What is a course feed and how do I use it to facilitate my class?
Every class on OpenLearning has a course feed. When you create a new course, the link to the feed will appear on the side navigation by default.
What is a course feed?
A facilitation tool
When a class is running, the course feed contains a stream of all the posts and comments made by learners and teachers within that class.
The feed items, pulled from all pages across the course, are sorted by time, with the most recent items displayed first, so it's a good way for both teachers and learners to get an overview of the latest activity happening in the class.
Not a content repository
If you go to the Course Feed page before you start running the course, you will most likely see that the feed is empty. This is normal as learners have not started making posts and comments yet. You, as a course designer, do not have to add content to this area.
How to use course feeds to facilitate your course
Keep up to date on new student work
In a course with many pages, it can be difficult to monitor all the different places where your students could be engaging with your material and activities.
The course feed offers an easy way to view all new student posts and comments within a single page.
As a facilitator, you can use the feed as a dashboard to scan through new student activity. If something looks like it requires your attention, you can then dive into the specific post or page to respond or get further information on what has occurred.
Discover trends in leaner interaction
When a comment shows on a feed, the entire thread of the conversation up to that comment is displayed. This is so you can quickly follow the chain of responses in order to understand the context around the discussion.
If you do this over several feed items, you will often be able to gain a sense for hot topic amongst your learners. You can also make comparisons between posts and comments from various course activities to identify which are prompting the most interaction or highest quality discussions.
Having access to this information can also help you decide on the best way to encourage further engagement, guide discussions, or moderate conflicts.
When used as a retrospective tool, it may also help suggest improvements for future activity design.
Quickly cater to students enquiries
It's easy to respond to queries from the course feed.
If a student is having difficulty and posts a comment anywhere in the course, it will show up on the feed so that you can easily reply and put them back on the right track.
Students can also post questions directly to the feed. Depending on your class dynamics, the learner community may start answering its own questions.
More to come...
If you have discovered any other interesting uses for the course feed, please share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Are students able to see all activity in the class? What about private ones?
Students can only see the posts that are public to the class.
If the ‘Cannot view until completed activity’ setting is turned on in a share widget, the course feed will not display those posts until after the learner has posted.
If posts or comments have been made in a private group, they will only be visible to members of the group.
Are teachers able to see all activity in the class?
Staff, such as facilitators or assessors, are able to see all activity happening in classes that they have been assigned to.
Course administrators are able to see all activity from all classes. However, as the feed only displays one class at a time, you will have to switch between classes to see all of the activity.