Overview of Notification Tab
Once a course is complete and open to students, notifications may be the most important time saving feature in teaching or even taking a course with this software. The best advice we can offer is to take the time to wrap your mind around the concepts and features in this segment.
Notifications are a log of activity in our courses. They are a way for the instructor (or a student) to keep track of activity going on in both self-study courses or interactive classes. If a user (instructor or student) has not been in a class for a couple of days, they can login and view notifications to see everything that's happened in the class since the last time they had logged in.
Every notification has a link that allows users to go directly to the new content. This is a huge time saver for both instructors and students. That link eliminates users having to navigate through their course to find the new content.
The Notifications tab is located on the main task bar right next to My Courses. (see image below)
Notifications are automatically generated every time students or instructors do something in a course. For example, if someone makes a post in a forum that post gets announced in notifications. If someone creates a new topic for a discussion forum that change is logged in a notification. If someone uploads a new homework video into a forum that generates a post in notifications.
The simple way to look at notifications is that is that they are simply a log of activity in the course. It's a log that both instructors and students can monitor every time they login into their class. They can quickly review everything that has gone on since the last time they had logged in. (basically repeating the paragraph 4 above this one, could probably delete unless you think it needs to be reiterated)
There are filters and notification icons that identify and tailor which notifications are displayed. We will cover those filters in this segment.
When the notification window is opened there are several options: (See image below)
1 - You can look at notifications for all your courses (see red arrow in image below)
2 - By using the drop down you will only see notifications just for a specific class (see the red circle in the image below)
3 - When the POST box is checked you will see changes to the course forums. (see red circle in image below)
4 - When the Video Box is checked you will see notifications when a new homework video is uploaded in addition to notifications when the instructor posts comments on that video (see the red circle in image below)
5 - If you have watchlist items (discussed in Segment 8) those items will also be displayed at the top of notification list.
We will now deal with notification filters.
Notifications can be filtered to only show those notifications you are most interested in. See the filter window below.
When you open the notification task bar you will see the courses window. When you select the drop down for a course window a class window pops up. If instructors are running more than one class of the exact same course they can select which class to view notifications from.
If we want to see forum posts in our notifications list, the POST box needs to be checked.
A notification will then be created when someone posts a new topic in a forum or when someone posts to an existing forum.
The beauty of this system is there are links in notifications that allow students or instructors to go directly to the new content in a notification. They don't have to navigate thru the class>forum>topic>posts just to find the new content.
The image below shows a list of notifications where the only ones that show are new comments or new topics to a forum. Each submission has an active link that will take the viewer directly to that new content.
You will also notice that each post has its own icon. Icons are discussed below in this segment. One icon is for a new topic being posted and one icon is for a post to a forum.
In an interactive course homework videos are uploaded into forums. If the video box is checked every new student video that is uploaded will be listed as a notification. When the instructor them comments on that video a notification will be created.
The beauty of that listing is there is a link in the notification will play the new video submission. This makes finding and watching the video and reading the instructors comments seamless.
The image below shows a list of notifications where the instructor or student only wanted to see new video submissions and/or new comments on those videos from the instructors or comments from other students.
You will also notice that each post has its own icon. Icons are discussed below in this segment. One icon is for a new video being posted and one icon is for a post concerning the instructor critiquing the video or a comment from another student on the video.
In segment 9 you will learn about watchlists. If you have created watchlists, any notification based on your watchlist filters will be displayed at the top of your list of notifications. (See the red circle in the image below) The top posts in the displayed list are watchlist posts.
You will notice that there is an envelope and an eye to the right of the watchlist posts. (see the image below) Watchlist posts have the option to be emailed to instructors or students.
The envelope indicates that you should get an email concerning that post if the post is changed. The eye means you will see this post when looking at watchlists. We cover those filters in segment 9.
Every notification post has an icon located on its left side. Understanding the meaning of those icons will make it easier to focus on the notifications that are important to you. Recognizing these icons will allow you to focus on items you're most interested in.
There are 4 icons for the 4 different types of notification:
1 - New Forum topic
2 - A post made to an existing forum topic
3 - A new video has been submitted
4 - A comment made concerning a video that has been uploaded into a forum.
Those posts may be the critique by the instructor or a comment from another student taking the class.
In the image below you will see the location of these icons. 3 of the 4 possible icons are in this example:
The icon below indicates the notification came from your watchlist and that it has been emailed to you.