One of the simpler ways to personalize your course and interactions with your online students is through the Announcements feature in Bb. Since this is often the first page your students see when they log in to their course, you might imagine the Announcements page as the lectern of your online course. Just as you might in a F2F course, use the beginning of a class period to make general comments about a particular subject for clarification, or praise the class or an individual student for work well done, you can use the Announcements page for this purpose. The Announcements page can also provide your students with a guide to the week ahead or to emphasize important concepts to concentrate on. In short, Announcements may be used as a vehicle to demonstrate your presence and personality as well as provide information and feedback to students.
Example - Personal disclosure used as an example and encouragement for students to post about themselves:
Hello, and welcome back to Early Aviation 1010. I hope you all had a grand holiday. I spent mine fishing with my dad and best friend – we caught more tall tales then fish but a good time was had by all. If you have a good tale to tell, I invite you to post it on the Water Cooler DB.
[Provides students with a picture of who you are, and the type of post appropriate to this DB]
Example - General feedback and prompt to class to delve further into topic
I am intrigued by the lively discussion in DB 2 regarding if gender or the turning tide of the war that primarily influenced the defeat of the bill in Congress to militarize the WASP. Both A. Blake and R. Stamos have provided some interesting evidence from government reports showing that sustaining the program was draining financially. However, T.Kelly countered with facts from the Congressional record showing how gender has played a role. Great job providing examples to support for both sets of points, and crafting your writing. I look forward to hearing from others on these points. Question for the class -- was Jackie Cochran a factor in this issue too and if so how?
Example - Clarification:
Note -- Remember term papers are due Nov. 11th. You must use APA style for your papers and, yes, I do take off points for misspelling and grammar errors.
Be sure to not make an announcement permanent if you wish your latest posting to appear as the first announcement on the list when your students log in. For more information on the nuts and bolts of how to post an announcement, you may wish to view this tutorial: http://www.twu.edu/blackboard/BB6training%20docs/Create_Announcement_viewlet_swf.htm