Successful Announcements


Teacher interaction with students is directly supported by the skillful use of announcements. Announcements provide an effective, immediate tool for communicating directly with students. They also provide an avenue for responding directly to issues and enhance the sense that the lecturer is up to date, directly available and responsive. Designed announcements provide a platform for the establishment of a positive, supportive tone which is associated with successful teacher presence.


An announcement may be the first direct contact with students so it offers the opportunity to establish tone and delineate lecturer expectations of lines of communication and engagement. Announcements may be sent directly through student email providing direct, responsive communication of expectations as a foundation for relationship building and enhanced engagement. Announcements are of course, available for viewing within the Interact2 environment.

In Practice


HCS102 Communication and Human Services, INF447 Research in Practice

Teaching Staff

Susan Mlcek, Jennie Bales


Two subjects are featured for this ‘in-practice’ example. Each of the subject coordinators personalise their approach through the use of images, coloured text or highlights, hyperlinks, and/or other organising features that become regular inclusions in the Interact 2 Announcements. The basic motivation for each subject is to provide regular communication that is informative and engaging and supports student learning.


A common strategy for all three subjects is to send out one or more announcements each week of the subject. At some pertinent stages of the subject, e.g. the first couple of weeks or when assessment is pending, multiple announcements are sent out. Announcements include a range of individual and template approaches and include substantial information to reinforce what students should/could be doing to gain success in the subject. Some features noted include:

  • ‘Rules of Engagement’ for discussion forums (sent out Week 1)
  • Where to find help - including guest contributions from Academic literacy and Numeracy support and library personnel
  • Help with referencing and citations
  • Information about online meetings
  • Relaying important university information e.g. applying for Grade Pending (GP)

HSC102 uses the Russian nesting doll images as a metaphor for communication layers and packing and unpacking understanding of the subject content throughout the announcements.


EMT409 Technology for Adult Learning and Teaching

Teaching Staff

Alissa Brabin


EMT409 is a technology subject with lots of practical activities for students. A lot of students express early concern over their skills and comfort using technology, which means it takes them 3-4 weeks to settle in and start applying the content of this subject. The subject coordinator wanted to allay student fears and instead demonstrate that regardless of student skill or ability with technology, this subject provides a supportive community of practice. This first Announcement also highlights the most important Assessment activities that students need to be starting immediately.


Creating Announcements using a friendly tone, 1 or 2 images, and keeping it concise are important considerations. Providing staff email at the bottom of each Announcement means students can quickly contact the Subject Coordinator if they need to, instead of having to log into Interact2 (because EMT409 Announcements are also emailed to students).

Screenshot of subject announcement


Whilst the ‘Announcements’ Tool within Interact2 is relatively simple to use, thinking about how, when and why you utilise the announcement functionality can enhance your online teaching and learning environment. Some simple aspects to consider to help guide your decision making:


Creating an announcement within the Interact2 environment presents users with the usual editing toolbar, which presents options to embed, link, create and edit text etc.

Screenshot of Announcements tool

The options relating to ‘date’ and ‘availability also present useful forward planning options for academics. You are able to make announcements ahead of time and schedule both their initial release to students, as well as set the length of time that the announcement is available for viewing. To do this:

Additional Resources

Hunter, C. (2016, October 26). Announcements: What’s your style? [Blogpost]. Retrieved from

O’Connell, J. (2016, May 30). Images in announcements: What’s the catch? [Blogpost]. Retrieved from

Blackboard support materials