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How do you notify users of maintenance?

How do you notify users of maintenance?

by David Reagan -
Number of replies: 2
What the subject says. When you need to schedule an outage for Webwork, how do you notify your users?

This is from a server admin's perspective. Not an instructor.

Is there an easy way to post a message that everyone will see? Or a way to email all instructors and students in all courses?

Do you depend on just notifying instructors and letting them notify students?

In reply to David Reagan

Re: How do you notify users of maintenance?

by Danny Glin -
My answer is some variant of "all of the above".

We have a landing page outside of WeBWorK that we direct students to where they click on their respective WeBWorK course, so such announcements are posted prominently on that page.

The contents of the file /opt/webwork/webwork2/htdocs/site_info.txt are displayed on the WeBWorK homepage as well as the login page for each course (assuming that students are logging directly into WeBWorK rather than by LTI). Note that this file accepts html formatting, so you can make the announcement more noticeable (I recommend the marquee tag smile ).

There isn't a way to email all students in all courses, so this would have to be done one course at a time (though it may be scriptable).

I have found that the most effective vector is by contacting instructors. No matter how many places the information is posted there will always be students who don't read. Having instructors mention it in class goes a long way. The other benefit of contacting instructors is that you can coordinate assignment deadlines so that the down time doesn't occur near a busy time, which does wonders to minimize student complaints.
In reply to Danny Glin

Re: How do you notify users of maintenance?

by David Reagan -
I did not know about site_info.txt. Thanks.

Yes, relying on instructors does seem like the best idea.