Activity feed Icon with a + a pencil and Post
Collaboration, discussion

Tech Tip Tuesday: Communicate in a New Way in OAKS

In our OAKS (D2L/Brightspace) classes there are often two types of communication: detailed and thoughtful discussions and class questions and answers.  While the Discussion tool is great for the first type of communication, it’s less effective for the Q&A type.

Now, however, OAKS has a new tool called the Activity Feed.  This is a tool that you can add to your Course Home and allows you and your students to communicate quickly and easily.

The Activity Feed functions more like a chat feed. Check it out.

screenshot of the activity feed

You, as the instructor, can set it up so that students can only comment on your posts or can create their own.  This interaction is what sets it apart from News which is a more static means of communication.  However, like the News tool, it can take advantage of Notifications, so the students can make sure they won’t miss a message AND it’s the first thing they see on the Course Home when they enter the class.

Activity Feed:

  • On the Course Home
  • More interactive
  • Allows Notifications
  • Great for quick communication



Add it to your course home

  1. In OAKS, go to your course
  2. Select Management > Edit Course > Homepages
  3. Next to CofC Default Course Homepage choose the dropdown arrow and choose Copy.
  4. Now click on the copy to open it.
  5. Rename your homepage to something you can easily identify (ex. My course home with activity feed).
  6. Now scroll down to the Widgets area and click Add Widget in the area where you want to see the Activity Feed.
  7. Select the Activity Feed box and then click Add.
  8. Move the feed to the proper location by dragging it.
  9. Click Save and Close.
  10. Now at the top, under Active Homepage, choose your new homepage from the dropdown menu and then choose Apply.
  11. Click on Course Home in the top left and you should see your new homepage with the Activity Feed.

Configure your Activity Feed

  1. On the Course Home click on the dropdown arrow next to Activity Feed and choose Manage commenting and posting.
  2. Determine who can post and who can comment.  I would recommend checking Enable comments on posts and Allow all learners to create posts.
  3. Click Save.

Use your Activity Feed

  1. Just type your message in the box and click the blue + to post it.
  2. I would also recommend that you not use the Assignment feature of this tool at this time as it can be confusing for the student.