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Setting your module image and announcements area

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For: StaffApplication: Design and Build , QMplusTagged: baseline , forum , topic 0

Every QMplus area has a section at the top which allows you to display an image and some associated text. The text might be static such as a welcome message, or it may be the latest module announcement. You could think of it as a module noticeboard area.

The image displayed in this section also appears in course listings on QMplus and on the QMplus mobile app. It is a useful way for people to be able to identify your area.

Configuring this area correctly is part of our QMplus baseline standards

Video guide

This video shows how to set your module image and some welcome text.

Adding static text to your module header

To add a piece of text:

  1.   Turn editing on
  2.    On your course page click on the Edit news display settings icon
  3.    Tick the box, Use static text instead of module announcements (see screengrab)
  4.    Add your text to the Static text text field
  5.    Click on Save Changes

The notice board now displays your text (and in this example an image) at the top of your course page.

Although you have access to a text editor with formatting features, you should not use techniques such as coloured text to emphasise important information. This is not accessible to a wide variety of users.Keep the text in the section as concise as possible. Remember that visitors to your area will have to scroll past this text to access the module content below.

Configure the noticeboard to display the latest module announcement

Regular communication with your students is important whilst you are teaching. QMplus enables you to post announcements, news etc to all students via the module announcements or news forum at the top of your module area. If you use this feature for communication, you can choose to display the latest announcement in that forum at the top of your page as an additional reminder to students.

To enable this feature follow these steps

  1.    Turn editing on
  2.    On your course page click on the Edit news display settings icon. (see screengrab below)
  3.    Click on the I want to display news and announcements from my module forum check box.
  4.    Click on Save Changes. By default the ‘Do you want to display Module Announcements’ check box is ticked, however if you have not done so before you will need to click on Save changes in order for this option to be saved.

Navigate back to your module homepage. If you have made any posts in the module announcements forum, you will now see the latest at the top of the page.  A post will be displayed until it is replaced by a new module announcements post. Selecting the More News and Announcements button enables students to read all the posts.

If your post is very long then you can display a truncated version of your post by going into the news and announcements area and selecting ‘I want to display a shortened version of news and announcements’

This feature works well if you post regularly in the module announcements forum. If you don’t, the messages at the top of the page may become very out of date and could potentially be confusing to students, especially if they make reference to things like impending deadlines! If you don’t use the module announcements forum regularly, you may be better off using static text in this area.

If you post very long messages in your module announcements, you also run the risk of annoying students as they will have to scroll past the very long message every time they want to get to the module content.

Adding a module image

Find a suitable image that represents the main themes of your module. Ensure the image is not too large in size (around 100kb or less is ideal) and is more square than rectangular – the image will be cropped and you may not get the kind of results you would expect. You may want to crop the image appropriately yourself before uploading it to QMplus.

There are 1000s of freely available images on Flickr CC or CC search. Remember that the images may require attribution. You will have to check the license on the particular image you want to use.

Sites like Pexels or Pixabay have images that you can use without attribution.

  1. In the settings block click ‘Edit settings’
  2. Navigate to the Course Summary files section
  3. Drag and drop your image file or click on the folder icon and browse to find it.
  4. When you have finished click Save and Display
  5. Your module noticeboard/news and announcements area is now ready

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: its-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the E-Learning Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
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