spider > documentation > tools > staff tools > messaging


6. Tools

 6.3 Staff Tools

    6.3.2 messaging

The messaging tool allows staff to post messages, news items and send email from the site. News items appear on the main site home page. Messages are accessed by each user from their myMessages tool. News and messages can be copied to the target users email address as well as being stored on the site. The different options are shown on the messaging page accessed by clicking the messaging link under Staff tools. Messaging is available to all staff users.


Site news appears on the home page, and remains on view for 7 days from when it is posted. After this period, it is available from the "other news" link. By default users view all news items, but they can filter what items they see using the myNews filter.

To post an item of news:

  1. click the messaging link under staff tools
  2. click the add/send news item link under News on the messaging page
  3. Fill in the title/ subject and the actual text of the message.
news title and message

there are also a number of news options:

  News options

News can have a web link appended to it, either to an onsite class or to an external website.
  1. to add a link to a class on SPIDER, select the class code from the drop down list by the web link option.   or
  2. 2. to link to an external website, select the external option from the web link list, and type in the web address in the url box.
  3. 3. to give your link a name, type it in the Text for hyperlink box. This is the word or phrase that the user will click on to view the link page.
news: link options

Target Filter
News can also be filtered to only appear to certain user groups. To add a filter:
  1. click the option you wish in the drop list next to "Show news to".
  2. to select multiple groups, hold Ctrl while clicking (PC) or Apple key (Mac).
  3. if you only wish to email the message, and not post the news item on the home page, select "only email"
You can limit the list of classes appearing here by setting the Show News/ Email Target List option in mySettings.

news: filter options
News items can have a single file attachment, which will automatically be linked to the news posting on SPIDER. To add an attachment:

news: attachment option
  1. click the Browse button
  2. find the file you want to attach on your computer and click open or OK

  Email options

News items can be copied by email to users on the site.
  1. if you don't want the news email, select no email
  2. if you do want to email the news item, select the classes/ list(s) you wish to send the mail to. Class list groups are limited to those lists that have been added to the system and are for the current academic session. You can limit the list of classes appearing here by setting the Show News/ Email Target List option in mySettings.
Once you are happy with your options
  1. click the "add" button
  2. you will then be shown how the news and/or email will look
  3. click "modify" to alter the news/email
  4. click "OK" to post/send it.
If you return to the messaging page, you will see there are 2 more options under News - edit news item and delete news item. These allow you to manage the news that you have already posted, by either altering the message or to delete the message from the system. In each case, all the news items you have posted will appear in a drop down list. Select the item you wish, then either edit it or delete it from the system.

Private messaging

Private messaging allows you to post a private message on the site that only the user(s) you select will be able to view - it is, in essence, a user by user targeted news item. As with news, there is the option to email a copy of the message to the user(s). Messages are accessed by each user from their myMessages tool (by clicking on the letter icon icon on the home page)

To send a private message,
  1. click the send message item link.
  2. fill in the subject and message boxes.
  3. as with news, you can select the users you wish to receive the message using Ctrl (or Apple key) to select multiple recipients. If you have set up your myCounsellees list you can select that group of students by simply selecting the myCounsellees option in the list
  4. the email option determines whether or not an email copy will be sent to the user in addition to the on site message. Choose yes or no
  5. click add
  6. as with news, you are shown what your message will look like
  7. click modify to alter the message
  8. click "OK" to post/send it.
private messaging
Private messaging can also be initiated from the discussion groups by clicking on the letter icon letter icon under the user who has posted the message.

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