News Announcement Tool

Screenshot of News section

Screenshot of News section

What is the News Tool?

The News tool enables you to create news items that help communicate course updates, changes and new information to your users quickly and effectively.

Why would you use the News Tool?

Use the News Tool in your course to:

  1. Create announcements containing important course-related information
  2. Alert learners to a change in the schedule or an upcoming due date
  3. Distribute additional resources to students based on need (in conjunction with Release Conditions)

Scenario 1: Weekly Reminders

Professor Smith teaches a class which has regular weekly tasks and deadlines. She wants to make sure her students are clear about what they need to accomplish each week. She created weekly news items with links to each week’s content module (which already has links to each of the weekly readings, assignments and discussions). She sets dates for release on each news item so it automatically appears at the beginning of each week of the course. She encouraged her students to set their notifications so that they would get a text or email when she releases a news item in the course.

Samantha, a student of Professor Smith, greatly appreciates the weekly reminders of what is happening each week and where to get started. The email reminders via notifications were especially helpful to those that have requested them. Professor Smith finds that there are fewer missed assignments after she started using this strategy. Professor Smith was very happy when she also discovered that she could re-use these news items for the next semester’s course by copying them and quickly adjusting the dates using the Manage Dates tool.

Benefit to the Professor/TA/Instructional Designer

The News tool can save instructors time because News can be automated and created in advance.

How does it enhance my teaching?

Weekly News items focus students on each week’s topics and tasks. They can be copied from semester to semester to be re-used after dates have been adjusted as needed.

How does it enhance my student’s learning?

When the student logs in to the course for the first time each week, it is clear to them exactly what is expected, how to get started and how to stay on track. If they opt for notifications on News items, they can get an email about each news item as soon as it has been released.


Check out this News Example Video

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Scenario 2: Personalized Communication

Professor Jones wants to respond quickly as students complete each module quiz and to let them know what they can do next to enhance their learning. He has limited time but wants his communication to students to feel personalized. He creates a news item with a release condition attached that will only display to students who have met the required criteria. This news communication can include positive re-enforcement or additional support if required.

After completing the module, student Bill Baggins immediately receives a news item with his name in it that acknowledges that he passed the quiz.   He is pleased that the instructor is aware of how he is doing in the course.

Benefit to the Professor/TA/Instructional Designer

The News tool can be for communication between the Professor and the students in the course.

How does it enhance my teaching?

The News tools allow Professors to automate positive and constructive feedback to students.

How does it enhance my student’s learning?

Receiving a personalized news item provides the student with a sense of pride and ownership in their accomplishments. It indicates that the instructor is paying attention to what they are doing in the course. The links in the news items supports the learners’ individual needs.


Video Tutorials: News Announcements

Announcements - Create an Announcement

Announcements - Update an Announcement

Announcements - Delete and Restore Announcements


Your Turn Activity: Build a News Announcement

  1. Click on New Item
  2. Enter a Headline
  3. Enter Content of News Item
  4. Click Publish
  5. Select Edit
  6. Make a modification to the Content
  7. Click Update

Try this Challenge: Update an Existing News Item

Update your existing News item with the following properties:

  1. Becomes visible to a participant based on a date: One week from today
  2. Becomes visible to a participant based on a satisfactory release condition being met: 30 days after being enrolled in a course
  3. Edit a News item to make sure participants who have dismissed or subscribed to News change notification will be alerted

Take Away

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