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And now you can find and answer their questions more easily...

Beginning this week, Online Education is rolling out a new feature in the Discussion that will allow your students to mark a post or comment as a question, helping to draw extra attention to critical requests for assistance or clarification.

Here's how it works:

  • When your student marks a comment as a question for you, you will receive a notification that a question has been asked. Clicking on the notification will take you directly to the post or comment containing the question.

  • You will see the marker on the student's comment or post, indicating that this is a question for you.

  • You can answer the question by posting a comment.
  • You might also want to tag the student to let him know his question has been answered.

    Students receive automatic notification when their instructor takes certain actions in the Discussion. If the student asked her question in a post, then she will get an alert when you respond. However, if she asked her question in a comment on someone else's post, only the author of the original post will get an alert — and not the student who asked the question.

    BEST PRACTICE: You can't go wrong tagging the student, once you've answered her question.

Learn more

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  1. How are you using tagging or other notifications in your classes? Are you watching any topics? How are these tools working out for you? Post a comment and let us know!

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    Thank you so much for always providing such helpful information for us! (smile)  I haven't yet really used tags, however, I certainly have been tagged and found it very helpful.

    Have a wonderful rest of the semester.

    Best regards,

    --Caroline Hood

    1. I appreciate the kind words, Caroline — and I'm very glad if these posts and other resources are helpful to you!

  3. This is a good idea. As long as students actually use it and not a mix of marked and unmarked questions..

  4. I agree, Ivan. We'll all be interested to see how it is actually used!

  5. This will be very helpful so we can know immediately when questions come in. I hope students will use it. 

    1. So do I, Lee — it sounds like they are. (See Kris's note, below.) We did send students an announcement about this feature, so I assume more and more of them will start using it.

  6. Hi Jenny,

    This is great! Already was able to answer questions quickly and first thing when logging in! With a number of classes, so helpful and efficient. Though not as happy with being tagged, but that could be that one student seems to think everything he posts needs to be tagged. (sad)

    1. Hi, Kris—

      Glad you like it! It was Kevin's idea, originally.

      As far as the over-tagging, it would probably be useful for faculty to give students some guideline about when to tag their instructors — or not. (Personally, I was against allowing students to tag their teachers, since the "mark as a question" feature was in the works, but I lost that argument. (smile) )

      Has anyone developed guidelines for how they want their students to use the tagging and "mark as a question" features? If so, please share!