Best practices: Update your profile settings and improve your user experience inside Moodle™

Every person with an account in Moodle™ has a user profile that displays personal information. By default the user profile is viewable by any other users in the system and it displays information such as first and last name email address last access date and other personal details that the user decides to share.

Updating and selecting the appropriate user profile settings within Moodle™ is an important first step for any user and many people often overlook these settings. It is within the user profile settings where you can choose how to see certain features in the system define which information is visible to other users and select how to receive messages and notifications.

Many institutions select default profile settings for their users and sometimes they even forbid specific options to be changed. However there are certain settings in the system like Email digest type or Forum auto-subscribe that can be changed by users at anytime. Therefore it is a good idea to review your profile setting especially after going through an upgrade from a previous version of Moodle™ or Joule.

Users can update their personal settings by clicking on the links located at Settings> My profile settings. In today’s post I want to highlight few profile settings that you should check in order to optimize your user experience within Moodle™.

Review your email preferences

When editing your profile (Settings>My profile settings>Edit profile) you will see options to change your email display select the format in which you want to receive emails and you might even be able to change your email address. The most important email setting in my opinion is the Email digest type. This is the place where you decided how to receive emails with copies of the discussion forums to which you are subscribed. If you want to stay informed about what is going on select the option "Complete" and you will receive only one email that will contain a copy of all the posts of that day. Avoid selecting the option "No digest" since it will send you an email every time a new discussion or reply is created in your subscribed forums.

Select how Moodle™ will behave for you

The edit profile screen has options that change the way Moodle™ behaves as you interact with the system. The Forum auto-subscribe setting will allow you to subscribe to a forum automatically and include the posts in the daily email digest every time you write something inside a forum that allows for subscription. You may use the setting Forum tracking to set the system to highlight discussions with unseen posts giving you a visual reference of what forum discussions you need to check within your courses.

There is also an important selection here that is the source of many support tickets. When editing your profile makes sure the option “Use HTML editor” is selected under the When editing text setting. If this option is not selected you will not be able to use the HTML editor to enter content within Moodle™.

Certain Moodle™ sites may allow you to change your language preferences depending on the available language packs. If your site has that option keep in mind that translated strings will vary depending on the language pack. By changing the Preferred language in your profile you will be able to see all Moodle™ strings that have been translated into the languages enabled in your Moodle™ site.

Update your user description and picture

This may seem like a trivial thing to do but many people underestimate the potential writing a personal description and adding a profile picture offer Moodle™ users. When editing your profile make sure you add a User picture and a Description since they help other users identify who you are and easily send you a personal message. Save yourself valuable time and write a detailed description upfront to share information that people would normally inquire about via email. As a teacher you can list all the courses that you are teaching this semester publish your office hours and detail your preferred methods of communication. In addition you can use the HTML editor to embed widgets of your Twitter feed or add a video of yourself to enrich your profile appearance.

Configure your notification methods for incoming messages

Moodle™ allows for the customization of notification settings just like in many social network site. By visiting Settings>My profile settings>Messaging you will see a list of available notification settings. Here you can choose what kind of notification you want to receive and define the method of delivery. Joule currently supports four types of notification methods: Activity Stream Popup notification Email and Alert badge notifications. Some selections in this page will be already checked for you by default and some of them might even be forced or disabled depending upon the settings established by the site administration.

Review each one of the notification options to ensure that you receive the messages that are important to you and to avoid getting overwhelmed with notifications. As a best practice I recommend you to use Joule‘s Activity stream and Alert badge notifications for things that are constantly changing inside the system like Course grade change or Activity graded. This will allow you to keep track of the modifications within your course without flooding your inbox with emails.

These are just few tips on how to update your profile settings to maximize your users experience within Moodle™. To learn more about Moodle™ register to take our online course Introduction to Moodle™

Best Regards,




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