When inside of the Batch Processing window you will see this bit of text under the File Specifications, both as a Note, and by way of the asterisks.
As you can see, the system does allow for imports that do not include the PlatoName and Password fields on the initial import. Afterwards these fields are required to update existing users.
Note: If you are wanting to use the auto-generation feature you won’t need to include the PlatoName and Password fields on your import file. If the column headers are included on the file with blank cells it won’t import and will generate errors.
That being said, it's important to know where to retrieve the usernames and passwords after they are generated. We can download this information by using the Export feature in the manage users page in Administration Center.
When exporting the users, you will download an excel file that will have a new column listed Passwords:
What are the benefits of this feature?
Now that we know both how to auto-generate the usernames and passwords and we know where to find them, let’s discuss how this feature works.
Plato Courseware auto-generates the usernames and the passwords according to a specific logic. It will attempt to pair the first initial of the first name with the full last name. As an example, John Smith would appear as: “JSmith”. If that Plato Name is taken, the system will throw numbers after the username to make the username unique: “JSmith123”. Passwords follow a different logic, seemingly consisting of a series of random numbers. In the example above and below you’ll notice examples 12-18 are the users that have been randomly generated, both noting usernames and passwords as following the rules of auto-generation.
When to use this feature?
This feature can be very useful as a shortcut to PlatoName and Password creation, and both the PlatoNames and the Passwords can be copied over from the export file.
All in all, it's important to know how best to leverage this feature for your needs. If you have few students with fewer similar names, then this feature can cut down two steps from the initial import file. However if you are importing thousands of users, many with similar names, it may be best to only auto-generate passwords, or provide your own columns for both as the file specifications suggest. In either case, you can still create a password list for your users by using the export feature in the Manage Users page.