[LON-CAPA-users] Re: Notification address when accounts are created
Thu, 16 Oct 2008 21:08:24 -0400
This topic is probably more suitable for the lon-capa-admin list, but
since the thread was started here I'll reply to the users list.
There has been no change to the existing behavior of LON-CAPA with
regards to automatic setting of notification addresses for new users,
although starting with version 2.7, a new mechanism for creation of
new accounts (namely self-creation of accounts) was added.
The one mechanism which has (and continues to) automatically set
notification/critical notification addresses for new users is
automated enrollment (either via a nightly automated process, or
interactively by a Course Coordinator via "Update Roster Now"). This
mechanism is only available in domains where Automated Enrollment has
been enabled by a Domain Coordinator. The rationale for setting
notifications was that the e-mail address provided from an
institutional source was likely to be valid, so it was not
unreasonable to set notification addresses automatically.
In other cases, i.e., classlist upload, or enrollment of a single user
or student, there is less of a guarantee that the e-mail address is
accurate. Historically, LON-CAPA has never automatically set
notification addresses for users added via these mechanisms. There
was no change in this in 2.7, although the question might be revisited
in the future, particularly since integration with campus directory
services (possible since LON-CAPA version 2.5) can now provide
validation against the same official data sources as are used for
Self-creation of accounts follows the same approach as classlist
upload and single user enrollment - namely notification addresses are
not set automatically. It would be a straightforward matter to modify
the account self-creation interface to provide the user the option of
also setting notification addresses when he/she creates a LON-CAPA
account. This functionality, however, was not a part of the original
specifications for the self-enrollment process for 2.7.
Reliance on notification e-mail as a way of contacting students in a
course is problematic because users can modify notification addresses
and also disable notifications, after they have initially been set.
Course Management Systems typically provide a way to send e-mail to
all students enrolled in a course. In LON-CAPA the 'Permanent Email
Address' which can be set for each user, but which cannot be changed
by a user cannot unless he/she is also a Domain Coordinator (or a
Course Coordinator or Author - depending on how the Domain has been
configured) can provide this standard course management functionality.
Further to this, LON-CAPA's Auto-update process can be enabled in a
domain so that user information (including permanent e-mail addresses)
for all users in the domain can be kept in sync with an institutional
directory source. Auto-update does not affect user preferences such as
In your specific case automatic setting of notification for new users
used to "work" because you had combined a custom script for student
course enrollment requests with the standard Auto-enrollment process
(which would periodically process the file produced by your custom
script). Now you have replaced a custom mechanism with the
generalized LON-CAPA account self-creation/self-enrollment mechanism
the auto-enrollment process is no longer employed so notification
addresses are not automatically set for new users.
If you plan to use notification e-mails as a way of communicating with
students, it seeme simplest at this point to ask the students to go to
their own User Preferences and set Notification addresses there. Other
alternatives can be examined for a future release.
MSU LON-CAPA group
> When new LON-CAPA accounts has been created in the past (and if an
> e-mail address has been provided in the process of account creation),
> LON-CAPA used to automatically configure a notification address. The
> advantage for the users is that they are notified in their e-mail
> mailbox about new LON-CAPA internal messages.
> This seems to be dysfunctional for at least classlist upload and account
> self creation.
> 1) How can we get this to work again? Is there something I am missing or
> has there been a change with 2.7.X releases? Or is there a special
> constraint that I haven't been aware of?
> 2) Is there a possibility to configure the missing notification settings
> besides asking the users to set this on their own?
> Stefan Bisitz