Information that is added to the course room via announcements remains permanently visible in the course room. They are also sent as notification e-mails to all persons in the course room, including managers. It is also possible to address announcements to individual groups using the group modes for activities. These announcements are then not visible for other groups.
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Announcements in RWTHmoodle are a special type of activity "forum" with special features:
- Only managers can write announcements.
- Students can read the announcements, but cannot reply to them.
- The announcement forum is an automatic subscription for all people in the course room, including managers.
- All subscribers receive new announcements automatically as notification e-mails.
Since the announcement forum is an automatic subscription by default, all persons enrolled in the course room receive announcements by e-mail by default. Such an auto subscription can be unsubscribed by the users themselves at any time (see there section 3.1. Add or remove subscription). For example, this can be useful in case a user does not want to receive e-mails from past courses. On the other hand, this can be undesirable, especially if you as a manager want to make sure that all participants receive certain information. Therefore you can set the setting to "Forced subscription" if necessary. In this case, all users are permanently subscribed to the forum and e-mail notifications about new announcements cannot be unsubscribed.
To create a new announcement, proceed as follows:
- Click on "Announcements" in the course room.
- Then click on the "Add a new topic" button.
- Give your new announcement a meaningful subject.
- Then write the text of your announcement in the message field.
- If you don't want to change any further settings, save the announcement by clicking on "Post to forum". It will then be immediately visible in the course room.
As with all forums in RWTHmoodle, by default you have 5 minutes to make corrections. The announcement will then be sent automatically as a notification email.
A click on "Advanced" below the message field opens various other setting options such as attaching file attachments, sending the e-mail notification immediately, or time-controlled publication. The possible settings will be explained in the following sections.
3.1. Add an attachment to an announcement
To add a file attachment to the announcement, upload your file in the "Attachment" field in the advanced settings. For technical reasons only one file can be attached at the moment. To attach several files, pack them as a ZIP archive and attach it.
We recommend to upload important learning material as files in the course room and refer to the file in the announcement text by a link. This procedure has the advantage that students can then find the learning materials in the course room and can easily download them as a ZIP file in the "Download Center" together with other materials. In the case of files that are only attached to announcements or e-mails, students have to search for them individually in the various announcements with additional effort. Especially when preparing for an exam this costs extra time and bears the risk that important documents are overlooked.
3.2. Pin announcement
If you want an important announcement to appear at the top of the list of announcements, select the "Pinned" checkbox. If you deselect the option at a later time, the announcement will be sorted chronologically correct.
3.3. Send notification mail immediately
The notification mail for a new announcement is sent by default after 5 minutes. If you want it to be sent immediately instead, select the option "Send forum post notifications with no editing-time delay" in the advanced settings. Note: In case of occasional high server load, it is possible that the e-mail dispatch is triggered only after a delay of several minutes.
3.4. Address selected group
By default, announcements address all participants in the course room. You can also address announcements to individual groups. Proceed as follows:
- By clicking on the gear wheel symbol you open the forum administration.
- Click on "Edit settings".
- Select the group mode "Separate groups" or "Visible groups" under "Common module settings". Here is an explanation of the differences between the two options.
- Separate groups: The announcement is then only visible to the selected group.
- Visible groups: In general, the announcement is also visible to all other groups. However, the members of the groups not directly addressed must filter the announcement.
- Click on "Save and return to course".
- Click on "Add new topic" to create a new announcement.
- Click here on "Advanced" and select the group you want to inform.
- After you have written the announcements, complete the announcement by clicking "Post to forum".
In both cases - sperate groups and visible groups - the notification mail will be sent exclusively to the addressed group. It is not possible to address several groups at the same time.
3.5. Control display period
The display and automatic sending of announcements can also be time-controlled. To do this, select the appropriate display period in the advanced settings for the new announcement. Then, the announcement is not displayed to the participants until the display start date in the course room has been reached. The notification mail also won't be sent until the display date has been reached.
The announcement forum is automatically created in each course room. If you do not need the announcements, you can delete it as follows:
- Click on the gear wheel to open the "Course administration".
- Click on "Edit settings".
- Under "Appearance" set the "Number of announcements" to 0.
- Click on "Save changes".
- Now activate the editing mode by clicking on "Turn editing on".
- Delete the announcement forum.
- Additionally delete the block "Latest announcements".
For more information: