Forums are an online space for discussion where users don't need to be online at the same time. The Announcements forum is a unique forum where only Lecturers can make posts and notify students via a LEO message or email.
New posts appear as a topic in the Announcements Forum and also in a block called 'Latest Announcements'. Posts are forwarded as emails through the default 'forced subscription' setting in the forum settings.
How to enable the Announcements Forum in your unit
In most unit templates, Announcements will be enabled by default, and should a link in your unit already. If not, you can activate the forum yourself:
Navigate to your LEO unit.
Under Administration -> Unit Administration, click the 'Edit settings' link.
Under the Appearance settings, set the "Number of announcements" dropdown to a number larger than '0':
Click the 'Save and display' button to save.
The number of announcements will show the chosen number of announcements in the Latest Announcements block on the unit home page. If this number is set to "0", the Announcements forum and the Latest Announcements block will not appear in the unit.
The "Subscription mode" setting
By default, the Announcements forum is set to "Forced subscription", meaning all students and staff will receive notifications for this forum. Other forums used in units are most often "optional" subscription method:
Forum personal preferences
A user's personal preferences will determine whether they receive notifications and emails about posts made in the Announcements forum (note: these preferences also determine notifications for other types of forums they are subscribed to).
You can post the Announcements forum, which will send notifications to all enrolled users according to their user preferences. Users are unable (by default) to opt out of Announcement forum subscription, meaning they should always receive some type of post notification.
To make an Announcement post:
Navigate to your unit and then click on the 'Announcements forum' link:
Click the 'Add new topic' button.
Complete the Subject and Message fields, and add an Attachment if required.
Optionally, you may check the Send forum post notifications with no editing-time delay checkbox to skip the one hour delay period.
Click the 'Post to forum' button to save your new post.
User preferences for students
As with staff, students can change their notification preferences from their Preferences page in LEO.
If you intend to use any type of Forum to communicate with students, ensure you tell your students to enable their Forum notifications in their LEO preferences.
An Announcement Forum message field contains the standard LEO text editor functions, meaning that in addition to text, you can also add images, links or embedded video.
Messages are a good way to send important information to students, however if your message need to include supporting documentation, it is best to use the Announcements Forum as it includes an 'Attachment' area to upload one or more supporting files. The attachment will be displayed in the news message where students can choose to download the file to a location on their computer or device.