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What sort of things should I send as alerts?

Alerts are like text messages or Whatsapp notifications; they play a sound and appear on the recipient's phone lock screen. So they should be:-

  • Something which the recipient needs to be aware of or take on action immediately
  • Specific or personal to the recipient
  • Concise - a sentence or two at the most - with a call to action, if necessary, by providing a URL in the alert.

So, an alert to everyone in a seminar group to tell them that an imminent seminar has been moved or rescheduled is fine. The same alert to everyone in the department is too broad an audience; most recipients don't need to know.

In general, send alerts to as small a group of people as possible. There may be occasions when an alert to everyone in a department would be appropriate - "Our building is closed today, Thurs 21st Sept, due to flooding." These are unusual cases, though.

It's tempting to use alerts as a way to remind people to do something. Please be careful though to ensure that you can select recipients in such a way that you only remind those who actually haven't done the activity. So, alerting all your final-year students to complete the National Student Survey will annoy everyone who has already done so.

Also, many messages are longer and less time-sensitive. For example: "Welcome to the department; here are some activities taking place over the next few weeks." This isn't time-sensitive nor is it specific to an individual or small group. Sending this kind of message via email is a better choice.

Note: Staff in IT Services and External Affairs monitor lists of sent alerts, including students' choices about alert senders they choose to mute. To get the best results from My Warwick alerts, follow the advice above to target concise messages to an appropriate audience, and be judicious in how often you send alerts.