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How To: Use Course Announcements in the BFCA Education Portal

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Instructors can use the Announcements Forum in the BFCA Education Portal to send important notifications to students. All messages posted in the Announcements Forum are automatically sent to each student’s email, and students cannot unsubscribe from these notifications.

Students are unable to reply within the Announcements Forum, but can still read posted messages. Attachments to forum posts are not included in email notifications but can be accessed from the BFCA Education Portal course directly. 

Posting an announcement

  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.)”On the next page, click the Add a new topic button  
  2. Enter a Subject and a Message (both are required).
  3. 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.)
  4. You may choose to add an attachment.
  5. Select the Mail now checkbox if you do not want the standard 30-minute delay before subscribers receive an email.
  6. Select the Pinned checkbox if you want to highlight your Post to be at the top of your Announcements list.
  7. Click Post to forum to post your message. A “success” message appears. Click Continue to return to the Announcements forum page. 

Edit announcements settings

  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 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 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..
  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.

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 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 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 Edspora 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
  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 forum or click Cancel.

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