Automatically Send Reminder Emails And ‘Nudge’ Students Using The Reengagement Plugin For The Moodle LMS

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Updated on April 23th, 2019
Video credit: Rockingham Community College Distance Learning

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Catalyst IT, international Moodle Partner originally from New Zealand, has shared the Reengagement plugin with the Moodle LMS community. It allows you to sent email reminders to your students to complete their course activities. You can also use it to release the timed content in your course.

Give (And Get) Students Simple Reminders With The Reengagement Moodle Plugin

Features of the Reengagement plugin for Moodle

  • Automatically send emails to students to remind them about deadlines in their course activities
  • Set “soft deadlines” and remind only those who have not completed their work between then and the actual deadline
  • Reminders can be sent only if a previous activity has been completed
  • Release course contents at chosen times within the course duration
  • Customize the emails students will get, including user and context variables or “placeholders”

Installation

Being a Activity category plugin, Reengagement has to be installed in the /mod directory of your Moodle site, followed by completing the installation process through the Notifications page. Read the Plugin installation guide for complete steps about installing a new plugin in Moodle.

If you are not aware about Moodle plugin types, check out this post to know about various plugin types available for the Open Source Moodle LMS.

Usage and best practices

The science is in: Small “nudges” to remind people about their goals can have compounding effects on their habits and performance.

The Reengagement plugin is intended for Moodle teachers who wish to notify their students to return to the course and complete activities. The message anticipates worries, focusing on the positive aspects of anticipation rather than the potential distress from deadlines.

Good ideas to make the most of the plugin are:

  • Think carefully about the amount of emails your students will get, and the best times for them to get those
  • Avoid reminding a student about an upcoming activity is there is another one due before
  • Send the reminder in a time commensurate to the work required to complete it
  • Use a positive and eye-catching tone in the subject line and body of the email. Using language compatible with a “growth mindset” is recommended
  • Take advantage of the placeholders for relevance and personalization. At the very least add your student name on the greeting line

Version and documentation

The plugin has its own Moodle Docs page which supplies the information about adding a reengagement activity in your course and setting up.

The plugin was last updated in January 2019, ensuring wide compatibility from Moodle 2.9 to 3.6, the latest release. Access the version compatible with your site, and a technical forum on the Reengagement Moodle Plugin Directory page.

Our verdict

The plugin deserves 5 out of 5 stars because of the usefulness and innovative idea. The developers continue to make sure the plugin is up-to-code, earning the Moodle “Early Bird Badge” for developments ready for a release the last five major Moodle versions. The Catalyst IT team, including Peter Bulmer, Dan Marsden and Eugene Venter, is very responsive to issues notified by users.

The plugin is currently in use by more than 1,100 registered Moodle sites. Since January 2019 the rate of new downloads has picked up, with an monthly average above 400.

This plugin will find its place in many of the new Moodle sites because of its recommendable job. Highly recommended for all Moodle teachers to use this plugin and improve the students interaction in your course.

Please note that these reviews are based only on the usability part, without any consideration for security and performance impact. Make sure to test the plugin for security and any performance issues before implementing it on an actual production site.