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Scheduling announcements with timed forum posts

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For: StaffApplication: Communication and Collaboration , QMplusTagged: forum

It is possible to control when a forum post is visible through the display settings on the post. This allows you to make a post visible at a point in the future. Something that is particularly useful for module announcements.

Only those with Teacher, Non-Editing Teacher or Course Administrator access to a QMplus area are able to access the display settings on a post. Students are not able to control the display of any posts that they make.

How to create a timed post

Timed posts can be created in any QMplus discussion forum, including the module announcements forum.

When creating a forum post, you will find a Display period section towards the bottom of the post settings. You can also edit an existing post to set the display period.

Here you can set the period that you want the post to display for by setting the date and time for the start and end of the period.

Once you have set a display period on a post, a calendar will appear next to the post in the list. If the display period on a post mean that it is currently not visible to students, it will appear greyed out.

You can see the visibility of forum posts in the discussion forum listing:

  1. This is a standard forum post, these are visible to students as soon as you create them
  2. This is a scheduled forum post, it is currently visible to students as it is not greyed out
  3. These are scheduled forum posts which are currently not visible to students. This might be because the start dates are in the future or the end dates are in the past

Unfortunately, it is not possible to see the display times that have been set for timed posts without going into the posts themselves.

This is how the same forum would appear to a student.

Using timed posts with the latest post feature

In QMplus, it is possible to configure your area so that your latest module announcement post always appears at the top of the module.

When using the timed post feature with the module announcements forum, there are two things to note:

  1. The date shown for the post is always the date that the post was created and not the date that the post became visible. In this example, this post was scheduled to become visible at 2pm
  2. The post that appears here is the latest post in the module announcements forum which is visible to the current user. If the current user is not a student, they may see a different view as posts are visible to them that are not visible to students.
We don’t recommend that you set an end date on posts in the module announcements forum. The module announcements forum is supposed to provide a lasting record of announcements that students can look back on. Hiding posts means that students won’t be able to see all the previous announcements. Also, when a post is hidden, the next oldest visible post will be displayed to students at the top of the module area, potentially causing more confusion.

What about notifications?

Notifications for timed posts will not be sent out until after the post has become visible.

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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