Do not send notifications of announcements in group pages to instructors

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(12)

Currently, instructors in a course (Teacher- and TA-role) also receive notifications for announcements that are created in group home pages if they have enabled the Announcement notification in their notifications settings. We are receiving a lot of complaints from teachers about this because it means that they get a lot of irrelevant  notifications because announcements in group pages are almost always only relevant for the students in the group because they use it to communicate with each other.

To stop these notifications, instructors can now only disable the notifications for all announcements, meaning that they also don't receive course announcements anymore. This is not desirable.

I can think of the following solutions:

  1. Easiest: keep the current notification settings and only send notifications of group announcement to student members of the group.
  2. If you want to keep the option for instructors to receive group announcements: make 2 different announcement notifications settings: Course announcement and Group announcement. The default for Group announcement would preferrably be 'Do not send me anything'.
11 Comments
Stef_retired
Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
Status changed to: Open
 
claire_obrien
Community Participant

Or possibly just have a checkbox at bottom of announcement if you want to include teachers in the send list?

ellen_peters
Community Participant

That could help as well, if that checkbox is unchecked by default.

gnoack
Community Champion

Can't they set their own course notifications?  This is a fairly new option, but it should work. I can't recall if the Canvas Admins at your school would have to turn this on or allow it, but it would solve the issue. 

How do I manage notifications for a single course as an instructor? 

 

claire_obrien
Community Participant

@gnoack yes they can but I think this person wants those who send out the announcement to be in control of who it goes to i.e. students and not teachers. Otherwise, every teacher would have to change their own course notification settings.

gnoack
Community Champion

Right, notifications have always been set by the user.  
But, after rereading the post, I misunderstood the request as I haven't used Groups in a long while. These are announcements created within Groups, I thought they were course announcements.

I think to be more consistent with Canvas' notification settings, I think the second option mentioned would be good. Canvas should provide Group Notification controls for users as they have for Courses. That way instructors have the option of monitoring group announcements, or not.  Students wouldn't be able to post an announcement without the instructor having the ability to be informed. I could see potential issues with that happening.

a1063023
Community Participant

We also find this aspect of groups extremely annoying and have to explicitly instruct our students to never use the Announcements tab. Rather than adding further complication to the system, I think it would be useful to simply be able to disable Group Announcements entirely. After all, we can set up Discussion Boards if students want to communicate to their instructors through a Canvas interface.

pwiltshireuts
Community Member

Hi everyone, I'm encountering this as an admin for several subjects so I'm glad to see it being discussed.

Along with changing notifications, I wonder if we could have more control over which staff are included in group membership at set up. The ability to remove tutors from groups they don't teach would be helpful (when using groups for a class). 

a1063023
Community Participant

As a followup on this — I'm now receiving 10s of emails per week of students communicating in their groups that I cannot sensibly filter away and do not want to see. I would like to reiterate that announcements within course groups have no actual function and just annoy everyone involved in teaching the course.

In fact, the following message was just minutes ago sent out to 300+ first year engineering students:

"Just a quick reminder to please refrain from using the Announcements feature in your MyUni group to send messages to each other. MyUni sends it to all the teaching staff and admin staff linked to this course as well as your team mates!"

a1063023
Community Participant

Completely agree with suggestion above that Teacher/TA membership in groups should be editable — when we split a class up to be taught by different tutors, it would be really useful to have only the specific tutor for a group as part of the group.

We would also use that for honour project supervisors, which currently cannot be specifically assigned to a group.

PaulWilliamson
New Member

I support the request to provide a way of avoiding automatically sending announcements posted to a group to all instructors involved in the course, even if they aren't involved in the specific group. I have a course with 30 groups, each led by a different member instructor. Imagine the amount of redundant announcements these staff receive! Yet they need to be able to receive announcements posted to the whole class. My preferred solution would be an option whereby the process of setting up the group involves selecting not only which students to include in the group, but also which instructors. My next favourite solution would be a check-box option when posting any announcement, whether to the whole class, or to a group within that class, flagging whether the post should be sent to students only; to instructor only; or to students AND instructors.