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Moodle has a built-in messaging system that's available to you to be able to send messages to other students in your class, institution, or even your teachers. To use this feature simply go up to the upper right-hand corner of your screen, where you see the You are logged in as, and click on your name. In my case I'll go ahead and click on Elvis McNamera. Next, down at the bottom you should see a button that says Messages. You may see a number inside of there, indicating the number of messages that have currently been sent to you. I'll go ahead and click the Messages button and now a new window appears with a series of tabs. There's a listing for Contacts, Search and Settings.
Currently, we do not have any Contacts in our list of people that we send messages to on a regular basis. We can see that there's one Incoming Contact with a message. We see the image for the person, the person's name. This happens to be me, Chris Mattia. The number of the message that I had sent, then a link, that's a small smiley face icon. If you simply click on this link, it adds this person's contact to your list of people that you can contact on a regular basis. If you click on the person's name, it opens up a message that you can send to them. I'm currently listed as the instructor. And my account has sent a message to Elvis' account saying Welcome to Coral Reef Ecology. I can send a reply back by simply saying, Thanks. I'll click the Send message button and the message is sent back to the other account.
Let's go ahead and close this window and then we'll go ahead and click the Search tab. Here I can search for other users. I know there's a student names Al in my class. So I'll type in al and then click the Search button. I'll get a listing of all the students in our institution that have the name Al anywhere in their name. Here it's polled up a listing for Sally Jones and Al Uminium. I want to send a message to Al Uminium. I'll click on the Add Contact button. And now I have got a Contact that's been added for Al. I can click on his name and now send a message directly to him. Can we get together to study later tonight? I'll click the Send message button and now this message has been sent to Al. You can also see that we can go ahead and remove the contact if we need to or the green dot allows us to block a contact, meaning that no messages will be sent back and forth between myself and Al.
There is also a link for Message History where we can see the history of all the messages that have been sent back and forth. Let's go ahead and close this window and look at the last tab, which is Settings. Here we can configure how we want the messages inside of our Moodle installation to work. By default, it's set to Automatically show the Message window anytime a new message appears. And we are currently logged in to our site. As long as our browser doesn't block pop -up windows this should work just fine. We can set it so that we can block all messages from people who are not in our contact list. This is fine if you spend the time to go in and set up just the people inside of your list that you want to communicate with. Otherwise, it's a good idea to leave this box unchecked so that any student at your institution can contact you. You can set whether or not you want your browser to beep. This may not work on all installations and is really dependent on the browser and the specific plug-ins that you have installed on your system.
Here I have got entered in my default email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org. I can choose the format of the message that I want it to go, either plain text or HTML. I'll go ahead and leave it for plain text and simply click Save my settings. My settings have been updated and now anytime somebody sends me a message when I'm not online that message will go directly to my E-mail inbox. We will go ahead and close the messaging window and then return back to our main site. In my case, I'll do that by clicking on lyndaU in the upper left-hand corner.
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