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Event monitoring allows Site Administrators and Trainers to receive notification when certain events happen in Totara.

Learners may also be allowed to subscribe to rules if they are given the capability tool/monitor:subscribe. It is not recommended that they be allowed to create or manage rules.

To do this, a rule needs to be created for the event to be monitored and then a user will need to subscribe to it to be notified.

The rule will specify what the event is and how often it must happen before notification is sent to the subscriber. The notification may be pop-up, email, or other chosen methods.

Enabling event monitoring

Event monitoring is disabled by default because of performance issues but it can be enabled by a Site Administrator.

  1. Starting from the quick-access menu select Server > Event monitoring rules.
  2. Click Enable

If you wish to turn event monitoring off so to the same location and click Disable

Creating a rule

Once event monitoring has been enabled by a Site Administrator you can add your own rules.

From a course

As a Trainer you can create monitoring rules on any course you have editing access to. 

  1. From the Administration block go to Course administration > Reports > Event monitoring rules.
  2.  Click the Create a new rule button.
  3. Configure the settings
  4. Remember to click Save changes

From the site

As a Site Administrator you can create event monitoring rules at a site level.  

  1. Starting from the quick-access menu select Server > Event monitoring rules.
  2.  Click the Create a new rule button.
  3. Configure the settings
  4. Remember to click Save changes

Managing a rule

After creating a rule you can go to the Event monitoring rules page (via Reports > Event monitoring rules from the Administration block for a course or Server > Event monitoring rules from the quick-access menu) to manage your existing rules. On this page you there are a range of actions that can be carried out for each rule in the Manage column alongside that rule. You can edit (Edit with the cog icon.), duplicate (Duplicate with the double paper icon.), or delete (Delete with the cross icon.) any rule you have created.  

Event monitoring rules page with one existing rule.

Rule settings 

SettingDescriptionNotes
Rule name

You can call the rule what you like but it should be something others will understand as they may wish to subscribe to the rule you created.

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Area to monitor

Select an area to monitor from the dropdown menu. There are a lot of options for various components of the site, including various activity types and core functionality.  

When you select an area to monitor, for example, Forum, the Event dropdown menu below will then display the events you can select from.

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EventOnce an area has been chosen, the events for that area will display here. -
Description

You don't have to use a description, but if you do, it should be something meaningful to others as they may wish to subscribe to the rule you created.

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Notification thresholdThe number of events within a specified time period required for a notification message to be sent.-
in minutes

The amount of time in minutes for which the notification threshold needs to be met for a notification message to be sent. 

This can be used to prevent notifications being sent too frequently. 

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Notification message

A notification message is sent to subscribers once the notification threshold has been reached.

See Notification message for more.

Notification message 

When creating or editing a rule, you can embed placeholders to add details to notification messages. The use of placeholders is optional; you can use any personalised message, but if you wish to use placeholders, there are examples of use below.

The placeholders that can be used in a message template are as follows:

PlaceholderWhat it doesExample
{link}Direct link to the actual event, e.g. a forum discussion.http://YourTotara.com/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=2
{modulelink}Link to the module where the event has happened, e.g. a forum.http://YourTotara.com/mod/forum/view.php?id=8
{rulename}A name for the rule.Learner discussions.
{description}A description of the rule.I want to receive notifications when there is a large volume of learner posts in a discussion.
{eventname}The name of the event being monitored.Forum post created.

Some events do not have a link. Course deleted and Course module deleted for example, would not display any link if {link} or {modulelink} is used.

Example: Forum posts

In the example below a rule called 'learner discussions' has been set up to monitor the creation of forum posts, using the Forum post created event.

The notification message for this using placeholders might go as follows:

The rule {rulename}, monitoring the event {eventname}, has just been fulfilled. Click the following link to go to the forum discussion: {link}

Rule description: {description}

The result would display like this:

The rule learner discussions, monitoring the event Forum post created, has just been fulfilled. Click on the following link to go to the forum discussion: http://YourTotara.com/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=2 .

Rule description: I want to receive notifications when there are a large volume of learner posts in a discussion.

Example: Glossary entries

In the following example a rule has been created called 'Glossary entries' to monitor when a new glossary entry is created.

The notification message might use the following placeholders:

The rule {rulename}, monitoring the event {eventname}, has just been fulfilled. Click the following link to go to see the new entry created: {link}

Rule description: {description}

The result would display like this:

The rule Glossary entries, monitoring the event Entry has been created, has just been fulfilled. Click on the following link to go to see the new entry created: http://YourTotara.com/mod/glossary/view.php?id=5&mode=entry&hook=1.

Rule description: I want to receive notifications when a new glossary entry is created.

Subscribing to a rule

Once rules have been created by either yourself or someone else you can subscribe to those rules to be automatically notified when they are triggered. 

  1. Navigate to the Event monitoring page.
    • From the Event monitoring rules page click the Event monitoring link underneath the table of rules. 
    • From the user menu select Preferences and then choose Event monitoring from the Miscellaneous section.
  2. From the Select a course dropdown menu select the course or context for which you wish to subscribe to a rule. 
  3. From the list of Rules you can subscribe to select the instances you want to subscribe to that rule for from the dropdown menu alongside that rule. 

You will now see that rule, for those instance and that course or context listed in the current subscriptions table. In this table you can click the cross icon (Use the cross icon to unsubscribe. ) to unsubscribe from a rule. 

Subscribing to event monitoring rules.

Usage scenarios

The event monitoring system allows Site Administrators to create alerts (or rules) for specific events occurring within a Totara site. Site Administrators and Trainers can then subscribe to these event notifications either at the site level or within selected courses.

Below are a few ideas on how to take advantage of this powerful tool.

ScenarioDescription

Creating a rule so course managers receive messages for new enrolments

This notification would work best in smaller courses and could act as a prompt for course managers to send a personalised welcome message to Learners as they join a course. This could also highlight late enrolments so course managers could reach out and help Learners get up to speed.

Building a rule so trainers receive an alert when an activity has been completed

This event subscription is particularly useful within a single activity course, allowing Trainers to send a personalised message of congratulations to a Learner or even an enrolment key or quiz password to provide access to a ‘secret bonus’ learning activity.

Configuring a rule for course completion and send an instant update to the HR team

This might be used again to send learners a personalised message of congratulations or it might be the trigger for an internal process such as bonus payment or an update to the Staff Directory to list the Learner as a trained First Aider.

Set up an event notification rule so the L&D team can receive notification of course evaluation submissions

Feedback forms can be configured so the Trainer in a course can receive notification of a submission, but often training teams are the ones who collate and process the results of these evaluations. Using Event monitoring, the L&D team can receive a note that a course evaluation has been submitted within a specific course.

Creating an event rule to receive an instant update when a learner registers their interest in a seminar event

A Seminar Event can be set to allow Learners to register their interest in attending a training session before a date has been confirmed. By subscribing to this event notification, a Trainer can send on relevant pre-reading or other resources prior to date confirmation and attendance.

Tracking access to an area within the site

In order to help Totara administrators to assess which areas or learning items are popular and those which may not being viewed, you can create an event monitoring rule to track access to specific reports, activities and resources or for main menu items.

Creating an alert when a badge has been issued

Earning a badge not only indicates a Learner has acquired a new set of skills or knowledge but may also correspond to new responsibilities, an updated job assignment or even a pay rise. Alerting the HR team when a badge has been issued can kick off any update process.

Creating an event rule so the HR team can receive a notification when external evidence has been added by a learner

When a Learner uploads evidence of external learning, a validation process may be required so a Learner’s competency rating may be adjusted accordingly. An event subscription could generate a message the HR Team to initiate this process and establish whether the learner is entitled to credit/RPL.

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