Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.0. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: blocks/moodletxt/send.
Sending a Message via MoodleTxt
This page will run you through the process of sending out a message from the MoodleTxt compose page. Given the wide number of options that MoodleTxt provides for outbound messaging, this page is designed as a wizard, to easily section off the various stages of composing a new message. You can move forwards and backwards through the steps of the wizard by clicking on their titles at the top of the form.
Step 1: Recipients
Firstly, you must select the recipients for the message. You may send a text message to one or more individuals, to a pre-defined group of users/contacts, to additional recipients you specify on the page, or any combination of the three.
On the left of the screen you will see the "Potential Recipients" list. This list holds all the recipients (of a given type) that were found in your Moodle system. These are the recipients that you can add to the message. On the right of the screen you will see the "Selected Recipients" list. Any recipient that is in this list when the form is submitted will receive the message.
To add a recipient to the message, find them in the list on the left, select them, and click the button with the right-facing arrows (>>). The recipient will move across to the selected list. To remove them from the message, click the button with the left-facing arrows (<<). The recipient will be removed from the selected list, and reappear in the potential list on the left; they will no longer receive a copy of the message.
You will notice that the recipients you are selecting are colour-coded. These colours designate the type of recipient that you are selecting. Underneath the two lists you will notice a number of coloured buttons: "Users", "User Groups", "Addressbook Contacts", "Addressbook Groups". Users are the user accounts and user groups defined in your Moodle installation. Address Books contain the contacts and groups you define within MoodleTxt. Click on one of these buttons to display the appropriate contact list.
(To select more than one contact from a list, hold down CTRL on Windows/Linux, or the Apple/cloverleaf key on a Mac, and click on each contact. You can also select a group of sequential contacts by clicking on the first contact, then holding the SHIFT key and selecting a contact further up/down the list. This will select every contact in a range.)
Finally, if you wish to add recipients to the message that are not already stored within Moodle or MoodleTxt, you can use the "Add Additional Contact" form, which you will find underneath the recipient lists at the bottom of the slide. Enter the contact's first name, last name and phone number in the appropriate boxes, and click the “Add Contact” button. The new contact will be added to the “Selected Recipients” list on the right of the page.
Any contacts you added from the “Additional Recipients” form will be destroyed when removed from the "Selected Recipients" list.
Once you are satisfied with your recipient selections, click on "Step 2" in the navigation bar at the top, and you'll be taken to the Compose Message screen.
Step 2: Compose Message
On this slide of the wizard, you will compose the actual message that is to be sent out to course participants. You can utilise pre-saved templates for sending out commonly used messages/notices, or write the message free-hand. You can also customise the message by merging in the recipient's name, and sign it with your own custom signature.
Inside the large textbox marked "Message", please type your intended text message. As you type, you should see the number of characters you have used displayed directly above the message box, along with the number of individual SMS messages your text will be broken into.
If you wish to use a pre-defined message template, select it from the drop-down list marked “Message Templates”, and it will automatically fill the textbox with the template for you. Message length counters will update automatically. If you wish to add your own customised signature to the message, checking the "Add Signature" checkbox will append your signature to the end of the message in the textbox.
Also, underneath the message text box. you will find three buttons, labelled "First Name," "Last Name," and "Full Name."
Clicking on any of these buttons will insert a "tag" into the message. This tag will be automatically replaced, for each recipient, with the appropriate name, allowing you to add a personal touch to the message. For example:
"Hello %FIRSTNAME%, welcome to DMU."
Will be converted automatically to:
"Hello Jaime, welcome to DMU."
If you use any characters that do not fit within the standard GSM alphabet used by SMS messages, then these will be sent as Unicode messages. This does not affect message delivery in any way, but it does reduce the number of characters allowed per message from 160 to 70. MoodleTxt checks your text automatically as you type, and if you use characters that require a Unicode message, then a warning message will be displayed below the textbox. The "characters per message" field will also change to 70 to reflect this, and "characters/messages used" will be recalculated according to the new message length.
Step 3: Message Options
This step of the wizard allows you to schedule a message to be delivered at a later date, along with any other options that relate to message delivery.
Unicode Messaging Options
Firstly, if your message contains unicode message characters, as detailed above, you can opt to disable these characters in the outgoing message. If you decide to suppress these characters in the message, they may appear garbled on the recipient's phone (though the rest of the message should appear OK). However, doing so will restore the 160 character length of the message, and remove the restriction to 70 characters that unicode messages normally have.
To suppress unicode characters, select "Restrict message to GSM character set only" in the first option set, under the heading "Unicode Messaging Options".
To schedule your message for delivery at a later point, first you need to select the "Schedule to send later" option under the "Scheduling" heading. Once you have done this, select a time and date using the combo boxes provided. The date and time you enter is according to your own timezone on your Moodle user account; this will be converted automatically by MoodleTxt to Universal Time before sending.
Step 4: Review & Send
The final step of the wizard exists simply to allow you to review all the details of the message in one place, prior to it being sent. The recipients of the message are displayed, along with the message text, how many characters and messages per recipient will be used, and any unicode warnings that are relevant. Once you are happy with the information displayed on this last screen, click the "Send Message" button at the bottom to send the message to ConnectTxt.