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News in BeachBoard

The News tool enables you to post announcements that students will see as soon as they enter BeachBoard. News items appear in two places: combined from all courses/organizations into the News widget on the My Home page, and in the News widget in the middle of each course/organization Course Home page. Users can also sign up (through Notifications) to receive email notifications about new items and updates to old items.

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Creating a News Posting

  1. On the Course Home page, Click on the drop-down list next to News and then click on New News Item
  2. Type the posting headline in the Headline field.
  3. Type your posting text in the Content field. Use the Basic and Advanced editing tabs to format the text. You can also use the Spell Check and Preview icons, found on the lower-right section of the content field, to check and preview it.
  4. Select the posting availability date (optional) using the Start Date and End Date drop-down lists or by clicking the Select Date icon beside the drop-down lists. 
    Note: if you set a posting’s start date to a date in the future, the posting will not be visible to users until that date. When the specified date (and time) arrive, users can then see the news posting. For example, if you wanted a news posting to appear first thing Monday morning, you could create it on Friday afternoon and specify a start date of Monday at 9:00 am.
  5. By default, the date does not appear beside the headline. If you want the date to appear by the headline, select the Show Start Date checkbox.
    1. If you want to specify a removal date for your news posting, select the Remove News Item based on End Date check box and specify an end date. You and site administrators can still see the posting after this date, but it is hidden from users.
      Setting news item availability
  6. You can add attachments to your news postings, such as pictures or other files. To add an attachment, click Add a File and then the Browse button, locate your file and click Open. To add more attachments, click the Add button and repeat this step. For more details, refer to Adding and deleting attachments to a news posting.
  7. To record up to a minute of audio, click Record Audio. This will open a pop-up window where you will record your audio. Click Allow in the Adobe Flash Player Settings to allow BeachBoard to use your microphone (whether external or internal) to record sound. When ready, click the Record button and record your audio clip. Press the same button (now Pause) to pause/stop recording. Press the Play button to listen to your audio clip. You can clear your previous recording by clicking Clear. When finished, click Add in the lower right corner to attach your audio clip to your post.
  8. Click Publish when finished or Save as Draft to save it as a draft.

Your news posting appears on the Course Home page on the date that you selected. If you selected Show Start Date, the date of the posting appears beside the headline.

Best Practices

Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when posting news and announcements:

Accessibility

Everything you post on BeachBoard needs to meet CSU accessibility compliance standards. CSULB's Accessible Technology site is a one-stop shop to find information on making content accessible to people with disabilities.

Our resources on accessibility standards and responsibilities is a helpful guide for posting on the web. In BeachBoard, the items listed under 'Manual Testing' are the most pertinent. 

Alt-Text - Every image you use, unless purely decorative, requires alt-text. It's how an editor can describe the contents of an image to someone who can't see the image and are utilizing assistive technologies such as screen reading software. You will be prompted to add alt-text upon adding an image to your post. Typical alt-text descriptions are short, succinct descriptions of what's in the image. Any text on the image itself needs to be conveyed via alt-text. Do not post large images filled (posters, inforgraphics) with text unless an accessible version of that text is available to the user. 

Links - Use descriptive words when linking content, not the actual URL or generic terms like 'Click Here' or 'Read More'.

Headings - Headings need to be used to label main ideas and, if applicable, sub-ideas in your posts. Headers should come in order, and nest within each other as detailed on the  accessibility standards and responsibilities page. 

Color Contrast - The contrast between the background color and text color needs to meet compliance standards whether its on an image or in the content. Tools are available to help you test and analyze color contrast.

Copyright

All items placed in BeachBoard's News and Announcement section must comply with the United State copyright law and CSULB copyright policies. When providing digital materials via BeachBoard, posters must either secure permission for use or ensure that they are meeting the fair use standards of US Copyright law. This pertains to all pieces of content, be it video, images, audio, etc..

Mobile

The new BeachBoard is fully-responsive to mobile screens. Consider that when including images with text in your posts as the images will retain their aspect ratio while shrinking/collapsing to the width of a mobile browser. This can make some images hard to read or interpret. Modern web browsers are able to emulate different mobile phone and tablet widths (often found in their 'inspect' modes).

Usage Polices

Please review our BeachBoard Usage Policies.

Managing News Postings

Editing a News Posting

  1. Click on the drop-down list next to the News item. Click the Edit icon.
  2. Make your desired changes.
  3. Select the checkbox next to Major Edit if you want to inform users of to changes/updates to postings they might have dismissed, ensuring those headlines reappear with current information.
  4. Click Update.

Reordering News Postings

  1. On the Course Home page, click on the drop-down list next to News, then click on the Reorder News Items icon.
    Reordering news postings
  2. Select the new position for a news item using the Sort Order drop-down. The positions of other postings adjust accordingly.
  3. Click Save.

Deleting Items

Deleting a News Posting

  1. In Course Home, Click the drop-down list of selected news item, then click on the Delete icon
  2. Click Yes to the confirmation message.

Deleting Multiple News Postings

  1. On Course Home, Click the News link at the top of the News widget.
  2. Select multiple postings using the checkboxes.
  3. Click the Delete icon at the top or bottom of the list
    Deleting multiple news items
  4. Click Yes to the confirmation message.

Deleting News Attachments

  1. Click on the drop-down list next to the News item.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. Scroll down to the Attachments section.
  4. Click the Delete icon for the file or audio attachment you want to delete
  5. Click Update.

Dismissing or Restoring News Postings

It is now possible for instructors and students to dismiss a news item in the News widget, as well as restore a previously dismissed news item. Dismissing a news item does not delete the news item, it just hides it for that user.

Dismiss a News Item

In order to dismiss a news item in the News widget, simply click the Dismiss icon next to the desired news item

Restore a News Item for Yourself

  1. In order to restore a dismissed news item for yourself, Click the News button at the top of the News widget on the Course Homepage
  2. Click on the drop-down list of the dismissed item and click Restore.
    restoring a news item

Restore a News Item for Your Students

Note: Students can restore news item for themselves, but if you want them to see any changes you have made to an old news item it is recommended that you restore it to them.

  1. Click the drop-down list and click on Edit icon of the desired news item.
  2. Select the This is a major edit. Restore this item for any users who have dismissed it check box to inform users of major changes and updates to postings they might have dismissed, ensuring those headlines reappear with current information.
  3. (Optional) You can also make the edited news posting reappear at the top of the News widget by changing its Start Date to the current date and time. 
  4. Click Update.

Note: You should not select the major edit checkbox for small changes to the news item, such as changes to end dates, release conditions, and/or post formatting.

Restore Deleted News Item

  1. Go to your course where you wish to restore news items and click on News.
  2. Click on the small arrow next to More Actions and in the drop-down menu select Restore.
  3. Select the news items you would like to restore by clicking on the checkboxes next to the item (to select ALL news items, click on the checkbox next to “Title”) and click on Restore.