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Messaging settings

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Enabling / disabling instant messaging sitewide

The instant messaging system in Moodle is enabled by default. It may be disabled by a site administrator in Settings > Site administration > Advanced features > Enable messaging system.

Site administration settings

Manage Message outputs

There are three default types of output methods for messaging: popup notices, Jabber IM type messages, and messages sent as email.

Each of these can be enabled or disabled independently by a site administrator in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Message outputs > Manage message outputs.

By default Popup and Email are both enabled, though email will only work of course if the site has been properly configured to deliver email. Jabber is off by default and needs to be configured first.

moodle23-manage-message-outputs.png

Default message outputs

The user defaults for these are set in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Message outputs > Default message outputs.

You can specify the default outputs for each type of message that Moodle can send.

Permittedness

You can also set to what degree each type of message is enabled, and whether users are able to change these default settings in their profiles:

  • Disallowed - the message of chosen type will never be delivered through the chosen output, user is not allowed to change the personal preference for this combination of message type and output.
  • Permitted - the message of chosen type is allowed to be delivered through the chosen output, default preferences can be set by administrator using the checkboxes below, user can control this preference on the messaging preferences page (and change the suggested defaults the most preferable way).
  • Forced - the message of chosen type will be delivered through the chosen output, user is not allowed to change the personal preference for this combination of message type and output.

Logged in/Offline

You can set whether each of these will be sent when the user is online through the messaging system interface available to users in their profiles, and/or whether each output is sent via email.

Ordering of messaging settings

New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

Because users might have many different messaging options, they are ordered into different components -for example, Forum, Assignment, System, Enrolments etc.

Example of the ordering of message types. (Click to enlarge)

List of message types

Output Name Description Recipients
Assignment (2.2) notifications Student has submitted an assignment (in older 2.2 Assignment module) Teacher
Assignment notifications Student has submitted an assignment (in 2.3+ version of Assignment module) Teacher
Warning when your quiz attempt becomes overdue
Available update notifications New in 2.3 - See dev page Site admins
Backup notifications Automated backup schedule run completed Site admins
Confirmation of your own quiz submissions Notice your quiz was successfully submitted Student
Course creation request approval notification Notice a requested course has been approved Defined in Site admin > Courses > Course request > Course request notification
Course creation request notification Notice a course has been requested - See course requests Defined in Site admin > Courses > Course request > Course request notification
Course creation request rejection notification Notice a requested course has been rejected Defined in Site admin > Courses > Course request > Course request notification
Important errors with the site Site admins
Essay graded notification Notify students a teacher has graded an essay question Student
Personal messages between users Using the Messaging interface in a user's Profile Authenticated Users
Feedback reminder
Notices about minor problems Site admins
Subscribed forum posts Master switch for forum subscription handling Anyone subscribed to a forum
Feedback notifications
Notification of quiz submissions Message that student has submitted a quiz Teacher


Except for Personal messages between users which refers to the interaction messaging tool on a user profile, the other messages are generated by events in Moodle.

Default messaging settings

Jabber message

Jabber must be configured before use.

(Could someone with working settings fill this out with example?)

  • Host - The server to connect to to send jabber message notifications - full hostname (e.g. jabber.org)
  • Server - XMPP host ID (can be left empty if the same as Jabber host)
  • Username - The user name to use when connecting to the Jabber server
  • Password - The password to use when connecting to the Jabber server
  • Port - defaults to 5222

Email settings

SMTP hosts

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The SMTP host is an email relay that will take the email from Moodle and send it to users. You will need to set this only if your server does not allow mail relay. Otherwise, PHP will send out the mail using its built-in mail server. All the email sent by forums and other modules will be sent through this host.

Most SMTP hosts make use of the default port 25 to for listening email traffic. However, occasionally a non-default port is used. In such cases, entering an SMTP host followed by a colon (i.e. :) and the port number should work. For example, if my SMTP host is myemailserver.com and it listens on port 587 or 465 (most common) instead of port 25 I would enter the SMTP host as myemailserver.com:587. Currently, the parameter check is too strict to allow this via the Moodle UI; however, MDL-15923 has been created and resolved to address this. Until then, it can be set via phpMyAdmin using a query statement like:

UPDATE mdl_config SET value='myemailserver.com:587' WHERE name='smtphosts';

SMTP security

If the SMTP server requires a secure connection, the correct protocol type, SSL or TSL, may be set.

Configure HTTPD/SELinux on CentOS/Red Hat (RHEL) 6.2/6.1/6

Most new installations of Centos/Red Hat have SELinux activated and is configured by default, rather strictly. In this state SELinux does not allow Apache (httpd,phpmailer) to use the sendmail function and make any sort of network connection.

If you continue to have problems with sending/authenticating use the getsebool command to find out if SELinux is one of the culprits. When the getsebool command is issued it returns on or off.

Type to check if your Apache is allowed to send mail and make a connection over the network

  • getsebool httpd_can_sendmail
  • getsebool httpd_can_network_connect

You will receive the values of httpd_can_sendmail and httpd_can_network_connect. Let's assume both options are off:

  • httpd_can_sendmail -->off
  • httpd_can_network_connect -->off

We need to change the values from off to on by using setsebool. Number 1 = on and 0 = off. Type the following:

  • setsebool -P httpd_can_sendmail 1
  • setsebool -P httpd_can_network_connect 1

You will not receive a response. You can double check if the setsebool command worked by using getsebool and see if the values changed from -->off to -->on.

Messaging capabilities

The following capabilities can be applied as permissions to make custom changes to roles affecting messaging.

User profile settings

Users can receive message alerts for a number of different reasons and can also send and receive instant messages. How a user receives notification of incoming messages can be set in Settings > My profile > Messaging.

This brings up a screen with check boxes where users can choose how they wish to be notified both when logged in and logged out. They can choose between a pop up,Jabber message or an email.

Messagingnotifications.png

Note: The choices a user has on this screen depends on their role and permissions within Moodle. For example, an administrator would see options for notifications about backups or important errors with the site.

An administrator can receive update notifications for both Moodle core code and any contributed plugins installed on the site if the automatic check for available updates is enabled in Settings > Site Administration > Server > Update notifications.

Pop up

When a user is logged into Moodle, the message will pop up from the bottom right corner of the page. The user can choose to read the message immediately or to ignore it. If they choose to ignore it, the message returns until it is read.

Jabber

If the Jabber server has been configured, Jabber messages can be sent.The Jabber ID can be set at the bottom of the screen.

Email

Users cannot by default automatically choose to have notifications sent to a different email address from their official Moodle email. However, the administrator has the option to override this so that users can have an alternative email. This is done from Settings > Site administration > Advanced features and when activated, a box will appear for users to enter another email address.

Prevent non-contacts from messaging me

Non-contacts can be prevented from sending messages by ticking this box in General Settings at the bottom of the screen.

See also