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Brightspace Tip #392: Discussions – @mentions

Did you know the Discussions tool has an @mentions feature? Within the Discussion tool, users can 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

Here are a few ways using @mentions could enhance online discussions:

  • Build relationships. Using an @mention is an effective way to build relationships in online discussion forums. As a result, the discussion forum becomes more welcoming and supportive. @mentions can help to build rapport and trust among your learners.
  • Get someone's attention. When you @mention someone, Brightspace will send them a notification that you have mentioned them. @mentioning someone is a great way to get their input, ask for clarification on a topic, ask a question, or to indicate your agreement with their comment.
  • Start a conversation. Start a conversation with someone by @mentioning them in your initial post. They will be more likely to respond because you mentioned them directly.
  • Keep a conversation going. @mention others in subsequent posts and replies. Doing so will help to keep the conversation going. It lets the people that you are @mentioning know that you are still interested in engaging them in a conversation.
  • Provide feedback. @mentions can be used to provide feedback on discussion posts. If you noticed someone made a comment that is not quite right or could be improved, you can @mention them and provide feedback to assist in teaching and learning.

Overall, @mention is a powerful feature that can be used to enhance online discussions. By using @mentions thoughtfully and encouraging your learners to use @mentions too, you can help to improve the quality of the discussion, build relationships among your learners, and your learners will get more out of the online discussions experience.

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

Do you have an example of how you are using @mentions to enhance your online discussions? If so, please share it by leaving a comment on this post.

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 #373: Notifications

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Note: Are you doing something innovative in Brightspace or perhaps you've discovered a handy tip? Share how you are using Brightspace in your teaching and learning in The Orange Room.

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