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Brightspace Tip #51: Engage Learners with Activity Feed

Announcements are a great way to communicate a lot of details around an event or schedule, but announcements do not have a way for learners to engage with the content of the announcement that you posted; that's where Activity Feed comes in!

activity feed

The Activity Feed provides a central location for instructors to post messages and links to course materials, web links, and files on Google Drive. It gives learners the ability to quickly access links to important materials, and comment on messages made by instructors and classmates.

Both Announcements and Activity Feed are great ways to share information, but sometimes one tool is a better fit than the other. To get a better understanding of how to use these tools effectively consider these examples of how instructors can use the Announcements tool and the Activity Feed tool.

Activity #1 - Post a News Article for Learners to Read and Comment On:

Reason: Instructor wants to share a news article about a recent event for learners to comment on. The news article the instructor wants them to read was not originally part of the curriculum, but is a real world example of what they are working on in the course.

Action: Instructor uses the Activity Feed tool to post a quick note about the article, including instructions to read and comment on the article. The instructor attaches a link the website the article is published on.

Result: Learners are able to read the article and ask questions, share thoughts, and read comments from their peers.

Activity #2 - Create an Automated Quiz Deadline Reminder:

Reason: Instructor wants to remind learners that they have two days remaining to complete a quiz before the deadline, but doesn't want to remind those who have already completed the quiz.

Action: Instructor creates an announcement that includes a text reminder of the quiz deadline, and adds a quicklink to the quiz in the announcement. In addition, the instructor adds a release condition to the announcement to share the quiz reminder with learners who have not completed the quiz.

Result: Using a release condition along with the announcement will target learners who have yet to complete the quiz, but won't clutter the Announcement tool with irrelevant messages for learners who have completed the quiz.

Activity #3 - Share Content from Google Drive:

Reason: Instructor wants to share something that was saved on their Google Drive.

Action: Instructor can create a post in the Activity Feed or in Announcements, then select the option to share the desired item from Google Drive. Both tools now have the ability to share from Google Drive, so the instructor gets to choose the interface he/she prefers.

Result: Instructor is able to quickly share something from their Google Drive for learners to see by choosing the tool they like most!

Are you interested in using Activity Feed? Keep This in Mind:

Typically, a course homepage would contain either the Announcements widget or the Activity Feed widget. Instructors should choose one of the two tools that is a better fit for their course. The default course homepage contains the Announcements widget. Instructors who decide to use the Activity Feed widget will have to modify the course homepage to include the widget.

If you are the instructor for the course, you can customize your course homepage to add/remove widgets. Information on customizing course home pages can be found in this Brightspace tip on customizing your course homepage.

Want more information?

Activity Feed Widget for Instructors Video Playlist
Homepages and Widgets
Design a Course Homepage with Widgets (pdf)
Google Apps Integration
Announcements Tool Quick Reference Guide (pdf)
Create an Announcement (video)
Quicklinks
Getting Started with Release Conditions (pdf)
Best Practices for Creating Release Conditions
View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Known Issues
Continuous Delivery release notes
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

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