The discussion tool comes with integrated private messaging functionality.
Members have the ability to send private messages (PM) to any active site participant and facilitator(s).
Upon entering the discussion tool, users can see immediately if they have any new messages. The number of unread, new messages is shown in parenthesis at the top menu bar. See image for an example.
The Private Messages area comes with an Inbox and a Send Box. The Inbox includes all the messages that came in from other users, and the Send box saves copies of the Private Messages that you sent to others. Upon clicking on Private Messages, you can see which messages have been read, what's unread, and what you have replied to.
If you are in the Inbox within Private Messages and want to send a message to a user, click on New PM and find the user in the drop-down menu.
Other features include the ability to:
If your preferences are set to "yes" in your profile for getting notified via email when new private messages sent to you, you will get an email notification at the email address associated with your Etudes account in the site. The email notification includes the box of the message, as well as the name of the sender. To reply to the PM, you must log into your Etudes site.
Sending a Private Message
You will want to send private messages if you want to share aside or off-topic notes with others, or to communicate information that would not be appropriate to post publicly.
There are at least three ways to identify who you want to send a private message to:
1) Using the Member Listing link at the menu bar:
2) Using the Private Messages link on the menu bar:
Note: Instructor roles can send a PM to as many site members as needed, or the entire class. Students can PM only one person at a time.
3) While you're reading a discussion message from someone, you can click the PM button under their post. Type a subject and a message and click on post. That will set it up to send them a private message..
The New Private Message window looks like this:
Replying to Private Messages
When replying to Private Messages, click on Reply or the Quote button. They serve the same function.
The original message is included in your reply so that there is a record of the original communication. You can delete the quoted text, if you want, but it is beneficial to leave it at the bottom for reference to your sender.
When you reply to a private message, you have the ability to bcc others, as well. To select more than one user, hold the Control (PC) or Command (Mac) key and click a user to select him or her. Click again to unselect it.
Instructors can bcc as many users as they wish. Students can only bcc one person.
Sorting Private Messages
Users may sort Private Messages (in their In-box & Sent box) by name to group them together. This allows instructors and students to review all the private messages that they received by a specific user or all the messages that they sent to a user.
To view all the messages that you received by a student, click on the "From" header in your "In-box". Click on "From" again to switch between ascending and descending order (A-Z or Z-A). To return to chronological order, click on the "Date" header.
If you'd like to review the communication that you sent to a student, click on the "Sent" icon, and then on the "To" header.
Save as Draft
Students and faculty can compose a private message and save it as a draft. Drafts are stored in a separate folder. Users can see clearly how many private messages they’ve saved as drafts from their in-box. Once posted, the drafts get moved to the Sent folder.
You can easily add attachments to a private message. Here is the procedure, using an image as the attachment.
One thing to be aware of when adding attachments to PMs: only images and media files appear embedded (inline) the posting. Other attachment types will come in as something users can download onto their own computers before opening.
Delete Private Messages
A "Delete" button is available at the top and bottom of the private messages list for your convenience. A "Delete" button is also available inside a message, after you open it. You can check one or more messages, and click on Delete to delete them permanently.
NOTE: It is probably not a good idea to delete Private Messages from your class. Leave them stored as your archives of your class private communication. You never know when you may need them for evidence of the communication that took place in future potential disputes. The "Delete" feature, however, can help you clean up trivial PM communication from your list.
Allowable Extension Types
Etudes is lenient with regard to types of filenames that you can attach to messages, assignments, etc.
File types which are NOT allowed include: .exe, .bat, .pif, .bin.
You can attach up to 3 attachments maximum per PM. The default file size limit is 20MB per post.
If you attach an image, make sure it is no larger than 600 pixels wide. Otherwise it will be too wide in the browser.