Are you looking for a way to automate your survey email notifications to faculty and students? If so, you are in the right place to learn how to utilize these great features that are a time saver.  We like to think of this as like a crock-pot for emails, where a Super User sets it up one time and leave it alone to work!  MyCoursEval users will automatically be informed when surveys are opening and when reports are released. 


Automated Notifications available in CoursEval:

  • Pre-Evaluation Announcement - This email is set up to go out X days before the survey or custom window opens as a notification to evaluated individuals that the survey is being deployed, the dates of the survey, and a student roster for each individuals course(s). This option can be used for Standard and Rotation surveys, where students evaluate faculty only. 

    Note: this will only send to those who are checked on the Question Category Settings of the survey if the survey has both Overall & People-based questions. If the survey has only Overall questions it will send to those listed as Responsible Faculty
  • Participant Reminders - These emails are sent to survey participants when a survey or custom course window becomes active (day 1), every X days after the start, and on the last day of the survey, based on the settings chosen. This option can be used for all survey types, Standard, Rotation, and General surveys. 
  • Instructor Reminders - These emails are sent to instructors when a survey or custom course window becomes active (day 1), every X days after the start, and on the last day of the survey, based on the settings chosen.  This option can be used for Standard and Rotation survey types, where students evaluate faculty only. 

    Note: this will only send to those who are checked on the Question Category Settings of the survey if the survey has both Overall & People-based questions. If the survey has only Overall questions it will send to those listed as Responsible Faculty
  • Report Release Announcement - This email can be set to go out when reports are made available for evaluated individuals and can be repeated X times until the reports are read. This option can be used for Standard and Rotation survey types, where students evaluate faculty only. 

    Notes: 
  1. There are few rules for receiving the Report Release Announcement notification. It only applies to "recent" surveys determined by the "Show closed surveys" setting in the "Survey Site Setup" page. Once the report is viewed the faculty will stop receiving notifications for that course. So, once the Report Release Announcement notification is enabled, recently closed surveys, where reports are available, may receive emails if the reports have not been viewed yet by the instructor.
  2. This will only send to those who are checked on the Question Category Settings of the survey if the survey has both Overall & People-based questions. If the survey has only Overall questions it will send to those listed as Responsible Faculty

 





The Rules

The Group Email automated process performs a daily check at 6 AM server time looking for emails that qualify to be sent.

  • Only survey participants (those who complete the survey), evaluated individuals (those who are being evaluated on the survey), and course administrators (those who supervisor individual courses) are able to receive automated emails. 
  • Only survey participants who have not completed their surveys are targeted. For Report Release emails only evaluated individuals who have not viewed the reports are targeted. 
  • Set the number of days in between notifications. The default is 7 and the minimum is 3 days. Remember, the goal is to inform, not spam, your users.
  • Emails are date-based, not time-based; For example, if you select 3 days, emails sent on a Monday will push to non-respondents again on Thursday, no matter the time of day the first email deployed.

  • Automated notifications are checked for prior notifications. If, for example, a manual group email went out yesterday, the automated check would ignore it.
  • The option to check for newly opened surveys provides a means to communicate as surveys open. If a user received a notification yesterday, and a survey opens overnight, they will receive another notification today. Then the clock resets for that person to receive the next notification.
  • The calculated open/close for each course (found on the survey Detailed Settings page) is used to determine if a survey has “opened”. 

NOTE: Using Custom Dates on courses/surveys may qualify people to get emails every day.  If course surveys open on varying days notifications could be sent out more often than desired.

  • Participant Reminders are generated from any survey type (Standard, Rotation, General) or focus (students evaluating courses, instructors evaluating students, peer, self).
  • Faculty Automated Emails are generated from from Standard and Rotation surveys only, where students evaluate faculty/courses.
  • The survey administrations list in the merge tag includes ALL outstanding surveys for a participant, not just the surveys that qualified the user to receive a notification. If a survey opens overnight, but the student still has 3 outstanding surveys, all 4 will be listed in the body of the email.
  • There is only 1 email template for each notification type.


Here’s how it works with Group Email

When the automated process finds that there are people who qualify to receive a notification it will create and send a new group email. The Automated Group Emails appear in the Group Email list with the auto column checked. 


 Automated group emails are configured using the features that already exist in CoursEval:

  • The Super User feature 'Select surveys from all Databases?'  is checked
  • The Automated Notification template is applied
  • The list of recipients is locked in (the 'clock option' is not checked)
  • The recipients are participants who have not completed their evaluations
  • The outstanding surveys for all included recipients is auto-checked
  • The confirmation email is set if it is configured in the Automated Notification Setup

 

How do I get there?

Super User Managers will see a the 'Automated Notifications' link under the Survey menu:


Click on the notification type:


Set the notification settings and save:



Group Email Notifications

There are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Participants and Evaluated Individuals do not see the separation of databases. Therefore, they will receive a single email notification for all surveys regardless of which database the email originates from.
  • Database Managers should opt-out if they would rather handle notifications manually. But, if participants and evaluated individuals are receiving notifications from multiple databases they could be inundated with emails.
  • There is only one template for each notification so they should be kept generic (including the FROM, REPLY TO, message, and closing signature) to cover various survey types and all databases.
  • If no participants or evaluated individuals qualify for an automated email at the 6 AM check, no action will be taken.
  • Only Super Users can configure automated settings; All others will just see the icon.  
  • Super Users are the only ones who can direct an automated message to span all databases. This option has been available for many years.
  • If the system is working on a long-running automated group email (say, for example, you are throttling the send rate), and the email check kicks off, a new group email may be created, but it will exclude everyone from the currently-running list.

 

The “All Databases” option

The Group Email option to include surveys from all databases has been available to Super Users for many years. Automated Emails take advantage of this feature and we discovered early on in development that it was hard to find the automated emails when using more than one database. So, if this feature is checked the Group Email will always show up regardless of the selected database. If you select “Show All” for the School filter the School column will now show “All Databases” and the column Multi-Database will be checked.

 

Automated Emails in the Group Email List

Automated emails are easy to find in the list. The Auto column will be checked and the Recipient description will start with “AUTO:”.  You can sort by the Auto column or use the Recipients Description search.

 

The Automated Email icon is visible to all Manager users. It will turn green when automated notifications are enabled. Look for this icon on the Group Email and Email Templates lists. Hovering over the icon reveals the process configuration. You can also filter based on manual vs automated emails:

 

Notification Options

It takes just a few seconds to set-up your configurations for something that can run on its own for semesters down the road.

 

When does it run?

Every day around 6 AM the system will look for participants who qualify. Have the number of days passed since an individual received an automated notification? Has a survey opened since the last check (requires option to be set)? If either is answered with a “Yes” the individual is included.

 

My survey just opened, and I want users to be notified now

Make sure you have the Newly Opened Surveys option checked! Access the Automated Notification Setup page and click Run Now. This will schedule the check to run again immediately. If new users qualify they will receive an email regardless of whether or not they were included in the 6 AM check.  If no one qualifies the email does not send.

 

The settings were changed, who did it?

Access the Automated Notification Setup page and look at Last Change to Settings. This will tell you who made the changes and when.

 

One of my schools wants to send manual emails

Deselect the database from the setup screen and the surveys in that database will not be included. But, if a user is included in surveys in more than one database they could still qualify for an automated email and the outstanding surveys from the excluded database would show up in their list of courses/surveys in the body of the email.


Videos Related to Automated Notifications

Automated Notification: Set Up



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