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Course Announcements in Moodle

The Announcements forum (previously called News Forum) is a special forum that acts as an announcements tool for your Moodle course. Only instructors and TAs can post to Announcements, and by default, posts made to Announcements are emailed to class members. Students cannot leave replies to the posts; it's a one-way tool.

Note: In courses created before August 2017, Announcements will still be called News Forum. However, you can easily change its name: Turn editing on and click the Edit title icon (Edit icon) for the forum. Type and new name, then press Enter/Return.

Unique Behaviors of the Announcements Forum

  • Announcements appears by default in the top section
    Although you can move the Announcements forum out of the top section, we recommend you don't as this may make it more difficult for your students to find.
  • The Latest news block and Announcements are interconnected.
    The Latest news block displays the titles of your most recent posts to Announcements and links to those posts.
    Latest News Block
  • You can hide or remove Announcements.
    If you do not want to use Announcements, you can simply hide both it and the Latest news block. If you want to delete the forum entirely you must also delete the Latest News block (see Delete Announcements, below).
  • By default, Announcements sends an email copy of your posts to all members of the class.
    Moodle will send an email copy of your posts to the entire class. The email includes any attachments to the post. You can choose to make subscription optional or disable it (see Edit Announcements Settings, below).
  • Posts are archived in the Announcements forum.
    While you also have the option to use Quickmail to email students, Announcements posts have the advantage of being collected on a single page within the course. You and your students can review them any time you are logged into Moodle without having to search through your personal email inbox.
  • Moodle gives you 30 minutes to edit a new post before it is sent out as an email message.
    Your post will be held for 30 minutes prior to being sent. The post can be edited within that time-frame. If you are feeling very confident and would like your new post emailed immediately, check Mail now.
  • By default, only instructors and TAs can post to the Announcements forum. Comments are disabled for Announcements.
    The instructor can extend permission to make posts to a particular class member by setting Locally assigned roles.

Edit Announcements Settings

To reconfigure some of the behaviors of the Announcements forum:

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (at top right). Editing icons and links will appear next to editable items.
  2. Locate the Announcements forum, click Edit (at right), then select Update iconEdit Settings. The Updating Forum page will open.
  3. To rename the activity from Announcements, in the Forum name box, enter a new name.
  4. To add a description, enter text in the Description box, and to have the description display on the course page under the Announcements link, select the checkbox for Display description on course page.
  5. To change whether class members receive emails of posts, click to open Subscription and tracking, and from the Subscription mode drop-down, select a new option:

    Optional subscription - Participants can choose whether to be subscribed.
    Forced subscription (Default) - Everyone is subscribed and cannot unsubscribe.
    Auto subscription - Everyone is subscribed initially but can choose to unsubscribe at any time.
    Subscription disabled - Subscriptions are not allowed.
    Subsccription mode drop-down.
  6. Read tracking allows your course members to see a highlighted message next to the forum if they have unread posts. The default setting is Optional.
  7. The remaining settings are common to all forums but not useful for Announcements and can be ignored.
  8. To save your changes, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Save and return to course.

Add a Post to Announcements

  1. On your course page, click the Announcements link. The Announcements page will open, showing the description you provided when you set up the activity, and if any posts have been made, they will be listed here. If no topics or posts have been added, you'll see a message "(No news has been posted yet.)"
  2. Click Add a new topic. The Your new discussion topic page opens.
    (Alternately, you can skip Step 1, and click the Add a new topic link in the Latest news block to open this page.)
  3. Enter a Subject and a Message (both are required).
  4. If subscription is set to Optional in the forum's settings, you can use the Subscription drop-down menu to choose whether or not to receive email copies of posts made to this forum. (This will affect you, not your students.)
  5. You may choose to add an attachment.
  6. Select the Mail now checkbox if you do not want the standard 30-minute delay before subscribers receive an email.
  7. Select the Pinned checkbox if you want to highlight your Post to be at the top of your Announcements list.
  8. Click Post to forum to post your message. A "success" message appears. Click Continue to return to the Announcements forum page. The subject line of the new post will appear as a link in the Latest news block.

Delete Announcements

If you want to delete Announcements from your course, you must first remove the Latest news block, otherwise Announcements link will automatically regenerate after you delete it.

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on. The page will refresh showing editing icons and links.
  2. On the Latest news block, click the Edit icon (Edit block) and select X Delete Latest news block. When asked if you are sure you want to delete this block, click Yes. The page will refresh and the block will no longer be in your course.
  3. To the right of Announcements, click Edit , then select X Delete. A Confirm pop-up wil open asking if you are sure you want to delete the forum; click Yes. The page will refresh and the forum will no longer be in your course.

Replace a Deleted Announcements Forum

If you ever want the Announcements forum back in your course, you'll find out that Announcements is the only Moodle activity that does not appear in the Add an activity or resource menu! To recover your Announcements:

  1. You must first add the Latest news block back to your course (see Add and Remove Blocks).
  2. In the Latest news block click Add a new topic... . The Announcements forum will automatically reappear in the top section of your course whether you click Post fo forum or click Cancel.