Profile and preferences

System: Wattle »


Everyone with a Wattle account has a Profile including default Preference settings. Basic information such as name and email address are automatically provided by the identity system. You may edit your profile and modify your preferences to control how Wattle behaves for you in several ways.


Customise your profile to manage what others can see about you in Wattle. You may choose to limit this information to protect your privacy. Or you may choose to upload a photo and include information about your interests to enhance “teacher presence” for your students.

Modify your preferences so that aspects of Wattle work the way you like, e.g.:

  • do you want to receive an email every time there is a new forum post, or just one “digest” message each day?
  • do you prefer time written as “5:00 PM” or “17:00” in the calendar?
  • choose between the new “Atto” editor (simple and clean) or “TinyMCE” (better for tables)?

Step by step guide

  1. Click on the drop down arrow next to your name in the top right corner of the course page – this is the User menu. You can go straight to your Profile, or you can choose Preferences where you can edit all of your preferences, including your profile.
  2. Work through the various forms and options to adjust your details and information as you wish. Some tips:
    • Add a photograph of yourself – this can be very helpful in creating “online presence”
    • Set your location and time-zone
    • Include some brief details you are happy to share in the Description field, e.g. your work title, interests and alternative contact details.
    • Check your privacy settings, e.g.:
      • Profile > Email display > reveal or limit access to your email address
      • Profile > Other fields > Show my online presence – this is relevant if the Online Users block is added to a course
      • Message preferences > Prevent non-contacts from messaging me (see explanation below)
    • Once you have adjusted anything you wish, save the changes if there is an Update or Save button. Some preferences are automatically saved, so there is no button.
Note: within Wattle you cannot change your first name, surname, email address or password. To manage these, use If you do change them within Wattle, they will be reset from the central systems next time you login.

Explaining some important preferences

Forum preferences

Email digest type: How much email do you want to receive from forums to which you are subscribed? Options include:

  • Complete (daily email with full posts) – this is the default setting. You will receive one email each day, usually around 5:30pm, combining all of the messages for that day from all the forums you are subscribed to. This is known as a “digest”.
  • Subjects (daily email with subjects only) – a digest of all subscribed forum posts with only the subject headings, also delivered around 5:30pm.
  • No digest (single email per forum post) – means you will get an email every time a person posts in a forum to which you are subscribed, with about a half-hour delay.
Tip: If you need to contact students quickly, e.g. to inform of a change to today’s lecture, the forum is not a good option. Most students use the default setting, a Complete daily digest, so the message won’t be seen until after 5:30pm that evening. See an alternative below*.

Editor preferences

Wattle gives us a choice between two editor tools to use when writing forum posts, authoring materials and setting up activities etc. There is not a lot of difference between them:

  • Atto has recently become the default editor. It has a new, clearer look, enables you to create buttons on a page using ANU styles, and is better for accessibility. Expect improved functionality to be developed for Atto in the next few years.
  • TinyMCE may be more familiar if you’ve been using Wattle for a long time. It has superior table editing tools to Atto.
  • A third option is Plain text, allowing you simply to type text, without any formatting tools.


In Message Preferences you can tick the box Prevent non-contacts from messaging me to receive messages only from people you specifically add as a contact. However, note that lecturers can still send messages to their students, even when a student has ticked this option.


A number of activities within Wattle can send you notifications, including Assignments, Forums, the Lesson tool, etc.

  • Notifications can be sent in two ways: as a Web notification; and as an Email.
  • At the time the notification comes through, you can be interacting with Wattle in two different ways: i.e. you are Online (logged into Wattle); or Offline.

This gives four options for each notification type. Click all the green On and red Off buttons to set the notifications however works best for you.

Note that some options cannot be changed, e.g. students will always receive an email if their lecturer sends a message via the Participants page.

*Tip: This is a good option for letting a class know if today’s lecture has been moved.