UCSF faculty and staff often contact LTG with questions about how they can leverage the messaging system in Moodle to better communicate with students. The current messaging system in Moodle 1.9 is not intuitive and is used infrequently at UCSF. Messaging in Moodle 2 has been overhauled and some of the improvements are substantial enough to potentially win over some new users.
Both faculty and students receive notifications via the messaging system based on events in the CLE. Messaging is now ‘event-driven’ in Moodle 2, meaning users can select from a list of events in Moodle that trigger a message. The message can be delivered via a pop-up window in the CLE, through an email notification or both.
An important thing to remember is that messaging preferences are set at the user level in Moodle 2. By default students receive pop-up notifications for personal messages and email messages for event notifications. These can be set for when a student is online or not online. Both email and pop-up notifications can be configured by users to be triggered by various events in the CLE. Students configure these options, or turn off notifications completely in ‘Message Preferences.’ Because of this capability, faculty who use the messaging system in the CLE should remind students that important course related messages can be missed if notifications are turned off. Messaging preferences are applied system-wide to all courses that a student is enrolled in through the CLE
Some examples of how messaging can be used at UCSF are:
- Notify students of upcoming assignments
- Notify students of feedback for assignments
- Remind students to provide feedback
- Notify when a post has been submitted to a discussion forum
- Send a personal message to faculty or students
- Send multimedia content to students/instructors in a personal message
There are two main components of the messaging system for both faculty and students. The first is viewing any messages sent or received through the system to other users. To view all messages, navigate to the ‘Navigation’ block and select ‘Messages.’ This will include all pop-up and email messages sent through the CLE, even if the user has notifications turned off.
To configure which messages you receive and how, navigate to the ‘Settings’ block and select ‘Messaging.’ By selecting the check marks next to each event, users can determine how they receive both event-driven and personal messages.
If you are a faculty member interested in messaging students, navigate to the course in the CLE where you would like to send the message. From the ‘Navigation’ block, select ‘Participants’ and all enrolled users in the course will be displayed. Select either all or individual students using the check marks listed next to the names and select ‘Send a Message’ from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page.
Depending how users have their message preferences configured, they will receive your message in a pop-up window, email or neither if they have message notifications turned off. Recipients are not able to see the students included on the message; protecting the privacy of the students.
Messaging in Moodle 2 can often be confused with the ability to send notes in the CLE and the email digest, which notifies students of forum posts daily or with each forum post. Stay tuned to the Convergence blog for an upcoming blog post on these Moodle 2 features and as always feel free to contact LTG staff with any questions about the CLE or the transition to Moodle 2.
Messaging 2.0 Resources: