Davis Educational Foundation: Grant LearningForce Process Documentation Hub

Bridget Cooley's Research on Notification

I am attaching some information that I did find about various systems, but George spoke to me briefly on this topic Tuesday and I did some digging with Blackboard. Blackboard does have a notification module beyond email.  Since I don't have access to Blackboard, I cannot be entirely sure what everything looks like, but that's what it appears to be. 
The students can opt-in and fill out the information that they'd like to receive through Blackboard. The notifications can be set up for automatic notification. I do not have access to Blackboard but I did build a sample site on Coursesites to test what UML might have available per George's suggestions. From there, I found that we can enable Dashboard (default), Email, SMS and Text to Voice. There is a Mobile option, but I can't confirm just yet that we have the Mobile option enabled. 
Students can utilize Blackboard Learn to notify them when these events occur:

  • Announcements are available
  • Assignments are available
  • Assignments are due or past due
  • Content is available
  • Course or organization is available
  • Course message received
  • Item is due
  • Item is graded
  • Survey is available
  • Survey is due or past due
  • Test is available
  • Test is due or past due
  • You have unread blogs, journals, and discussions

Here is the general information from Blackboard about notifications

Notifications Training/How To Instructions for Blackboard to share with staff:
Another Option:
I did find another app/desktop application that professors could use if they choose not to use Blackboard. It's called Remind. I have found a few communication tools for professors to reach out to students/parents. (most seem to be targeted to parents, but this one that I found seems to be more student-oriented). They are doing some work with Cambridge University for communication (which I found through a press announcement). Remind allows professors to set up reminders in real-time and in advance, can enable 1- or 2-way communication, and even setup events for students to RSVP through their phone. There is a chance for students to add the events/announcements to their calendars. If students miss reminders (signing up too late), it lets them know and encourages them to get the app (which they don't have to do). Also, since we have the privacy issues to consider, this does not include grading or personal contact info. According to their site, they have iKeepSafe certification, meeting the guidelines for FERPA, COPPA, and the California Student Privacy program. Students' and professors' phone numbers are not given out and cannot be seen. An alternate number is used for the communication. 
For professors that need us to do library/learning specific announcements, the staff can be added as a co-teacher and can send announcements with attachments. 
It looks like 82 people associated with UML already have signed up for this. When I associated with UML, it showed a link to 82 others. 
There are multiple ways for students to opt-in, including printable pdfs, in-person instructions for text, and sharing a link, so I think that it would be easy enough for a professor to introduce on the first day of class and as part of the syllabus. Another bonus is that it's 100% free. 
I think might be a good starting point to roll things out, especially with allowing the library to be a co-teacher to share information about doing research, accessing databases, linking info to Libguides, and also things like doing a bibliography. 

I apologize for the lengthy descriptions but I wanted to let you know what I had found and recommended. 

Cost Comparisons


The LearningForce initiative utilizes an application called Remind to send push notifications, text messages or emails to facilitation communication students who opt-in to participation. The library staff will create and present a sample communication strategy for approval and revision. Those interested in this application can send reminders to students about starting papers, reviewing materials, signing up for projects, and even seeking additional help. Attachments and links to learning tools can be shared; some examples can be reference Libguides, writing standards, and even bibliographic instruction. If desired, professors can use the application to communicate regularly with students either through 1-way notifications or 2-week capabilities, allowing both the professors and students to communication without sharing their private telephone numbers. Additional information about this application can be found at http://libguides.uml.edu/remind/remi

Sample Outreach to Faculty