In order to create a large group of users, the LMS has a "New User Batch" import feature that allows you to import large numbers of users. The New User Batch page has a table which dictates what data to put into the columns of a spreadsheet, which you will export to a tab-delimited text file, and then upload that file in the User Batch page.
Things to keep in mind when creating the spreadsheet:
- DO NOT include a row of headings in the spreadsheet.
- Make absolutely sure that all required data is in the spreadsheet, and that all data is in the correct columns.
- Make sure every row has END typed in Column AS.
- Check the tab-delimited text file to make sure there is no empty space after the last END.
- Check the tab-delimited text file to make sure there are no quotation marks in the document.
One of the fields that is required for these batch imports is a password. You can create and distribute passwords to your users one of two ways...
OPTION 1 - Give everyone the same generic password.
Pick a generic password (that is at least 6 characters long, no more than 25 characters long, and not password, 123456, or 654321) to distribute to your users. Create a new email notification. For the Event field, choose "User Created." For Recipient, choose "User." Fill in the rest of the form as desired, and then edit the Message Body to something similar to the following: "Your user account has been created, your username is ##user_login##. Your password is [type generic password here]. You will need to reset it upon first logging in. Please go to the LMS home page and log in to change your password."
In your batch upload spreadsheet, enter the generic password in the password field for every user. Set the Must Change Password column in your import file to "1" (without the quotes) for every user. Include a valid email address for each user.
Export the spreadsheet as a tab-delimited text file (.txt).
Upload the tab-delimited text file to the User Batch Upload page. Your users will be uploaded to the system, which will trigger the Email Notification, and they will all be emailed with their temporary passwords.
You can disable the Email Notification you created after you have performed the upload, and you can re-enable it if you need to perform another batch upload in the future.
OPTION 2 - Use a mail merge to distribute unique passwords to all of your users.
Build your spreadsheet for your user batch upload. In the top cell of the Password column, paste this formula...
This formula will generate a random 8-character alpha-numeric string to serve as a password. Scroll down to the very last line with user data in it, Control + click the cell in that line in the Password column so that the Password cells are selected for all users in the batch, and then hit Control + D. All of the Password cells should fill for all of the users in the spreadsheet.
Save the spreadsheet as a tab-delimited text file (or Windows Formatted File, if you are on a Mac), and upload the file on the user batch page.
Create a copy of the spreadsheet that includes headers.
Open a Word Document, click the Mailings tab, click Start Mail Merge, and select “Email Messages” from the list of options in the sub-menu.
In the same Mailings tab, click Select Recipients, and from the list, click “Use an Existing List…” Select the spreadsheet file and the sheet in the file, and click Ok.
Type up your user welcome email. Whenever you want to insert a field, such as username or password, click Insert Merge Field, and select the field from the user batch that you would like to insert into the email. Save the Word document to preserve your work.
When you are satisfied with the formatting of the email body, in the Mailings tab, click Preview Results to make sure the formatting of the email looks correct with the fields filled out. You can look at each of the users’ emails by clicking the arrow buttons to the right of the Preview Results button.
Once satisfied, in the Mailings tab, click Finish & Merge, and select “Send Email Messages…” Select the Email user batch field for To, type in a Subject Line, and keep the Format set to HTML. Click Ok to send emails to all of the users in the batch document.
For more information on mail merges, please check out this article written by Microsoft Office