Future major features

Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts

 
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Picture of Marina Glancy
Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

See also tracker issue MDL-52658

The preference $user->maildisplay is confusing:

  • hiding your email does not hide it from teachers/admins with viewuseridentity capability, this is not clear to the users
  • the default setting is to display email to other course members which is not necessary
  • the preference is located inside user profile and not on preferences page, it is easy to miss
  • it is respected in some cases but not others
  • no modern websites publish users emails to other users, if the particular university wants users to see each other's email addresses they can do so by giving them capability; if the user wants to show their email address they can include it in the description
  • Admins can and have been confused while trying to hide all users emails, because if this setting is set the user's email will still display

The suggestion is to remove the setting and in all current usages consider it to be 0 (do not show email).

Another option is to explain that hiding is not really hiding, change the default value for this setting, move it to the preferences, make sure it is respected everywhere equally.
 
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Picture of Marina Glancy
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

My personal vote is to remove the setting. Second option requires much more dev work and adds more to the UI, making navigation/understanding more difficult.

We always get complains that Moodle interface is too difficult already and there are too many settings. At the same time tracker is full of issues to add more functionality and more settings. It is hard to make a decision to remove settings/functionality but it is needed sometimes.

 
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Picture of Matteo Scaramuccia
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
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+1 to remove it.

 
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Picture of Marina Glancy
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
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Kim
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

I agree with Tim and Matt on this.

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

This setting is something we use at the OU. It would be a problem for us if it was removed.

It seems that, just because there are a few usability issues, you want to remove a useful feature, rather than fixing the usability bugs. Why not fix the usability issues? E.g.  "the preference is located inside user profile and not on preferences page"

The point of the Moodle profile page is to encourage people to share as much about themselves as they are happy to share, and no more, with their fellow students. I think it is clear that staff who organise and administer the learning will get to see more. Has anyone actually been confused by that?

Also note that, Moodle allows the messaging system to be turned off. So, if you Messaging is turned off (as it is at the OU) then it should be easy for users to share their email addresses if they want.

 
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Picture of Gavin Henrick
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

I agree with Tim, the usage of this being able to allow users share their info - email is just the same as skype or mobile or any other profile information really. I know organisations who use this as their participant directory - so having email and other details is important.

For more usability - One approach, would be to prompt the user to select this setting when first logging in.

I think having it there, and on by default is a good thing, but users should be educated to its existance.

 
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Picture of Nicolas Martignoni
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
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I'm too with Tim on this one.

 
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Picture of Ralf Hilgenstock
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Translators
This featiure is discussed in Germany mainly under privacy aspects.  Mostly its wished that the mail addrress is generally invisible. 
Because there are different scenarios and interests it should be configurable by admin
- mail addresss visible for all
- mail address visible for teachesr and admins only
- mail address invisible (only admin and manager can see)

 Second setting
- seeting is default (user can change)
- setting is mandatory (users can't change)


By the way
In user profile are a lot of old  fields like ICQ that are historical interesting but not in actual use. It should be possible to define by admin that every user profile field that is not mandatory for system could be hidden/deactivated.
 
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Jim Judges
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
 

I would vote for change. I think it is odd to share email address by default. We could keep everyone happy but switch the default to "hide my email address"? Then a user (not the institution) could decide. However an administrator can still set the default in user default preferences under yourmoodle/admin/settings.php?section=userdefaultpreferences if needed BUT I think the default should be set to hidden in the standard 'out of the box' Moodle.

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developers

My $0.02...

Having used Moodle as a student, a teacher, an academic admin, and a site administrator, I can think of many use-case scenarios where it's beneficial to have the email display options.

One example: Moodle user profile pages make it easy for non-techie users to add contact details - email, messaging services, VoIP, and social networking services - to their profiles and have them automatically converted into the appropriate HTML links. This makes every users' profile page and contact links consistent and easy to find and users have control over what they do and don't want to share.

If anything, the contact information of the Moodle profile page should be updated and improved. It'd be nice for users to be able to select who gets to see which contacts and when.

In other words, I agree with Tim smile

 
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Picture of Marina Glancy
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

I can see that this thread was advertised on moodledev twitter and lots of developers answer. I did not need to create a topic to know that all developers want as many settings as possible.

We really have a big problem in Moodle that the design is driven by developers and not users

 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

In fairness Marina, Tim's comment is

its something we USE at OU

While Matt's refers to his experience as

Having used Moodle as a student, a teacher, an academic admin, and a site administrator, I can think of many use-case scenarios where it's beneficial to have the email display options.

So these do not come across as simply developers wanting as many settings as possible, but of people who work with the users reporting their experiences and opinions in answer to your direct question.

It also seems strange to raise a post in the Moodle Development forum asking for thoughts and then complain that you have developers answering it.

Perhaps if you want views of other users you need to post in other forums such as Teaching with Moodle?

 
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Picture of Marina Glancy
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
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I did not realise that "future major features" was under "development" section, guess it was a wrong choice of category.

I wonder how come, if everybody so desperately needs this setting, nobody has noticed that it is broken and emails are no longer displayed since Moodle 2.9 (except to teachers with capability to view identity)?

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
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The OU only updated to Moodle 2.9 just before Christmas, and a but where something does not appear can be hard to spot - only someone who knows it should be there can find it. I can't even test this myself in the OU course where I am a student, because I don't know which of my fellow students have chosen to share their email address.

Now we know this might be an issue, I guess the OU will probably want to investigate and fix it.

 
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Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Testers

Probably because many institutions and quite a lot of the partners with their hosted options appear to deliberately (or because of academic year restrictions) choose to stay at least one and often two versions behind 'cutting edge' Moodle, so many will only just be moving onto 2.9.

 
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Picture of Joshua Bragg
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Testers

Generally speaking the only people who are going to notice this are students.  Students aren't as well versed in the intricate details of how Moodle works.  Your only hope for a "student" to notice is someone who is a serious Moodle teacher/admin/developer who also happens to be a student in another course and goes looking for another student's email.

 
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Picture of Joshua Bragg
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Testers

Well I'm a teacher and site administrator, and not a developer.

I vote for "Another option is to explain that hiding is not really hiding, change the default value for this setting, move it to the preferences, make sure it is respected everywhere equally."

Our site disables messaging so if students want to communicate with each other directly then they can email each other.  We need a setting for students to be able to control if they want to share their email or not.

 
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Picture of Stéphane LE PERF
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
 

Orange is using Moodle for building a service called Solerni.

In this context we want to keep the ability for student to hide or show their email to other student.

 
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Picture of Enrique Castro
Re: Do we need setting "Email display" - please share your thoughts
Group Core developers

Hi all,

We at ULPGC do use this setting, and want to keep it. The setting is valuable for us.

No web system today publish email addresses in open for everybody, But most allow to publish address  for users, without to manually typing  it again in Profile. Addresses ar a privacy concern, but manageable if we keep (even extend) this type of settings for individual users.

 
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