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Brightspace Tip #297: Discussions – @mentions

The Discussions tool has a new @mentions feature. Within the Discussion tool, users can now tag other users within the same course using @mentions. Tagged users are notified by alerts in the Minibar directing them to the thread in which they were tagged. Additionally, users can edit their notification settings and opt to receive email notifications when they are tagged in discussions.

Brightspace Editor with @mentions identifying users who match the criteria
The @mentions will identify users who match the criteria

You may be wondering how @mentions could enhance your class discussions. Here are a couple of examples:

Example 1:

@Mentions can help thread together concepts from multiple people in a discussion. For example, student A may be reading through discussion posts and sees that fellow classmates (Jayne and Francis) are making similar points in their posts but they are coming from completely different starting points. Student A wants to draw Jayne and Francis into a conversation with each other. Student A could post something like, "Hey @Jayne, did you see that @Francis agrees with you on x and y, but starts with presupposition b instead of a? What do you think about his presupposition?" Both Jayne and Francis would receive notification that they have been tagged in the discussion. Likewise, you as the instructor, could use the @mentions to tag students to draw them into a conversation.

Example 2:

You have a student that wants to draw you, as the instructor, into the conversation for clarification. The student could use the @mentions to tag you. You would receive notification alerting you that you have been tagged and you could prioritize responding to that thread before reading through all the others.

Do you have other examples of how @mentions could be useful in discussions? If so, please leave a comment on this post.

Notifications in the minibar showing @mentions the user is tagged in
Tagged users receive notification in the minibar

Follow these steps to do it.

To use @mentions in a discussion:

  1. Navigate to the forum topic or thread where you want to use @mentions.
  2. Post as normal by selecting Reply to Thread or Start a New Thread.
  3. To tag a user, type @ and begin typing their first or last name.
  4. The user will appear on a list under the text. Select the user to tag them.
  5. The @mention will display the user's first and last name.
  6. Select Post when you are done.

Want more information?

Plan and Facilitate Quality Online Discussions
Tips to Improve Online Discussions
How-to Resources for Discussion Forums
Brightspace Tip #201: Notifications

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