Technology

Communicate with your Students using ReggieNet Announcements

Last modified 5/18/2022

ReggieNet Announcements

Creating an Announcement

  1. If you do not see the Announcements menu tabs, click ANNOUNCEMENTS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Click the Add tab. ReggieNet then displays the Post Announcement screen.
  3. In the Announcement title box, enter the subject of your announcement.
  4. In the Body box, use the editor to create and format the body of your announcement.
  5. In the Access section, select the groups of people who will see your announcements:
  6. In the Availability section, indicate if and when you want to make this announcement available for viewing.
  7. To add an attachment, click the Post Attachments button and then follow the directions given. ReggieNet will then display the file name in the Attachments section.
  8. Select an option from the Email Notification pull-down box to indicate whether site participants should receive an email when this announcement is posted.
  9. Click Post Announcement or choose an appropriate choice.

Note

After viewing the announcement in preview mode, click Post Announcement to save the announcement. If you want to make changes, click Edit or Clear to return to the Post Announcement screen.


Editing an Announcement

  1. If you do not see the Announcements list, click ANNOUNCEMENTS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Click Edit for the announcement you want to change. (You may also click on the announcement and then click on Edit in the menu bar.)
  3. Make the desired changes to your announcement.
  4. To save your revisions, click Save Changes. Or, to cancel your revisions, click Cancel.

Deleting an Announcement

  1. If you do not see the Announcements list on the Announcements home page, click
    ANNOUNCEMENTS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Check the box(es) next to the announcement(s) you want to delete. Keep in mind that the Remove boxes appear only for users who have permission to remove announcements. (You may also click on an announcement in the list and click on the Remove link in the menu bar.)
  3. Click Update to remove the items or click Clear to cancel the removal. A message appears, asking you to confirm the removal.
  4. Click Remove to remove the announcement or click Clear to cancel the removal.

Messages

Messages is a course site specific mail tool. It is a self-contained system and messages will stay in ReggieNet unless you or your students set up forwarding options.

Sending a Message

See the interface in the image below for additional options available for sending messages.

  1. Click on the Messages tool.
  2. Click on the Compose Message tab.
  3. Select Recipients. Three options are available.
    1. All Participants – Send the message to every participant in the class.
    2. Select Specific Roles – Send the message to participants in a certain role (e.g., Students, Instructors, Graduate Assistants, etc.).
    3. Select Individual Recipients Manually – Send the message to only those course participants that you choose.
  4. Enter Subject & Message. Add attachment if it’s appropriate.
  5. Click Send or choose another appropriate choice.

Messages can also be organized into folders. Click New Folder to create a folder. When reading a message, click Move to folder to choose where to move it.

Messages Settings

Course Mail offers a few settings that you can change. 

Note

If you disable sending copies to recipients’ e-mail addresses, that option is turned off for all users, including the course instructor. Thus, if you want to be able to send messages to students’ external e-mail accounts; be sure to leave this option enabled.


Email Tool

The Email Tool allows you to send e-mails directly to students’ e-mail accounts from within ReggieNet.

Sending e-mail

  1. Click on Email Tool.
  2. Click Compose in the Email Tool menu.
  3. Select roles or groups. You can also send it to other recipients where you can type any e-mails.
  4. Write a message and attach files. You can also select Send me a copy or Add to Email Archive.
  5. Click Send Mail or Cancel.

Settings in Email Tool

Email Tool offers a few options for customizing how Email Tool works. A screenshot of the settings and explanations of each setting are shown below.

Copies: You can choose where copies are sent to by the Email Tool. You can have them sent directly to your account, you can have e-mails stored in the public Email Archive (a separate ReggieNet tool which must be added to the course to see this option), or you can select to have e-mails sent both places every time you send.

Reply-to: Choose whether or not to allow replies to e-mails. If you choose “Do not allow reply”, recipients must create a new e-mail to respond to a message.

Display Invalid emails: If yes is selected, ReggieNet will display e-mail addresses even if they are invalid and can’t have mail sent to them.

Display empty recipient groups: If yes is selected, ReggieNet will display all recipient groups in a particular category (for example, Roles), even if no participant in the class is in that role. So, for example, if your class has no one assigned to the Graduate Teaching Assistant role, that category would still appear, even though you couldn’t send an e-mail to that recipient group.

Forums

FORUM: A Forum is a collection of topics that the instructor has created. In each Forum, you can have a number of topics. Access to the entire Forum can be controlled through the forum settings.

TOPIC: A topic is a collection of one or more conversations (threads) that users have created because they have questions, want to make comments, need to reply, etc. Inside a Topic, you click on an individual Conversation to see what people have posted. Access to the topic can be controlled through the topic settings.

CONVERSATION: Conversations are threads made up of posts between individual users.

POST: Posts are comments uploaded by users. A group of linked Posts is called a Conversation. 

Setting up and Managing Forums

Creating a Forum

  1. If the Forums home page is not displayed, click FORUMS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Click the New Forum tab near the top of the screen. The Forum Settings screen will be displayed. All settings you select for the forum will be inherited by any topics created within that forum.
  3. Enter Forum Title, Short Description (Optional), Description (Optional). To add an attachment for participants to read, click Add Attachment and follow the prompts.
  4. Forum Posting – set posting options
    4a. Lock Forum (Disable Forum postings) - Students can still read, but they cannot post.
    4b. Moderate Topics in Forum - Selecting this requires a moderator to approve all posts before they are visible to students.
    4c. Require users to post before reading - Students cannot read other posts until they have posted themselves. When users initially access the topic, they will see the following message: (! You must post to this topic before you can view any messages).
  5. Availability - Select when the forum will be displayed to site participants
    5a. If you want the forum to be displayed immediately and not be hidden at a later date, click Show Immediately.
    5b. If you want to set a date for when the forum is displayed and/or hidden, click Specify Dates, then enter the appropriate dates in the Open Date and Close Date fields that are displayed. Note that students will not be able to read posts after the Close Date.
  6. Automatically Mark All Messages in Conversations Read – makes marking individual messages as read unnecessary.
  7. Grading - Associate this forum with a specific pre-existing item in the Gradebook by selecting from the Gradebook Item pulldown list. In order to do this, you’d have to first create a gradebook item so the item will show up in the pulldown menu. Note: You may not want to associate a forum with a gradebook item, but instead, you may want to do so when you’re setting up a topic.
  8. Permissions – set permissions for each role or group. Use drop-down to select one of the default permission levels, or click Customize and select/deselect permission items.
  9. Click Save or another appropriate option.

Warning!

Site participants cannot view or access a forum until it has at least one topic in it. Even so, you do not necessarily have to add the first topic when you create the forum. You may add a topic when you create the forum or at any future time.


Changing a Forum

  1. Find the appropriate forum and click the Forum Settings link for it.
  2. Change entries as desired and exit from the screen as appropriate.

Deleting a Forum

Warning!

When you delete a forum, you also delete all topics and messages in it


  1. Find the appropriate forum and click the More link for it.
  2. Click the Delete Forum link from the menu.
  3. To proceed to delete the forum and its contents, click the Delete Forum button; to abandon this action, click Cancel.

Setting up and Managing Topics

Adding a Topic

  1. Find the forum to which you want to add the topic and click the New Topic link.
  2. Enter Topic Title, Short Description (Optional), Description (Optional). To add an attachment for participants to read, click Add Attachment and follow the prompts.
  3. Topic Posting
    1. Lock Topic (Disable topic postings) – students can still read, but they cannot post
    2. Moderate Topic – selecting this requires a moderator to approve all posts before they are visible to students.
    3. Require users to post before reading – students cannot read other posts until they have posted themselves
    4. Posts are anonymous – users will not see author information. If this option is selected, another option will be shown which allows permissions to be adjusted for who can see author information.
  4. Availability - Select when the topic will be displayed to site participants
          a. If you want the topic to be displayed immediately and not be hidden at a later date, click Show immediately.
          b. If you want to set a date for when the topic is displayed or hidden, click Specify Dates, then enter the appropriate dates in the Open and Close Date fields that are dsiplayed. Note students will not be able to read posts after the Close Date.
  5. Mark All Messages in Conversations Read – makes marking individual messages as read unnecessary.
  6. Grading - Associate this topic with a specific pre-existing item in the Gradebook by selecting from the Gradebook Item pulldown list. In order to do this, you’d have to first create a gradebook item so the item will show up in the pulldown menu.
  7. Permissions – set permissions for each role or group. Use drop-down to select one of the default permission levels, or click Customize and select/deselect permission items.
  8. Click Save or another appropriate option.

Changing a Discussion Topic

  1. If the Forums home page is not displayed, click FORUMS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Find the appropriate topic and click the Topic Settings link for it.
  3. Change entries as desired and exit from the screen as appropriate.

Deleting a Discussion Topic

Warning!

When you delete a topic, you also delete all messages in it.


  1. If the Forums home page is not displayed, click FORUMS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Find the appropriate topic and click the More link for it.
  3. To delete this topic, click the Delete Topic link in the pop-up menu.
  4. To proceed to delete the topic and its contents, click the Delete button near the bottom of the screen again. Or, to return to the Forums home page without deleting it, click Cancel.

Changing the Order of Forums and Topics

By default, the most recently created forums and topics are listed first on the home page. To change the order of forums or topics on that page, access the Forums tool and follow these steps:

  1. If the Forums home page is not displayed, click FORUMS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Click the Organize tab.
  3. The title of each forum and topic is preceded by a pulldown list that shows the order in which the forum or topic is displayed.
  4. Use the pulldown lists to change the order.
  5. To save your work, click Save.

Participating in a Discussion

 

Reading Messages

  1. Display the desired Forum by clicking its name in the forums list on the home page; then click the name of the desired Topic in the resulting display. You may sort the list by subject, author, or date.
  2. Next to the subject, the display indicates the number of messages in the thread. Threads that contain replies show the replies indented. Messages that are new and any that have not yet been approved by the moderator are flagged as “New” and “Pending,” respectively. An envelope icon also displays next to the name of the person who has posted a new message.

Posting a Reply

  1. Click the Reply
  2. The Reply Title box contains a default title for your reply. This title is in the format Re: [subject of thread or message to which you are replying].
  3. If desired, change Reply Title entry. This box is required.
  4. If desired, insert the text of the message to which you are replying by clicking the Insert Original Text button. ReggieNet copies the text of that message and the name of its creator and creation date and time into the Message box.
  5. In the Message box, enter your reply. Use the icons and boxes to format the text as appropriate.
  6. If desired, display the number of words in the message by clicking the Count words link.
  7. To add one or more attachments to this message, click the Add attachments button.
  8. To post the message, click the Post Message button near the bottom of the screen.

Changing a Message

As the instructor, by default, you have an option to edit any messages.

  1. Beneath the poster’s name, click the Edit link for the message you want to change.
  2. Edit as desired.
  3. Click on Post Edited Message.

Deleting a Message

As the instructor, by default, you have an option to delete any messages.

  1. Beneath the poster’s name, click the Delete link for the message you want to remove.
  2. ReggieNet asks you to confirm that you want to delete the message, click the Delete button.

 

Watching Forums

  1. If the Forums home page is not displayed, click FORUMS in the breadcrumb bar.
  2. Click the Watch tab near the top.
  3. Choose one of the following options:
    • To receive an email each time a new message is posted, click Send me an email whenever a new message is posted.
    • To receive an email only when a new message has been posted to a thread you have contributed to, click Send me an email when a conversation that I have contributed to receives a new message.
    • To stop receiving notifications via email, click No notification.
    • To save your changes, click the Save button.

 

Grading Student Work in the Forums Tools

The Forums tool allows you to choose whether or not to grade each forum or topic you create. When you want to grade a forum or topic, it is a good idea to choose a default gradebook item from the dropdown menu in the settings. You will need to create the item in the Gradebook tool before being able to select an option here (Refer to the Gradebook Help Documents for how to create Gradebook Items).

Once you have posted the forum or topic, you can grade each student’s post individually, giving both a grade (in number of points) and comments.

Statistics

Once you have all of your forums set up, you can track how much your students are reading and posting. 

Note

the Read/Unread statistic is only accurate if students actually mark posts as read.


Commons

The Commons tool is a simplified discussion space, with a social media feel. Users can post a comment, image, or link; others can reply.

  1. To post, enter the text in the box and click the Post button
  2. To post a reply to a post, click the Reply link, enter text, and then click Post Comment.
    • To include a link, click on the Insert a link icon. In the pop-up, enter display text and the link address.
    • To include a picture, click on the Insert an image icon. In the pop-up, click Choose file, and select the image file you wish to use; click Insert.

Blogs

With the Blogs tool, you may:

  • Create blog posts viewable by all members of the site, or admins only.
  • View and leave comments for the blog entries of other users.
  • Receive comments on your blog entries from other users, as well as leave your own comments.
  • Add RSS news feeds for the blogs of other users, as well as for your own.

Note

If the Blog tool is not already added to your site, you can add it through Site Info →  Manage Tools.


Accessing the Blogs Tool

You’ll see a list of the blogs that other site participants have created and to which you have access, along with the number of blog entries for each blogger and the date and time of their most recent activity. In addition, ReggieNet displays an RSS feed icon for each blog.

 ReggieNet also displays the My blog link, for access to all of your own blog entries, as well as the date and time of your last activity.

Viewing and Managing Your Blog Entries

  1. Click the All the blogs tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click the My blog link. ReggieNet displays a page similar to this one:
  3. On this page, you may view all of your blog entries, both published and in draft mode. You may also take a variety of actions:
    • To edit an entry, click the Edit entry link.
    • To remove an entry, click the Remove entry link
    • To view comments for a blog entry, click the Comments link.
    • To leave a comment for an entry, click Leave a comment.

 

Adding a Blog Entry

  1. Click the Add blog entry tab. ReggieNet displays the Add a new blog entry page.
  2. In the Title box, enter a title for the blog entry. An entry here is required.
  3. In the text box, add your content. An entry here is required.
  4. Specify who may view your blog entry. You can choose to make your post available to site administrators (Instructors) only; all members of the site; or public.

    Note

    If you select This entry is publicly viewable, you must still provide the entry’s URL to users.

  5. If you want to publish your blog entry, click Publish Entry. If you want to save your work but do not want to publish the entry, click Save Draft. If you do not want to save your work, click Cancel.

 

Editing a Blog Entry

  1. If the main page for the Blogs tool is not displayed, click BLOGS in the breadcrumb bar and click the All the blogs tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click the My blog link.
  3. For the appropriate blog entry, click the Edit entry link. ReggieNet displays the Edit a blog entry page.

Removing a Blog Entry

  1. If the main page for the Blogs tool is not displayed, click BLOGS in the breadcrumb bar and click the All the blogs tab at the top of the page.
  2. Click the My blog link.
  3. For the appropriate blog entry, click the Remove entry link. Click OK in the pop-up dialogue box that appears. Or, if you do not want to remove the entry, click Cancel.

Viewing Blogs of Other Users

  1. If the main page for the Blogs tool is not displayed, click BLOGS in the breadcrumb bar or click All the blogs in the Blogs menu bar at the top of the page.
  2. From the Blogger column, click on the appropriate name. ReggieNet displays that user’s blog. You’ll see all the blog entries to which you have access, with the most recent entry on top.
  3. To view comments left by other users, click on the comments link, which includes the number of comments. To see a blog entry in a separate window, click the Permalink link.
  4. Depending on the permissions you’ve been granted, ReggieNet may also display a Leave a comment link for each entry.

Leaving Comments for Blog Entries

If the site owner has granted you the appropriate permission, you may leave a comment for a blog entry by another user. To leave a comment, follow these steps:

  1. For the appropriate blog entry, click on the Leave a comment link. ReggieNet displays the existing comments for the entry, along with a box for leaving your own comment.
  2. Enter your comment in the box and click Publish comment. Or, click Cancel to leave no comment.

Adding an RSS feed for a Blog

To add an RSS feed for a blog, follow these steps:

  • If the home page is not displayed, click the Reset button or click All the blogs in the Blogs menu bar at the top of the page.
  • For the appropriate user, click on the RSS icon at the right of the page. ReggieNet displays a separate window, where you may select an RSS subscription option.

Tips on Communicating with Students in ReggieNet

Since ReggieNet generally does not indicate new content, you may want to use the notification features in various tools or have students set them up on their end.

When you are setting up a new item or editing an item in any of the following tools, you have an option to send e-mail to students from the tool.

  • Syllabus
  • Announcements
  • Resources
  • Drop Box

Additionally, the following communication tools have features that students might want to pay attention to or set up an option on their end.

  • Forums – all new messages are displayed in MyWorkspace and the course site Homepage. The Watch feature in this tool will notify students when there is a new message for the threads they set to “watch.”
  • Messages – Under Settings, students and instructors can set an option for “Auto Forward Messages.”


Getting Help

For Faculty Support with ReggieNet Announcement and related tools, contact the Center for Teaching and Learning by calling (309) 438-2542 or by email at CTLT@Ilstu.edu

To report a technical issue, you may Submit a Help Ticket or contact the Technology Support Center at (309) 438-4357 or by email at SupportCenter@IllinoisState.edu

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