Set default notification at the System level which are different for different types of roles in a course (courses I'm teaching vs courses I'm taking at the System default level)
Currently : At the Admin level, you can set default notification options (System Admin > Courses > Course settings > Default notification settings), which is a great starting point. Then users get to set their personal notification preferences, either course per course, or on one hand for "all courses I teach" and on the other hand "all courses I take" (and they can then even fine tune at the individual course level afterwards). Unfortunately, the default system level notification settings don't let the Admin differenciate between Instructor's notifications and Student's notifications.
The issue : Most users, although instructed to do so, don't actually pesonalize their notification settings, then they complain they don't like what they get and they stop reading the notifications all together. At the System level, it's hard to find a setting which is relevant for both Professors and Students. Ex: we want notifications for new content item added, so that students know they should visit their course and check it out ; if we don't set this type of notification by default then Professors will spam students making an announcement sent by email saying "hey there's a new document in the course". But of course professors don't want to be notified there's a new content item, they don't need to, they're the ones who added it. Actually there are many things Professors don't want to be notified about but they want students to be notified . And I guess that's why the BB team developped the "courses I'm taking" vs. "courses I'm teaching" approach, but it's crucially missing at the default system level.
Preferably : At System Admin > Courses > Course settings > Default notification settings have different settings for "Users with Student or student-like role" and "Users with Instructor or Instructor-like role". Even better would be to have a 3rd category "Users with other roles" (which would enable to define Course roles not as copy of "Student" or "Instructor", for parents, or client's project manager, etc ... for which we could set different notifications, possibly less exhaustive (this also has been asked for by our corporate programmes client managers)
Why does it matter ? What's the impact ? Default settings are crucial on many aspects to foster adoption of the platform. It's already a tough call to find a compromise that would suit most ; but not being able to set something relevant for at least the two main user personas (student / instructor) makes it even harder and often dooms the feature for users, even though they're explained they can set their very own preference. (we put it in messages, in their homepage with a shortcut, etc ...)
(other Notifications ideas : Product enhancements : Notifications )
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