We are upgrading from 3.4 to 3.6, and at first glance we liked the group messaging functionality. But after testing it, we have discovered several issues. This is what we have found, please correct us if we have got it wrong:
- There is no default setting to allow group messaging on course (or system) level
- The course manager/teacher has to activate the ability for each group in the course. This has to be done for all groups in the course one-by-one.
- There is no way to change this setting in "bulk" after the groups are created
- It is not selectable for all groups when auto-creating groups
- Groups cannot be searched and added, the way single users can, in the contacts list.
This might lead to:
- All groups that you are a member of and that have been set to allow group messaging are always visible in the IM, and this might become a very long list.
- When one of your groups are missing in the IM, because that group has not been allowed to group message, it will be confusing to the user. Users will try to search for the missing group (see 5 above)
- When a teacher needs to create additional groups, it's easy to forget to give those the group messaging ability. This will cause stress and confusion, when some students complain that they cannot find their group in the IM.
- A site-wide course default setting to set allow/disallow Group messaging when creating a course: Allow group messaging [Yes/No]
- A course default setting under the Course Settings: Allow group messaging [Yes/No]
- The setting for each group remains as it is, but is pre-set according to the choices in 1-2 above
- When bulk creating groups this should be an option, pre-set according to the choices in 1-2 above
- The setting should be indicated in the groups overview with a checkbox
- The setting should be able to be changed in bulk in the groups overview, by using the checkboxes and select all