Activity Feed vs Announcements

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Randall.S.394
Randall.S.394 Posts: 13 🌱
edited November 2022 in Customer Enablement

What is (are) the differences between the two?

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  • Aasim.Y.704
    Aasim.Y.704 Posts: 128 ⏸️ Inactive
    edited November 2022
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    Hi @Randall Sharpe​ ,

     

    Thanks for connecting with us here in the Brightspace Community!

     

    I have tried to highlight the tools and use cases for Activity Feed and Announcements below.

     

    From the Activity Feed, you can post messages for learners and add attachments, for example, reminders about upcoming assignments and links to course materials. You can add attachments by copying and pasting a web link or embed code, or using the attachment icons.

     

    [Archived Content] Announcement is an organization homepage widget that allows instructors to share news with all users. Since My Home or Course Home is the first page most users see when they log in to their course, Announcements is the best way to broadcast important information. Learners can sign up to receive text or email notifications when new and updated Announcements appear.

     

    Hope this helps!

     

  • Randall.S.394
    Randall.S.394 Posts: 13 🌱
    edited November 2022
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    Since you can also post messages and add attachments and links to course materials to announcements (within a course), it sounds like they are effectively identical. The only difference it sounds like is that students can't sign up to get notifications for activity feeds.

     

    I am trying to decide which should be used by default on a course home page.

     

    If announcements are for the homepage, where else might an instructor put the activity feed widget?

  • Steve.B.446
    Steve.B.446 Posts: 74
    edited November 2022
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    Something I want to experiment with is using both together, and setting an expectation that any information that is critical for students to know will be on an announcement, information that's "nice to have" will be on Activity Feed.

     

    That would allow students to tailor which notifications they want - some want everything, others get irritated by what they consider to be excessive numbers.

     

    They can opt in to receive Activity Feed notifications separately for new posts and for replies

  • Geoff.M.8935
    Geoff.M.8935 Posts: 9
    edited November 2022
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    Hi @Randall Sharpe​,

     

    Announcements are a place for instructors to share information, whereas Activity Feed is more like a social media feed in that the instructor can share information and then have a conversation with students about it.

     

    For example, if you share an Announcement with students about an upcoming assignment, it's a reminder of the deadline. However, if you share that same message via Activity Feed, it could open up a discussion about questions students might have about that assignment and gather that information in one place.

     

    See more about Activity Feed and its use cases here: https://www.d2l.com/blog/use-activity-feed-improve-classroom-engagement/

     

    Hope this helps. Have a great day!

  • Randall.S.394
    Randall.S.394 Posts: 13 🌱
    edited November 2022
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    Ah, now I understand. Thanks.

  • Michael.Peters5676
    Michael.Peters5676 Posts: 5 🌱
    edited November 2022
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    (I haven't actually used the Activity Feed yet, but I'm considering similar questions, so I have been playing with in my sandbox).

     

    There are lots of really important differences that haven't been mentioned.

     

    The most important diffence (IMHO) - you can set the Activity Feed so that students can post to it, and comment on posts, not just instuctors. In that way it becomes more of a social learning tool, rather than a one-way flow of information. But since we also have a full-blown discussions, and a chat tool, I'm not sure where this fits. Depending on the setup of your course, I can see this as a useful "discussion light" alternative.

     

    Also (again - depending on how your courses are set up, this might be a deal-breaker) - I don't think there is any way to use sophisticated release conditions with activitity feed posts. So - full classlist communication only, no sections or other group communication. There is a limited ability to schedule activity feed posts, but I don't really see where the data is stored - I don't think the feed is saved in same way as announcements, there are no "Drafts" or anything like that, where you might reuse posts in future courses. This seems to be an "in the moment" social-focused tool. (Correct me if I'm wrong!)

     

    It also allows instructors to create assignments directly from the activity feed tool. (Which, if I'm honest, I don't really like - it feels like it encourages unplanned, back-of-a-napkin assessments).

  • Dennis.R.290
    Dennis.R.290 Posts: 1 🌱
    edited November 2022
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    I just started playing with Activity Feed today... and I think I noticed that not only can students create a "Message," they can also create an "Assignment." Am I seeing that correctly?

  • sicilias@sunyocc.edu
    sicilias@sunyocc.edu Posts: 4 🌱
    edited November 2022
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    As Dennis mentioned, students seem to have the option of adding "assignments" on the feed. Is there a way the instructor can disable that? I'd like it to function more like a chat that runs throughout the course.