Teaching online guidebook
Announcements are a way of generating social presence in your FLO topic. This is an opportunity to model forum etiquette for students – be clear, use a meaningful Subject heading, provide links or navigation to parts of the FLO site if relevant, be polite but friendly and be inclusive.
Look for the discussion forum icon and the link to the forum.
- An announcement is a forum for one-way communication only – teacher to students (students can't see the 'Add new topic' button). Any posts you make will appear in the Latest announcements block in the RH side of the topic screen.
- Announcements are handy for all important information (eg assessment reminders). Remind students to check their emails regularly: a copy of the announcement (and a link to any attachments) will be sent to their Flinders email account.
It will depend on your role in the topic as to what announcements you make (eg the topic coordinator will probably make announcements about grades being available).
See Discussion forums for two-way forums (teacher-student, student-teacher, student-student).
What you could say
You could post an announcement at the beginning of each module. (but make sure there is a purpose, and be aware that not all students will read them). If you do this consistently, students will come to expect it. It also means you are socially present in the topic. You could follow this format:
- 1st announcement for the topic – when students have access (1 week before teaching starts)
- Announcement every module (if teaching in weeks, at the beginning of the week, eg early Monday)
Try to keep your announcements succinct (they are a resource for students), but at the same time help them get to know you by being personal and friendly.
1st announcement ideas
One week prior to topic commencement:
- Welcome students to the topic, encourage them to explore the site (videos, key features)
- Refer students to topic information resources
- Promote social learning and encourage them to engage with you and other students – remind them of the tools available (eg General discussion forum)
- Provide (learning) tips on how to be successful in the topic
- Whatever else…
Module announcement ideas
- Prompt students to access readings, start tasks, or review material
- Remind students that assessment items are due soon
- Remind students to track their time (time on task)
- Encourage communication with you and other students