Hi all - As we work out the different ways in which we intend to use the various features of PS Learning at our school, one of the questions that came out of our discussions with teachers and staff was the Messages feature. This feature, as you know, has Announcements and Inbox. Since we are doing an SSO (Single Sign On) with our school's official email accounts any message sent via these options will end up sending an email notification to the recepient. Since it comes from a do not reply account they willi invariably have to either a) respond back to it from within PS Learning or b) fish out that person's email address from the SIS or elsewhere and email them directly via the school's Gmail account.
Now, the question is more about workflow and policy rather than the technical nature of it.
If a teacher, understandably, does not prefer keeping tab on two separate places to keep checking messages, then how does he/she go about using/managing these very useful communication feature within Learning? How are schools using it in their current scenario? If you can please respond back with what this communication flow looks like in your schools then it will give us some direction as admins to inform the community of how best to use this very powerful feature without feeling the pressure to now think that there are two inboxes they need to monitor during a busy day.
This is a good question. I have dealt with this issue in two different institutions and it was different for each.
In scenario one, the email system being used did not have an easy way to look up names and addresses. In this circumstance, students (and some faculty) naturally gravitated toward the LMS inbox system instead of email. Because all studnets and all classes were enrolled in the system, student and teachers spent a lot of time in the interface and would easily see the message notification icon. If they hadn't been logged in for a while, they could still get the daily digest to let them know they have messages.
In scenario two, the gmail directory made lookup easier, and students and faculty both tended to gravitate away from inbox and we have supported that by disabling the inbox for classes. Since gmail communication was already the standard, we simply institutionalized what was already working.
It is worthwhile to note (as a possible feature request), some other LMS systems allow you to reply to an email notification of an inbox message effectively bypassing the need for the faculty member to go into the inbox if they don't want to.
Thank you @ABAlfano87. Good to see the different contexts in which it was used for you.
In our case, I think we are gravitating towards making the Inbox in PS Learning a more 'classroom specific communication' tool for students and parents of that class only. For a wider audience and the rest of the community communication, we have the official email anyway. I think this will help teachers use the tools appropriately. The fact that PS learning's message has something like "Read this message on PS Learning" following it perhaps helps the receiver understand that replying to it directly will not do anything. More of a communication piece for us admins, really.