Thanks for reaching out, and sorry you’re experiencing some frustration with student account creation. I do have a few suggestions that might help.
Regarding the spam folder issue, it would be best to reach out to your institution’s IT department to see if there are ways they can address this on the student email server end. And if they’re also hosting your CBOX OpenLab site, there might also be configurations they can make on the WordPress end to help.
In the meantime, you’ll want to instruct students to check their spam folders. You could also ask students to try adding the messages’ sender address to their email contacts (e.g. it might be something like “firstname.lastname@example.org”). I’m not entirely sure how well this would work, but it might help.
On the City Tech OpenLab, we usually don’t have faculty invite students to their course, but instead ask students to create accounts and then join the course. As mentioned in your email, we often suggest that if faculty are going to make their course private, they at least leave it open for a week or two while students are joining and then change the settings to private, to avoid having to accept the membership requests.
And you’re correct that there are two steps to the account creation process: first students fill out the registration page. Then, they get a confirmation email with a link they need to click in order for their account to be created.
I’m not sure why students would get errors trying to log in, unless they hadn’t clicked on the link in the email. If it is an error on the CBOX OpenLab end, it would be helpful to understand more about exactly what’s happening – did students definitely click on the verification email link but still weren’t able to log in? And, screenshots would also be helpful, if that’s possible. Or at least it would be good to know exactly what steps they took after clicking on the link in the email. e.g., where did they try logging in? Was it the ‘Log in’ box on the homepage, or the ‘Log in’ dropdown on the right side of the toolbar at the top of the site? What was the exact text of the error message? Etc…
I hope some of this is helpful! And please let us know if you find out any more details about the error students experienced when trying to log in.