Edit LMS Messages

 The Latitude Learning LMS gives Portal Administrators the flexibility to edit, brand, and manage system-generated notifications. There are more than 30 customizable messages that will automatically notify students, managers, and administrators when certain system events are scheduled and when specific training activities take place.

Default message templates contain generic texts and are sent from our support@latitudelearning.com account to recipients via email and on the user's Mail Center (Classic Home Page) or Messages page (Navigation). This document provides an overview of the “Edit Messages” feature as well as detailed instructions on how to customize LMS messages to better serve your organization and your users’ needs.

Overview of System Messages

There are two types of messages delivered from the LMS: 

  • Emails - messages are sent to the email address associated with the recipient’s LMS user account.
  • Message Center - messages display for the recipient under the “Mail Center” section of the Classic Home page or the Messages  page on the new user interface Navigation workflow. The number shown on the Message icon indicates the number of messages in the list. It will change as new messages come in and others are deleted.

For the most common system-generated messages, such as those confirming course enrollments or password resets, both Email and Messages components have been enabled by default. You should consider both types when making changes so that information is presented to users in a consistent manner. 

It is possible to activate or inactivate messages, by each delivery type, at any time.

The Importance of Customizing Your LMS Messages

All LMS messages contain default content that is not customized to refer to your organization, your portal, or its organization-specific branding. Users who receive these messages may be confused about who sent it, what it means, and what they are supposed to do next. For a portal administrator, it can also mean that users replying to the automated message aren’t being directed to you or your help desk, but to Latitude Support, who may not be prepared to answer questions like “Why did you enroll me in this course?”, “Who changed my password, because I didn’t?”, or “Why was my request denied?”

By customizing your message texts and updating the From: and Reply To: email addresses, you will not only make these communications clearer for your users, but can also help ensure that you are the first to know when they have questions or problems related to a message. 

Example of standard, non-customized message for “Self-Registration - Process Completed.”


  
The same “Self-Registration - Process Completed” message, customized for a specific portal.

 

Manage Automated Notification Settings

To edit LMS messages and manage automated notification settings, from the left navigation menu, select Site Management > Edit Messages. This section documents your options from the “Customize Messages” main page, providing techniques that apply to all messages in the list.

The Customize Message Main Page

The main page shows a list of all available system messages. For most, there are two types:  Email and Message Center. Each type shows the current status of the message and Action buttons to (1) Customize the message or (2) View Default.


Customize a Specific Message 

To customize the content of a message, modify its distribution, or change its sent by/reply to information, click Customize next to the Event and Type you want to change. 

 

View or Restore the System Default Message

Whether or not you have customized a message, the LMS always maintains the Default System Message, allowing you to view or restore it at any time. 

  • To view the standard message or test user email receipt, click the View Default button.
  • If you have customized a message, but want to revert back to the standard message content instead, click Restore Default. This option becomes available once you have a customization in place.



Change Message Details, Support Emails, and Distribution

The options for editing messages on the “Message Customization” page are described below. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required. After completing your changes, click Submit to apply them. To exit without saving changes, click Return to List.
 

  • Language: Select the language in which the message will be presented. If you have users who prefer a language other than English, you can select the language from the drop-down list and provide alternate, translated text. You must save an English version of the message first.
  • Status: Select whether you want the message to be Active or Inactive.
  • Subject: Enter the text that will appear in the Subject line of the message. The system default is used if no other is specified.
  • From: This is the email address the recipient will see as the sender. The system default is donotreply@latitudelearning.com. Change this to a valid address from your organization, if desired, to make it more recognizable to the recipient.  NOTE: In order for your email address to be used as sender, an IT administrator must update your Domain Name Server (DNS) to authorize our domain – latitudelearning.com – as an approved sending host. This network requirement helps minimize “spoofing” where an email is sent by one organization on behalf of another without approval. This security setting was previously known as the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and has been adopted as an easy and effective method to help in the protection of unauthorized senders. 
  • Reply To: This is the email address to which a user reply will be sent. Replies sent to the support@latitudelearning.com will create service tickets with Latitude Learning Support. Change this to a valid address for the portal administrator/general LMS support from within your organization to receive user inquiries internally. When possible, portal administrators should act as the first line of support for their users. Only authorized administrators should escalate technical issues to Latitude Support for review and resolution.
  • CC Recipient’s Managers having these Roles: Select the additional LMS Roles that should receive a copy of the message. If the student (or primary recipient of the message) is a direct report (in the employee list of a manager with a selected role), that manager will also receive the message. When a message is designed to go directly to a manager rather than the employee, e.g. Student - Assessment Completed, it is not necessary to select these CC: roles.
  • BCC (blind carbon-copy): Enter an email address to provide a copy of the message to someone that is not disclosed to any other recipients. When adding multiple addresses, they must be separated by a semi-colon (;). Addresses separated by a space or any other character are invalid and will cause message delivery to fail. Note: This will generate the BCC message every time the message event is triggered.
  • Include Meeting Calendar Attachment: This option is only available for messages that relate to scheduled events, such as “Upcoming Training Reminders” or “Offering Schedule Changes.” When checked, the email message will include a calendar.ics  file that can be imported into most common calendar applications. For information on how to import *.ics files into your email application, please consult your organization’s system administrator or IT help desk.

If you have extensive changes to make to your messages, such as adding a new default From: or Reply To: email address, you can contact Support@LatitudeLearning.com to request help in doing a mass update. Depending on the size of the effort, this could be a fee-based customization. Once we understand the scope of your needs, we can determine that and provide an estimate.

Create Message Content

Create custom messages in the Body section of the page, as shown and described below. You can edit using the Rich Text editor and its array of formatting buttons and tools, or directly in the HTML code by clicking Source. Customization can make the message more meaningful for users within your organization.  

  • Use a tone and terminology your users will recognize.
  • Provide instructions, if necessary, on follow-up actions they need to take.
  • Offer links to additional information or preferred contact details (with email links, help desk address, etc.)
  • Any changes made to a message text or behavior will be applied immediately to any new messages, in addition to those that may be waiting in the message queue, but have not yet been sent. The message content is not pulled into a queued message until it is actually sent by the system.
  • Unless otherwise specified, messages cover all variations of an event and cannot be customized into sub-types, e.g. special Student-Course Completed messages for each Course Delivery Type. 
 
  • Text in brackets ([ ]) are parameters that represent the personalized data dynamically pulled from the LMS to notify recipients of the exact activity or event. If you remove a bracketed parameter, that data will no longer be generated as part of the message. Remove these with caution. It is also important to know that the parameters that work in one message are not always valid for use with other messages.  Note: A list of Valid Message Parameters for each message can be found in the Appendix.
  • Hover over any toolbar button to view a tooltip describing the button’s purpose. To edit directly in HTML code, click Source to show the message in HTML code. Click Source again to revert to rich text editing.
  • This display-only area at the bottom shows the original system default message. Click Copy from System Default to overwrite any custom message. This display is useful if you accidentally remove one of the bracketed parameters and need to refer to the original message setup.
  • Click Submit to save changes.

Managerial Notifications -- Tips and Tricks

Your established Business Structure, Position hierarchy, and User Profile settings are often the root cause of two common issues related to the transmission and receipt of managerial notifications:

  1. A manager is getting notifications for an individual he or she no longer supervises.
  2. A manager is not receiving notifications for an individual he or she does supervise.
Notifications are sent to managers based on the Organization they oversee and the Position they hold, according to their Primary Profile settings. When a manager is sent a notification for a student they no longer officially supervise, it is usually because the employee’s position in the LMS is still listed as subordinate to the former manager’s. Likewise, if the student’s new manager is not receiving notifications, the student’s position may be missing from the list of positions subordinate to the new manager’s. 


You should also consider other factors in researching manager notification issues:

  • LMS Role assignment does not determine a user’s managerial status. Any LMS user who is assigned a supervisory Position is granted managerial oversight of all users assigned to the same Organization with direct reporting relationships.
  • If a manager has multiple positions within a profile, is the superior position set as “Primary”? Make sure the superior position is primary and that any expired position assignments are not set to primary.
  • Does the manager preside over multiple locations which require him or her to have multiple profiles? It may be necessary to activate a secondary profile (using the Switch Profile options in the Header) to look at data related to a non-primary profile.

Portal administrators should review and update the position relationships, primary position settings within a profile, and primary/secondary profile settings whenever job changes occur to ensure smooth transitions during organizational change. For customers whose LMS user data is managed through nightly HR data feeds, corrections may need to be made within the HR system outside of the LMS.

Appendix: VALID MESSAGE PARAMENTERS

Use the following list to determine which parameters are valid for use in customizing your message content. 

List of valid message parameters per message