Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Using the Announcements

The Announcements tool enables you to create news items that help communicate course updates, changes, and new information to your students quickly and effectively. Since My Home or Course Home is the first page that users often see when they log in or access their courses, the Announcements widget is a good area for displaying important information. You can use Announcements to welcome students to the course at the beginning of the term, let them know of any important deadlines or materials that have been added to the course.

  • What is required: A D2L Brightspace course and an Announcements widget

Important Notes

  • It is recommended to only have three to five announcement items, depending on how much you have in the content of each announcement, visible on the Course Home. Students will tend to ignore or glaze over the announcements if you have too many of them
  • It’s best to set an End Date for announcement that you would like to keep them for future class or to organize the announcements as needed to show on the Course Home
  • Announcements tool only available from your course Homepage and do not send any emails or notifications to students. Students can see the course Update Alerts inside D2L Brightspace or need to sign-up for notifications to view the announcement outside of the D2L Brightspace course

What can you do with the Announcements tool?

Option 1: Create an announcements item

Note:

  • You can use a replace strings and add it to the text field or HTML editor area inside D2l of the Announcements tool (like in the Headline or Content). Then later when someone views your Announcement, D2l will replace the strings with the appropriate information about that viewer.
      • Replace string: {FirstName} will display the viewer’s first name
      • Replace string: {LastName} will display the viewer’s last name
      • Replace string: {UserName} will display the viewer’s username in D2l
      • Replace string: {ExternalEmail} will display the viewer’s email address
      • Replace string: {RoleName} will display the viewer’s role in your course

    For example: In the Headline, we add {RoleName} and in the Content, we add {FirstName}
    Announcements-add Replace Strings
    When a student views this announcement, the Headline will show Student and the Content will show the student’s first name
    Announcements-Replace Strings-display viewer info

  • Save as Draft saves the announcement for future editing and not visible for students. Publish will release the announcement on the Course Home and is visible to students
Video Tutorials:
Option 2: Edit an existing announcement

Note: When editing an announcement, you can choose to check the box for Major Edit – send a notification and restore it for those who dismissed it, right below the Content of the announcement (where you write your message). This allows your announcement to be treated as new, will be visible to those who previously dismissed this announcement and also send a notification to your students
Announcements-Edit announcement-major edit - send a notification and restore it for those who dismissed it

  1. Click on the Course Home link from the course navbar
  2. Find the announcement:
    • If you see the announcement that you want to update available on the page, click on the drop down arrow next to the announcement’s title and select Edit.
    • If you don’t see it listed on the Course Homepage, click on the drop down arrow next to the Announcements and select Go to Announcements Tool. Once you find the announcement you want to update, click on the drop down arrow next to the announcement’s title and choose Edit.
      image of announcments in announcment tool with the context menu of a particular announcment, Edit circled in menu
  3. Make your changes and click on the Update button
    Image of save uptions for an edited announcment that has been published, Update and Cancel
Option 3: Reorder announcements
  1. Click on the Course Home link from the course navbar
  2. Click on the drop down arrow next to Announcements and select Reorder Announcements
    Announcements-reorder
  3. Use the Sort Order drop down list to select order you’d like each announcement to appear. Other items will automatically reposition themselves according to the new order
    image of the sort order dropdown menu
  4. Click on the Save button
Option 4: Dismiss an announcement & restore dismissed announcement

Dismiss option is a personal setting to remove an announcement from the Announcements list because you do not want to see it anymore. When you dismiss an announcement on your course, it doesn’t mean it will remove it for your students. If you want to not make it visible for the students, you can either delete the announcement or set an end date.

Option 4a: Dismiss an announcement
  1. Click on the Course Home link from the course navbar
  2. Click on the X to the right of the Announcement you would like to dismiss
    Announcements-dismiss-announcement
  3. The announcement you dismissed will disappear from the Announcements area
Option 4b: Restore a dismissed announcement
  1. Click on the Course Home link from the course navbar
  2. Click on the drop down arrow for Announcements and select Go to Announcements Tool
    Announcements-Go to Announcements Tool
  3. Find the dismissed announcement that you want to restore. You will see “(dismissed)” note next to the announcement’s title
  4. Click on the drop down next to the announcement’s title and select Restore
    Announcements-restore dismissed announcement
  5. You will see a pop-up message “Restored Successfully” at the bottom of the page
Option 5: Delete an announcement & restore deleted announcement
Video tutorial:
Option 5a: Delete an announcement
  1. Click on the Course Home link from the course navbar
  2. Find the announcement:
    • If you see the announcement that you want to update available on the page, click on the drop down arrow next to the announcement’s title and select Delete.
    • If you don’t see it listed on the Course Homepage, click on the drop down arrow next to the Announcements and select Go to Announcements Tool. Once you find the announcement you want to update, click on the drop down arrow next to the announcement’s title and choose Delete.
      Announcements-delete
    • To delete multiple postings, check the box next to the announcements’ titles you want to delete, then click on the Delete icon (trash) at the top of the list
      Announcements-delete-multiple announcements
  3. Click the Yes button on the confirmation window. You will see a pop-up “Deleted Successfully” at the bottom of the page
Option 5b: Restore a deleted announcement
  1. Click on the Course Home link from the course navbar
  2. Click on the drop down arrow for Announcements and select Go to Announcements Tool
    Announcements-Go to Announcements Tool
  3. Click on the More Actions button and select Restore
    Announcements-restore-deleted announcement
  4. Check the box next to the announcements you’d like to restore
  5. Click on the Restore button
    Announcements-deleted announcement-choose items to restore
  6. You will see a pop-up “Announcements Restored Successfully” at the bottom of the page

How and where can students see the Announcements?

Option 1: Sign-up to an Announcements notifications
  1. Click on the Course Home link from the course navbar
  2. Click on the drop down arrow for Announcements and select Notifications
    Announcements-notifications
  3. Under Instant Notifications section, check the boxes for both Announcements – announcement updated and Announcements – new announcement available
    Note: check the boxes for SMS if you register your mobile phone number at the top to receive messages from the phone
    Announcements-notifications-checked for announcements
  4. Click on the Save button
Video Tutorial:
Option 2: Course Update Alerts
  1. When there’s new updates for the courses that are active and you have access to, you will see an update alerts shows up on the top right corner next to your name, indicated by an orange dot on the bell icon
    Update alerts-new updates indicator
  2. Click on the new update alerts icon to display what new updates are available for your courses
    Update alerts-display new updates
  3. Click on each update item and it will take you right to it