Conversations allow teachers and students to keep in touch. You can use them to send queries to your teacher, if you're a student, and answers or revision tips to your students, if you're a teacher, for example.
Important note: this feature applies only to teacher and student accounts. If you have a normal user account, this feature is not available.
Starting a new Conversation
Your launch point for Conversations is the bell icon that shows in the top right of every page, assuming you're logged in. Clicking it brings a dropdown area.
To begin a Conversation hit the orange "Start a new Conversation" button.
That'll take you to the New Conversation page.
The first thing to do on there is to select the teacher or student with whom you wish to converse.
If you're a teacher, the mechanism for this is identical to other areas of the site where you select students (for example, when sharing Video Events with students.) Click the "Select students" link and the student selection screen will pop up allowing you to choose one or more students.
If you're a student, your teacher(s) will appear in a dropdown; select the teacher you want.
Next just type your message. Under it you'll have the option to link a video from the site to your message (this is optional.) This works just like the site search box in the top of each page; just start typing, and video suggestions will appear underneath the field. Select the video you want once you've found it.
The Conversation page
Once you're into a Conversation, it will be displayed in a familiar manner similar to how SMS message conversations are displayed on modern smart phones.
Your messages will appear aligned left in blue, while those of the other party will appear in cream aligned right.
Newer messages are displayed towards the bottom of the page.
To continue a Conversation, scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see the new message form. This is identical to the form we met above, in Starting a new Conversation, except this time you don't need to choose the recipient, since you're already in a Conversation with one.
Whenever you receive a message, you'll receive a notification in the Conversations dropdown area at the top of every page that we met earlier in this article when we looked at starting a Conversation.
If you have unacknowledged notifications, the bell icon will appear red. It will revert to its original grey once you have visited the conversation(s) that have new messages awaiting you.
Any notifications will appear as boxes with the messages truncated (for brevity). Click on one to go straight to that Conversation and read the new message.
Notifications from students' Video Event answers
Teachers can share Video Events they create with their students.
See also: Creating Video Events
If these Events contain multiple choice or free-type questions, then any time your students answer them you will notified of their responses.
These will come as Conversation notifications, with the difference they they are automated, system-sent messages on behalf of the student. This is denoted by their being prefixed with "[Auto message]".
This means you can keep track of answers submitted as and when they are - but remember you can track students' progress more generally to see all the answers they've ever submitted, when, how many attempts it took, and more. Be sure to check out the "Tracking your students' progress" Knowledgebase article and video for more on that.
See also: Tracking your students' progress