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printKeywords: message, instant chat, communicate, communication, alert

What is it?

Staff and students may send and receive private messages via Moodle. Message alerts appear in the bottom, right corner of Moodle.

Why use it?

Messages are an easy way to contact tutors, students and groups. Messages will also be sent as an email, unless the user has turned off this feature.

Who can use it?

All Moodle users (except guests) can message others within UCL Moodle.

Before I start...


Meeting the Baseline

The UCL E-Learning Baseline suggests the following for Communication:

  • 3.1 Provide a communication statement  - Describe how students and staff will communicate for different purposes (e.g. using Moodle forums for coursework-related questions and email for personal matters). Include expected staff response times.
  • 3.4 Advise staff and students to upload profile pictures to help personalise the online environment and allow online discussions between collaborators to be more easily followed.

How do I use it?

  1. Log in to Moodle and on the My home page you will see a Messages block, to the right of the page (you might want to minimise the Navigation block if you are enrolled on a lot of courses).
  2. The Messages block displays messages you have received from Moodle users.
  3. Click the Messages link at the bottom of this block, to go to the messages interface.
  4. The Message navigation menu lets you navigate:
    • unread messages.
    • contacts you have added
    • recent conversations
    • recent notifications.
    • courses you are enrolled on - allowing you to message anyone else enrolled on that course as a staff member or student.
  5. Each section of the messaging interface will list Moodle users relevant for that section. Using the icons to the right of each user you can:
    1. add a contact by clicking the plus (+) symbol alongside their name.
    2. block a contact by clicking the 'not allowed' icon (a circle with a diagonal line).
    3. view your message history with that user.
  6. Click the name of the person you wish to message.
  7. Type the message and click 'Send message'.
  8. When opening a message, the 3 dots next to the users name allow you star, mute and delete conversations.
  9. Clicking on your own name opens up your own personal space. This allows you to save draft messages, links, notes etc. to access later.

Message an individual from outside the Messages interface

  1. Navigate to the profile of the person you want to message. This might be through the Messages interface (described above), via the Navigation block on a course where you can click Participants, or by clicking the profile picture of a user in a discussion forum or other contribution they have made.
  2. Click Message under the person's name on their profile page.
  3. Type the message and click 'Send message'.

Message a group from the Messages interface

  1. Navigate to the group you want to message. This might be through the Messages interface (described above), via the Navigation block on a course where you can click Group.
  2. Click Message under the group name on their profile page.
  3. Type the message and click 'Send message'.
  4. Group conversations can be created from the auto-create groups edit page and the import groups tool.

Message selected course participants

A tutor or course admnistrator can send a message to course participants as follows:

  1. Navigate to your course and in the Navigation block click Participants.
  2. Select the students (and staff) you would like to message from the list or use the "Select all" button at the bottom of the list.
  3. Choose "Add/send message" from the "With selected users..." drop-down menu.
  4. Type the message then click the "Preview" button.
  5. Assuming you are satisfied with the message, click the "Send" button.

Changing your settings

  1. Navigate to the Messaging drawer by pressing the Cog icon in the top right corner. This can also be done by going into User Menu > Preferences > Message Preferences.
  2. Under Privacy, there is the option to choose if you would like only your contacts to message you, or if your contacts and other people on your courses can message you.
  3. Toggling Notification Preferences allows you to decide whether or not you receive an email for new messages.
  4. By default, pressing the enter key sends the message. This can be changed by toggling the option in Settings > General.

Further help

Further guidance on Messaging is available from moodledocs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.



Examples and case studies


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