Messages and notifications
In addition to the ability to use "Announcements" or "Quickmail" to communicate information to multiple participants in a learning space at the same time, Moodle also has a messaging interface that provides managers and students with an easy and quick way to communicate with other RWTHmoodle users across course spaces.
Similar to popular instant messaging services, the "messenger" in RWTHmoodle has a fully functional chat window that displays the conversation in real time. Managers and students can search for other RWTHmoodle users and then communicate with them via Messenger. This allows both lecturers to enter into a dialogue with students and students to exchange information with each other. In addition, the "Messenger" also offers the option for students to communicate with each other in group chats. Please also note oursocial conventions using the messenger (Chatiquette).
1. Opening the messenger
2. Search for persons or messages
3. Accept contact requests
4. Writing a message
5. Reading and replying to messages
6. Deleting messages from your own chat
7. Editing a contact
8. Group chat
9. Messenger settings
10. Consent to display your own name in the hit list for a search query
11. Social conventions when using the messenger (Chatiquette)
The "Messenger" is set up by default for every user in RWTHmoodle. You can access the messenger by clicking on the speech bubble icon on the upper right side next to the user menu:
The user interface of the "Messenger" contains the following elements:
Below these elements are the three categories:
Each chat is assigned to one of these categories.
1. In the search field, enter the name of the person (instructor or student) to whom you want to send a message or read the chat history. The person you are looking for must be enrolled in at least one course room in which you are also registered. Otherwise, no correct hit will be shown. If you are not sure about the exact spelling of the person you are looking for, enter a part of the name (e.g. last name) and click on the magnifying glass icon to display the hit list.
Note: Depending on the name searched for, the number of possible hits can be very large, which is why it may be necessary to narrow down the contact searched for even more precisely.
Note for students:
In order to be found and displayed in the hit list by students sharing at least one course room with you, you must give your consent beforehand that you may be found ("Opt-In"). By default, only managers can find other course room users via the search field. So if you as a student want to be found by your fellow students within a specific search query, you have to allow this in your user profile. People who do not share a course room with you will not be displayed in the hit list even if they have "opted-in". Once you have added someone to your contacts, you can continue to write to him or her even if you no longer have a shared course room.
Note for managers:
You can only find managers and students in the hit list with whom you share at least one course room. If you want to be found by the students of your course rooms, you must give your consent to this beforehand ("Opt-In"). You can make the necessary setting for this in your user profile. Persons who do not have a course room together with you will not be shown in the hit list. Once you have added someone to your contacts, you can continue to write to him or her even if you no longer have a shared course room.
2. Select the person (or message) you are looking for from the hit list. If you are looking for a person who you have already added as a contact, this person will be displayed in the "Contacts" category. All other hits are listed in the category "Other persons". If the hit list is very extensive, click on "Load more" to display additional hits. If you would like to contact the person found, click on the corresponding search hit.
3. Provided that the selected person has already been added to your contacts or the person has selected the option in their settings that any person from their course rooms can send them a message ( = default setting), the chat channel with the selected person will then appear. You can now send messages to the selected person via the message field. If the person has selected the option in their messenger settings that only their personal contacts can send messages to them, you must first send a contact request:
4. Confirm with "Send contact request" and select the "Add" option in the window that now appears to add the selected person to your contacts. You will then see a message that the contact request has been sent but is still unanswered.
As long as the person has not accepted your contact request, you cannot exchange information with the person via Messenger. You will therefore see the message "You cannot send a message to this person" in the message field.
You can recognize a contact request that another person has sent to you in your Messenger through number listed next to the "Contacts" element: This shows you how many contact requests you have received. In addition, each new contact request is signaled in the speech bubble icon with a new message.
1. Click on "Contacts" and then on the "Requests" field to see who made the contact request.
2. Click on the name of the person who sent the contact request to you and decide whether to accept or reject it. To accept, click "Accept and add to contacts".
Note: After accepting the contact request, the message field for reciprocal messages will not be available until you reload the page and then restart Messenger. Otherwise, you'll still see the "You can't send a message to this person" notice.
The person who sent the contact request does not receive any separate notification as to whether or when the request was accepted or rejected. The contact acceptance is only visible by the fact that the addressee of the request is listed among the contacts after its acceptance. Since messages can only be sent after the contact request has been accepted by the other party, we advise to switch to another communication channel for urgent messages in the case of an initial contact or to check the acceptance status at regular intervals.
1. In "Contacts" , select a person to whom you want to send a message. The chat channel with the message field will open.
2. Type the message into the message field . A common selection of emoticons and icons are available to illustrate what you have written. Note: No attachments and images can be inserted. External pages and videos can be linked via URL!
3. Click the arrow icon to send the message. Note: Sending a message cannot be undone. You can delete a message at any time, but it will only be removed from your own chat channel. It will remain with all other people involved!
The recipient of the message will see the message receipt on the speech bubble icon . In the "Private" category, the sender of the message and a preview of the content are displayed for each listed chat. Chats with unread messages can be recognized by a blue box, within which a number indicates the number of new messages.
Open the chat by clicking on the preview. You can now view the entire message history and compose and send your own messages.
For managers there is no way of viewing the message history between two students. A chat between two people is therefore not visible to third parties without a specific reason. If you send messages via a group chat, the manager always has the option to add himself/herself or other participants to the group. Therefore, the messages sent within a group chat can also be viewed subsequently by other persons.
1. If you want to remove one or more messages from your chat channel, click on a message to be deleted. This will then be outlined in black. A circle icon with a check symbol appears on the upper right side of the message marked for deletion.
2. If you want to delete more messages from your own chat channel, mark the empty circle icon in the upper right corner of all messages to be deleted. After that, they will also be marked with a "tick" and prepared for deletion.
3. Then click on the trash can icon below the message history. A final note will appear once again, stating that the messages to be removed will continue to be visible to all other people involved even after deletion.
4. Confirm here with "Delete".
If you want to edit a status for an existing contact, e.g. block, mark as favorite or mute, go to the corresponding chat and click above the chat history on the three dots to the right of the name of the contact you want to edit:
A context menu will open, offering you several selection options:
- User Information - Allows you to block or remove a person from your contacts.
- Mark communication as starred - if you select this option, the contact will be marked as favorite by a star icon and moved from the previous "Personal" category to the "Favorites" category. This can simplify access to particularly frequently used chat histories.
- Block person - if you want to block a person so that from now on he/she will not be able to write messages to you, select this option. The blocked person will still be listed among the contacts and will not receive an immediate notification about the blocking. However, if you try to send a message to them in the future, the "cannot send a message" message will appear. The previous message history can still be viewed by all parties. You can recognize a person you have blocked by the "block icon" . A block can be removed at any time by clicking on the contact.
- Mute - By default, the speech bubble icon displays every incoming message. If you do not want new incoming messages of a certain chat history to be displayed by the bubble icon, select this option. You can recognize a muted chat by the icon . Muting can be undone at any time in the same way as it was activated ("Remove mute").
Delete communication - With this option you can delete the chat history for yourself. As with deleting individual messages, the deletion is only done in your own chat view, but not for the other chat partners.
Remove from contacts - If you do not want to write any more messages to a person without specifically blocking him/her, you can also remove him/her from your contacts. In order to contact this person in the future, it may be necessary to send another contact request, which must be answered by the other party.
8.1 Set up group chat
In addition to the possibility for lecturers and students to write messages to each other or for students to exchange information with each other in individual chats, Messenger also offers the option of setting up group chats for students. Messages in a group chat are visible to all participants in the group and each participant has the option to write their own messages in the group chat.
If you want to set up a group chat for a group, it must be configured accordingly. For this purpose, it is necessary to activate the option "Group messages" in the participant administration when creating a group ("Create group"):
The group then appears in the message window of the messenger in the category "Group" . Note: The release for group messages can also be done after a group has already been created. To do this, select the option "Edit groups" in the participant administration and then activate the "Group messages".
The assignment of participants to a group chat is based solely on Moodle groups. Everyone assigned to a Moodle group can exchange messages with each other once a group chat has been set up. Neither managers nor students have the ability to manually add participants to the group chat or leave a group chat in which they are enrolled. If a person is to be added to or removed from the group chat, this must be done via the Moodle group to which the person in question must be added or removed. It is also not possible to compose group chats from a cross-learning room group of participants. Since the composition of the participants of a group chat is based on the Moodle groups to be created in advance, all persons who are to form a group chat must accordingly be enrolled in the same course room.
8.2. Using group chat
After activating a group chat, it can be called up in Messenger via the "Group" category. Several group chats can be enabled for one person, e.g. if a student is assigned to several exercise groups and the group chat has been activated for each of these groups.
By clicking on the desired group chat, you can access the chat history and write and send messages. The acceptance of a contact request as a prerequisite for being allowed to send messages to each other is not necessary for the group chat.
8.3. Edit group chat
If you want to know the names of the other group members or mark the group chat as a favorite, click the three dots to the right of the group name above the chat history:
A context menu will open, offering you several selection options:
- Group info - all other group members will be displayed.
- Mark communication as favorite - If you select this option, the group chat will be marked as favorite by a star icon and moved from the previous "Group" category to the "Starred" category. This can simplify access to particularly frequently used group chats.
- Mute - By default, the speech bubble icon displays every incoming message. If you do not want new incoming messages of a certain chat history to be displayed by the bubble icon , select this option. You can recognize a muted chat by the icon . The mute can be undone at any time in the same way as it was activated ("Remove mute").
If participants are subsequently added to a group with activated group chat, they can view the entire chat history to date and not just the message history from the time they joined the group. If a participant leaves a group, however, he/she no longer has any access to the entire chat history.
If you click on the gear icon to the right of the search box in Messenger, you will be taken to the settings you can set for Messenger. You can choose from the following settings options:
- Privacy: you can set here which people you can contact. If you have selected the option "My contacts and everyone from my courses" (default setting), every participant with whom you have a course in common will be able to send you a message without having to first send you a contact request and then have you accept it. If you want to accept your contacts via contact request first before you can write with them, select the more restrictive "My contacts only" option.
Assuming you have chosen the less restrictive variant, that every person from your course rooms is allowed to write you a message. However, if the person you are writing to has selected the more restrictive variant ("Only my contacts"), you still have to send a contact request first, which has to be accepted by your chat partner before you can write messages to the person. Sending mutual messages immediately is therefore only possible if both chat partners have activated the option "My contacts and everyone from my courses".
- System messages - If you want to be notified about new messages by e-mail, move the gray slider to the right.
- General - If you want to be able to send your messages using the Enter key, leave the slider to the right . On the other hand, if you want to use the Enter key in the message field to insert line breaks, move the slider to the left.
If you as a manager or student would like to be found and displayed in the hit list by the students with whom you share at least one course room, proceed as follows:
1. Open your personal user profile by clicking on your name on the upper right side of the course room and then on "Profile".
2. Click on "Edit profile"
3. In the Messenger section, open the drop-down list and select the option "Findable by privileged persons and other participants".
4. Click on "Upade profile"
The findability of your own name in a search query by fellow students is a necessary prerequisite for being able to send contact requests and/or messages to other course participants. If you do not enable findability, there is - apart from group chats - no possibility for students to contact each other.
In order to ensure pleasant and friendly interaction, we ask that certain rules be observed:
- Objective style - We place particular emphasis on an objective style and a polite and respectful tone.
- No insults - Insults and personal attacks are unnecessary and will be removed.
- No inappropriate posts - Posts that are discriminatory, anti-constitutional, demagogic, illegal, pornographic, extremist, racist, vulgar, disparaging or otherwise inappropriate.
- No advertising, no spam - Spam, advertising and other commercial content and offers from third parties are also not desired.
- Active Participation - Participation in the group determines your attitude. Participate actively and do not ignore the posts of others.
- Liability - We assume no responsibility or liability for comments or links posted by users.
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