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The Notes feature is a way to attach information about a user by another user. For example, a teacher might attach a note to a specific student about the hobbies and interests that seems to engage that student.

Accessing Notes

Users must have the permissions to View notes and Manage notes in order to use this feature in any context. Thus students can be allowed to view or even manage notes within a course.

The Notes page may be accessed (in the Boost theme) by clicking the Participants link, clicking a user and from their profile, clicking Notes - depending on your access rights and the context at which the Notes has been set. Teachers cannot by default access the Notes page via Site pages > Notes.

Administrators and managers can access Site notes by clicking the profile of a user and then clicking Notes.

If a user isn't yet enrolled in any course, there is no option to add a note. This issue is reported as MDL-82109.

Note context

A Note's context determines which users can see the note in everyday use. Users should be aware that all categories of notes, including Personal Notes, may be disclosed under the laws of their jurisdictions such as Data Protection law requests, Discovery Orders from courts or warrants. You can select from one of the below options when creating or editing a Note.

  • Personal - The note will be visible only to you (as the Note author)
  • Course - The note will be visible to other Managers and Teachers in this course (or any users with notes:view capability in this course)
  • Site - The note will be visible to other Managers and Teachers in all courses (or any users with notes:view capability in any course) when viewing within a course

Data export of notes

If a user makes a subject access request (SAR), the following data will be included in the data export:

  • All notes written by the user (regardless of the note context or publish status)
  • Only notes written for about the user in the site context which are public i.e. private notes written by another user are not included

Tips and tricks

  • Notes may be disabled by unticking the enablenotes checkbox in Site administration > Advanced features.
  • An Admin, Manager or Teacher may have used the Notes functionality to create private teaching notes regarding a user and changing this user's permissions (or their Role type) will give them access to this information
  • Users with this capability set to Allow can edit and delete another user's Note(s)
  • Users can only view Notes that have been created within the same context to which their Role has been assigned (e.g. Site, Course, Personal/User).
    • Example 1: A Note set to Site Context can be viewed by a Site Administrator at the site level (Site pages> Notes) or by a Teacher when within their own course.
    • Example 2: A Note set to Course Context can only be viewed by a Site Administrator when they are in the course in which it was created
    • Example 3: A Teacher can only view a Course Context Note when viewed within a course both they and the student/user are associated with
  • Notes can be added against any user within the site where the Note author has access rights to view and edit a user's profile and the ability to View notes and Manage notes

See also