Monthly Archives: December 2011

“Mail Now” Feature on Course Announcements Forum

The Course Announcements forum that should be present in every MoodleRooms course is the Blackboard equivalent of the Announcements page.  This is a special forum that Moodle calls the News Forum and we have renamed it to be Course Announcements at DCCC.  Instructors are to use this forum to communicate announcements to their students.

Users can be subscribed to a Moodle forum and this particular forum is no different.  Subscribing to a forum means that users will receive emails of every post.  Many find this overwhelming and unnecessary and choose not to be subscribed.  However, the Course Announcements forum might be the one forum where it makes sense.  After all, if instructors make a post in the forum, it is generally of particular importance to the whole class.

An instructor can control who subscribes to the forum.  They can do what’s called “force subscription,” which means all users have no choice but to receive emails of the posts to that forum.  When an instructor posts to a forum, an email is sent to all users in the course with the content of that post after the 30 minute edit window passes.  All users have a 30 minute grace period to edit a post before it gets emailed to subscribers.  If a user is not subscribed, then they will have to actually log in to MoodleRooms and navigate to that forum to read the post.

There has been some confusion regarding the “Mail Now” option instructors see when they construct a post for this particular forum.  It was previously thought that selecting that option would send an email to ALL users in the course (subscribers and non-subscribers, alike).  However, this is NOT the case.  The only way users receive emails of a post to a forum is if they are subscribed.  The Mail Now feature simply by-passes the 30 minute window.  The email is still only sent to subscribers.

So, if instructors want users to get an email of an announcement, they will need to make sure that they force subscription.