page.
- It is convenient as student emails are up to date.
- There is no prior set-up and everyone is automatically subscribed.
- Restrict to only posting important information.
- Try not to send several posts together as it discourages students from reading emails and missing out on important messages.
- Check the format and content of the message is correct before sending the message.