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Automated Confirmation of Understanding

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000105403D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 87K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Fitzpatrick, GP: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Typical automated mail systems offer some kind of confirmation of delivery or acknowledgement. The Confirmation of Delivery (COD), informs the sender of the mail information about the success or failure of the electronic mail system in its quest to deliver the mail. However, many users try to extrapolate this information into an acknowledgement of the recipient's understanding of the item that was mailed. This simply is not the case.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

Automated Confirmation of Understanding

      Typical automated mail systems offer some kind of confirmation
of delivery or acknowledgement.  The Confirmation of Delivery (COD),
informs the sender of the mail information about the success or
failure of the electronic mail system in its quest to deliver the
mail.  However, many users try to extrapolate this information into
an acknowledgement of the recipient's understanding of the item that
was mailed.  This simply is not the case.

      Users need a method by which to unambiguously determine whether
a recipient understands the content of a given mail item.  This
article describes a novel way for users of electronic mail to request
to be notified when a piece of mail is understood by its
recipient(s).

      Consider a mail system which contains a function such that the
mailer can request a COU (Confirmation of Understanding).  The mail
system then transports the mail item to the recipient.  If the COD is
requested in addition to the COU, then the CODs are send upon
successful delivery.  When the recipient has finished viewing the
item (sent with COU) or takes any action that would remove the item
(sent with COU) from the in-basket, the electronic mail system asks
(via pop-up window, prompt, full panel, etc.)  the recipient if the
mail item is understood.  The recipient can then respond with a "Yes"
indicating that they understand.  The recipient can also respond with
a "No" and optionally some text indicating the source of the lack of
understanding.

      To illustrate an embodiment of this approach, consider the
following screens, depicting the COU function:

     Assign the Document Distribution Information           H00

 Document No.:  83252TST 0001              Location: VMSYS1
                -------- ----                        --------
 Type in the information below and press PF1 or PF2 to send the
document.
     USER NAME at  LOCATION                     USER NAME at
LOCATION

     --------      --------                     --------
--------

     --------      --------                     --------
--------

     --------      --------                     --------
--------

     --------      --------                     --------
--------

     --------      --------                     --------
--------

 Do you want a confirmation that the recipient understands? YES
                                                            ---
 PF1  Send the document and attach a routing slip
 PF2  Send the document without a routing slip
PF10  Add more names to the list

PF9 Help    PF12 Return

      The following screen shows the completion of the viewing of a
piece of...