Monday, August 17, 2015

Teachers and Students: Let's Communicate!

Today I'm excited to announce an important new feature: Communication Notes between Teachers and Students!

Part of my ongoing project of adding more lesson teaching functionality to the website, this feature will really help teachers guide theirs students' practicing during the time between lessons!

Keep reading for instructions on how to use this great new feature!

Flag a Practice Note for the Teacher to Read
Dr. Flegg's Structured Practice Method allows teachers and students to flag practice notes to bring them to each others' attention.

For example, let's say a student is practicing something from their most recent lesson, and is running into trouble. Maybe they're missing a note or can't figure out a rhythm, or are having trouble getting the sound they're after. As they enter the practice note for that item, they simply toggle the switch labeled "Flag this note for..." In most cases, where a student has only one teacher, that teacher's name will be listed. If the student has multiple teachers, they can select which teacher to notify through the drop-down list.

Note Color Coding
Once the practice note is saved, it will show up just like any other practice note, but with some color coding and additional options. As shown here, any unread note that is addressed to the user will have an orange top label. Unread notes from the user have a green top label. Regular practice notes (that have not been flagged to anyone's attention) get a grey top label.

Notes that have been marked as read (or replied to) get a grey top label with a color strip. As with unread messages, green signifies messages from the user and orange signifies notes to the user.

An additional label color is available in cases where there are multiple teachers for a student. In this case, as a teacher views the student's practice notes, any note flagged either to or from a different teacher will appear with a teal top label or color strip.

For any notes that are specifically addressed to the current user, there will be a button to mark the message as read, as well as a space for typing a reply message.

For teachers specifically: If any of your students have flagged notes for your attention, you will see the icon for the teaching menu turn red, along with the number of messages waiting, as shown here:


If you have messages waiting, they will also appear in a list at the top of your teaching page.

Unread Messages List on Teacher Page
This list has the options to reply and mark as read, and additionally allows you to "View in Context." Pressing that button will take you to the student's account and directly to the page for the practice item that relates to the note. From there you can look at all the other notes for that item and look for trends or other clues to what's going on.


For students, a list of unread messages will appear automatically on the main page.

General practice notes (not relating to a specific practice item) can also be flagged as messages, providing a way to send messages of a more general nature to students and teachers as well.

I hope you find this feature useful! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below, or on our Facebook page, or use the Contact Form to get in touch directly.

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