Announcements (Sending announcements to students)

Announcements (Sending announcements to students)

It is important to communicate regularly with all students enrolled in your course.

Maybe a reminder is needed, or an update about new materials that were posted, or perhaps telling students about a project that is now ready for them to start with. Announcements are the perfect way to do this in Brightspace.

  1.  Go to the home page and click to expand the drop-down menu of the Announcements widget and select New Announcement.You can also access announcements under the Course Admin section of the website.
  2.   Start your announcement with a Headline. This is similar to the subject line of an email.
  3. If you want the author information to be visible in the announchement, enable the Display Author Information option.Users reading the announcement may see some or all of the following author information:
    • the original author
    • the original date and time of the announcement
    • the author who edited the announcement
    • the date and time of the edit

    Figure: Student view of the announcement when ‘Author information’ is enabled.

  4. Write the announcement in the Content field. You can format the content by using the editing options at the top of the Content text field. Click on the link icon to create links in your announcements to websites or to specific areas in your course.
  5. The start and end dates for Announcements can be adjusted. If you set the start date for now, the announcement will appear immediately. After the end date the announcement is not available anymore. Use these settings for announcements that are only applicable for a specific time period.
  6. You can also attach files to announcements. Take care not to attach files that are too large to send via email, or else they might not reach your students. If you need to share very large files, rather upload them to your course and link to them in the announcement by using the option Insert Quicklink.
  • Announcements can also have release conditions attached to them, for example, that they will only be sent to students in specific groups in your course, or students who attained a certain grade for an assessment. Another great way to use this, for example, is when a student completes an assignment, they can receive an announcement about the next section of the course becoming available.
  • You can also save your announcement as a Draft, work on it some more, and then come back and Publish it when you are ready. Draft announcements are not visible to students.
  • By default, all announcements go to all the students enrolled in your course. This is the preferred way to communicate with your students, because a copy of the announcement stays in your course, until you delete it. Students can also receive their announcements via the Pulse app. Most students make use of the app, so they will receive your communication instantly.
  • Notice the “x” next to each announcement on the Home Page. You can click on these to hide them. If you want to view the hidden announcements again, click on the Announcements link just below the course banner or click on Show all Announcements. All the available announcements for that course will be displayed there.
  • To put an announcement back on the Home page, select the announcement by ticking the checkbox, click on the More actions button, and select Restore.
  • You can also personalize the announcements and descriptions by addressing your messages to {FirstName} and/or {LastName}:
    “Hi {FirstName} {LastName}” gives “Hi John Smith” (for example).
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Our advice is to only email your class in exceptional circumstances. Therefore use the Announcement tool as your first choice for regular communication.

How to use this to improve your course

  • Announcements are the clearest way to communicate with your class
  • You can add images, mathematical formulas
  • Add a start date so the announcement automatically shows up in the future.
  • When setting up Announcements, instructors have the option to inform their students of a major change or/and update that students may have missed. In that case, check the box ‘Major Edit – Send a notification and restore it for those who dismissed it’. This is particularly important if the Announcement has been edited and instructors want to be sure these changes are seen by their students.

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