Case Study: Using the Zoola Reports Block Event Scheduler

This case study focuses on configuring the Zoola Reports Block Event Scheduler in Lambda Learn.

Through using Lambda Analytics (Zoola), there is a report scheduling functionality that allows reports to be sent directly from Moodle or Totara. There are currently two types of report scheduling that are available: Zoola Reports Block Scheduling and Event Scheduling. In this case study, we will be explaining how the Event Scheduling functionality is used.

The Zoola Report Block Event Scheduler is a site administrator feature designed to allow for reports and messages to triggered by specific events that happen within the system. Students will be able to receive a notification and report with their grades when they complete a course, or provide a teacher with a course enrolment report when a new student or cohort is enrolled into a course. This functionality helps to automate the movement of information between the system and its users, making it easier for users to get access to the information that they need.

The following guide will outline all the necessary steps to create a new event schedule through the Zoola Report Block functionality. 

Accessing the Event Scheduler Settings

To access the Zoola Report Block Event Scheduler:

1.  For both Moodle and Totara: Navigate to Site Administration > Plugins > Blocks > Zoola Reports > Event Scheduler Settings to access the Event Schedules Overview page.

The Event Schedules Overview page displays all of the event schedules that are currently configured for the site. This page shows the schedules that have been created, their current status, and the last time the schedule was executed. The page also has a button that allows you to create new schedules.

2.  If you have not visited this page before, there will be no event schedules available, and the only option will be to create a new event schedule by clicking on New Event Schedule.

You can also use the settings icon and the delete icon to edit and delete existing schedules.

Creating a New Event Schedule

To create a new event schedule, you will need to click on New Event Schedule to access the Event Schedule creation page. 

The Event Schedule Creation page will allow you to define the event schedule you would like to create through a series of schedule options. 

Event Menu

The Event drop-down menu allows you to determine which type of event will trigger the event schedule.

The event type that is selected will determine when a particular schedule is triggered. For example, if the Core: Badge awarded event is selected and a schedule is created, a report or message will be sent whenever a badge is issued to a user.

All event types available through the event drop-down allow for a simple event selection. The exception is the Core: User completed course option, which includes additional course and group filtering options. 

This functionality allows for specific courses and groups to be selected as part of the schedule, so that reports and messages are only sent when course completion events occur for these particular courses.

To restrict course completions events to specific courses or groups, use the Select courses and select groups options to select the appropriate courses or groups. Multiple courses or groups can be selected through these options, allowing for a schedule to trigger based on the selection of courses or groups. 

Report Option

The Report option allows you to select the report that will be sent when an event trigger occurs. Only reports that have been created by either Lambda Analytics or system users are available for selection. Public or Out-of-the-Box reports are not available, although they can be duplicated into a Private Artifact if necessary.

Report Versions

In addition to standard reports, the event scheduler can be used to send report versions. A Report Version is a report that has its filters pre-selected and saved, allowing for quick access to a specific set of report data without having to apply filters every time the report is run.

To create a report version:

1.  Run a report within Lambda Analytics (Reports > View), and before applying the filters, select Save. 

2.  Enter a name into the prompt.

3.  Save the report version. This artifact will now be available through the event scheduler. You can identify report versions within the report drop-down option by looking for reports that have a "/" in their name.

This functionality is particularly useful when you would like to sent a report via the Event Scheduler that is pre-filtered with course information. By restricting the report to the appropriate course and having the event schedule trigger based on a specific course, you can use the Core: User completed course to have an event schedule restricted to trigger and send information based on specific course information.

Attach Report As Option

Select the report file format that you would like delivered through the event-triggered email. If the "None selected" report option has been selected, these options will be greyed out and not selectable. 

Recipients Option

The Recipients option allows for you to define all the recipients that should receive an email when an event schedule is triggered. The recipients that you add to this text box will receive an email every time that the schedule is triggered. 

In addition to the Recipients option, you can also select the "Send email to related user" option. By enabling this, the user that is associated with the event will also receive an email. For example, if a student completes a course and the Core: User complete course event is triggered, an email will be sent to any users defined in the Recipients text box, as well as the student who has completed the course. This feature is particularly useful when you would like to send grade reports, course completion reports, or completion certificates automatically to students when they complete a course. 

To successfully achieve students receiving a grade report that shows only their grades, you will need to make sure that the report used in the event schedule has a Data Source Security File attached. Typically, the User Security File should be used in these scenarios, so that the schedule report is restricted specifically to the user that triggered the event. 

Message Option

Use the subject and email body options to create the email message content that will be sent every time the schedule is triggered. 

To help further customize the subject and email body, the event scheduler includes a number of variables which can be used to add dynamic information to the different text areas. The variables allow for information such as User Full Name or Course Short Name to be added to the message contents, based on  the user and the event that is triggered. 

Once you have entered all of these settings, the event schedule has been successfully configured. 

At this point, the schedule has been configured and will be triggered when the appropriate conditions are met. The Event Schedule settings page will display all the schedules that have been created, their current status, and the last time that it was run. If there are any issues with the schedule, the specific event schedule will identify the cause of the schedule not triggering.