GauchoSpace offers several methods to communicate with students: Welcome Message, Instructor Announcements, Peachmail, Email Instructor/TA block, and Zoom LTI Pro activity. Other means of communicating with students include Forums and Chat Rooms.
The Welcome Message allows you to send a one-time message to all Participants in your course. You select the date for when the message should be sent to all currently enrolled Participants. When new Participants are added to an existing and available course, they will also receive that one-time message. This is particularly useful when a student adds your course a week or two into the quarter and needs to know specific information about books to purchase, the format of the course, etc. The message sends out after the "Start Sending" date AND once the site is made available to students. A participant will not receive the message if they are added to the site after the "Stop Sending" date.
- At the top of the Welcome Message page, it will indicate how many people received your message.
- Once a Participant receives the email, even if you edit it, s/he will not receive another email.
- To set up the Welcome Message, click Welcome Message, which is found in the UCSB Course Tool Block in the upper-right corner of your course.
Note: To send your Welcome Message before your course has been made available to students, check the box for "Bypass Availability" at the bottom of the screen.
The Instructor Announcement, which is a default feature in every course, is a forum to which every Participant is subscribed. Only Instructors and TAs can post to this forum, and any post made will automatically be emailed to everyone in the course. The Instructor Announcements Forum is by default found in the top of your course site.
You can change the default settings on the Instructor Announcements Forum, like any other Forum. To change settings, turn editing on and then click Update (gear icon) to access the Updating forum page. See the Forums guide for more information about Forum settings.
Peachmail is a block in which instructors and/or TAs can send a group email to students through GauchoSpace. Peachmail can be found on the right side of the course page.
Peachmail allows you to select which groups or individuals within your course receive the email.
Peachmail also allows for a few User Variables to be included in the email. This means you can address the email to every student by their first name, for example.
The following instructions will help you use these features when writing your email:
1) When composing your message, and with the cursor in the location where you want the information inserted, expand the options available in the text editor.
2) From the expanded options, choose the icon of a person which is labeled UCSB User Variables when hovering.
3) You'll be presented with a list of available user variables. Select the item desired. This will insert a command into the message that will be replaced with the user's information when the emails are sent. Repeat as necessary.
Note: Peachmail is for Instructor and TA use only; students will not see it. Currently, students do not have a way to email each other in GauchoSpace, unless the Instructor creates a forum that enables all students to receive emails when a post is submitted.
Email Instructors and/or Teaching Assistants block is when you want to allow students to email instructors or teaching assistants directly from your GauchoSpace course site. To do so, you should add the "Email an Instructor or TA" block into your course site (click here for more instructions).
Zoom LTI Pro activity allows you to schedule class meetings in GauchoSpace, just as you would in the Zoom app. When the activity is added to your course page, it creates a birds-eye view of your Zoom account and allows you to view and schedule all your class meetings through GauchoSpace or your Zoom account.
One great feature of this tools is that you can schedule reoccurring meetings that generates a Zoom entry for each meeting that begins at the specified time and date.
Note: You will only need to add the Zoom LTI Pro activity once to your course page (through "Add an activity or resource"), because all course meetings can be managed within this activity.
Instructors can use the the LTI Pro to:
- Schedule and start Zoom meetings to support distance learning, office hours, study groups and lecture capture, access their cloud recordings.
Students' view of Zoom LTI Pro activity:
- Join Zoom meetings to remotely attend classes, office hours and study groups, view recordings of previous classes.
For more information on how to set up a Zoom LTI Pro activity, click here.
Forums allow threaded, on-topic discussion between anyone in your course. As an instructor, you can also specify which Roles are allowed to make posts in your forums. See the Forums guide for more information about creating and using Forums.
Chat rooms provide instant communication between all who choose to enter the room.
Note: Chat is an "Advanced" tool in GauchoSpace. In the upper right corner of your course home page, toggle the 'Advanced tools' switch to 'ON' to enable Advanced mode. You will then see the Chat tool in your list of options for Adding an Activity or Resource.
Latest News Block
Recent posts made in the Instructor Announcements forum are also displayed in the Latest News block. This block is located on the lower, right-hand side of your course page by default. Instructors can also manually add new messages to this block by clicking Add a new topic... Like the Instructor Announcements forum, Latest News automatically sends an email to all Participants in the course. Participants cannot reply to posts made in this forum.
Please note: embedded images will not display in instructor announcements or in forums.