Working collaboratively in the cloud is a great convenience, and something that you can do very well in Office 365 if you use OneDrive for Business, as many schools do. However, sometimes it is nice for teachers (and students) to know when others have changed or modified a document that they co-author. To achieve such an outcome, you can set up document alerts. Here’s how.
1. Navigate to your OneDrive for Business page and find the file that you would like to set up an alert on. (You can set an alert on any Microsoft Office document).
2. Select the document by clicking on it, and then click the Files tab in the top left-hand corner of your screen to open the Files ribbon.
3. Look for the Alert Me icon on the middle of the toolbar, (it looks like a bell). Click Alert Me and then choose Set alert on this document.
4. The pop-up window that follows gives you a number of options as to what you would like to be alerted for and how often. These options include:
- Alert title: This is included in the subject of the email or SMS notification you are sent. By default it is the name of the document, but you can change that here.
- Send Alerts to: Choose who you would like to be alerted to a document change by entering their email addresses.
- Delivery Method: Alerts can be sent as emails or an SMS.
- Change Type: What kind of changes would you like to be notified about? Set your preferences here.
- Send Alerts for These Changes: Specify whether to filter alerts based on specific criteria.
- When to Sent Alerts: Choose whether you want your alerts sent immediately, as a daily summary or once a week.
5. To cancel alerts on one or more files, simply select Alert Me from the Files ribbon, and then Manage My Alerts. This will show you a list of all the alerts you have set up on your documents. From here you can look for the document you want to remove notifications from. You can also edit the preferences you set up in step 4 by clicking on the document and making the relevant changes.
Alerts are great for group projects at school, or for times when you are waiting for others to complete their portion of a document before adding additional details or finalizing it for submission. Teachers could also use it to monitor select student participation. However, perhaps one of the best uses for document alerts is in conjunction with Excel Surveys. You can add an alert so that you get notified every time a Survey is completed (or at least get a daily or weekly notification).
Note that document alerts can only be set up on files that you created. You cannot set alerts for documents that have been shared with you.