I think it would be extremely helpful to design the Schoology messenger the same way a cell phones texts or Facebook’s messenger is designed to work. I think it would be extremely helpful if when I need to look back at a message between myself and a student, I could very easily see in my inbox the messages I’ve had with John Doe because his name is what displays always versus “YOU” after I send a reply back to John Doe. This way, there are not hundreds of individual messages between a single student and a teacher, it’s all contained in one thread. For example, the threads should just continue on from the previous conversations when a student types in my name to message me or vice versa; no more selecting “new message” when I or a student wants to communicate something to each other when we’ve messaged before. Threads can delete and the inbox can automatically empty during the summer before the start of a new academic year.
I find it so challenging and frustrating when I want to find a particular conversation between myself and a student with the way the Schoology messages is currently set up. My inbox does not display who a message was between BEFORE I open it up. The ONLY way I can see which messages are to a particular student is when I don’t reply last to the conversation. ONLY THEN does the student’s name remain visible. Otherwise if I reply to a student last, it just shows “YOU” as the participant of the conversation and then I have to open and surf through dozens of messages I get from students in a single day trying to find the one student I had a specific conversation with.
Another way to design it is more in the email format as well, where the student’s name is always at the top of the message preview, followed by the messages subject line. The group messages to a whole class work this way, which is great! However, when a student replies, it creates a whole message thread, which is not productive or helpful. If I begin a group message with a class by going to a particular course, course options, and hit send message; everyone’s replies should stay within that original thread, with the option to make a reply private for only the teacher to see, yet still stay within the group thread.