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Course Announcements in Moodle

The Announcements 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 is a one-way tool.

Note: You can easily change the name of the Announcements forum name: Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon, top right), top right) and click the Edit title icon () for the forum. Type in a 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 do not 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.
  • 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).
  • Send an email copy of your posts.
    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). 
    Note: 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.
  • Archived posts.
    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.

Edit Announcements Settings

To reconfigure some of the behaviors of the Announcements forum:

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon, top right), top right). Editing icons and links will appear next to editable items.
  2. Locate the Announcements forum, click Edit, then select Edit 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 check box for Display description on course page.
  5. To change whether class members receive emails of posts, locate and open Subscription and tracking section, 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.
    Subscription mode
  6. To change whether your course members see a highlighted message next to the forum if they have unread posts, select either Optional (default) or Off for Read tracking.
  7. The remaining settings are common to all forums, but are 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 the message, "No announcements have been posted yet.".
  2. Click Add a new topic. The Your new discussion topic page opens.
    (Alternatively, 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 check box if you do not want the standard 30-minute delay before subscribers receive an email.
  7. Select the Pinned check box 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. You will be returned to Announcement page, on this page a "success" message appears. The subject line of the new post will appear as a link in the Latest news block.

Delete Announcements

If you want to delete the Announcements forum, you must first remove the Latest news block. If you do not, the Announcements link will automatically regenerate after you delete it.

  1. On your course page, click Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon, top right), top right). The page will refresh showing editing icons and links.
  2. On the Latest news block, click the Edit icon (Settings icon) and select (Delete Latest news block icon) 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 Delete (Delete Latest news block icon). A Confirm pop-up will 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).
    Note: You may need to wait for up to an hour for the Latest news block to show up with all its settings in your blocks section.
  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 to forum or click Cancel.