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Quickmail block

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The quickmail block adds a link to a tool that has a checkbox list of all students in the course, and a mail composition text area. You can check the students you like, and email those and only those. This enhances the existing communications systems of messaging (one user) and subcribed forums (all subscribers) by allowing teachers to select a specific subset of students. It was developed by Michael Penney's team at Humboldt.


Contents

Installation

Download Quickmail with the provided link in the Links section. After unzipping the file, you will find the quickmail directory in block_quickmail_1.5/blocks/. Copy this quickmail directory to your Moodle's blocks directory. Then visit Moodle's admin screen, clik in Notifications so that Quickmail can install itself. After that, you can add Quickmail to any course.

Block Display

Quickmail-en-blockdisplay-screenshot.jpg

The image to the right shows how Quickmail will appear when added to a course. The three links are described as follows:

  • Compose: takes you to Quickmail's email composition page.
  • History: takes you to a history of all your emails sent by Quickmail in the current course.
  • Settings: takes you to Quickmail's configuration screen; the same configuration screen as the block's edit button when course editing is turned on. This link only appears for course teachers and administrators.

Block Settings

Quickmail has two settings:

  • Allow Students to use Quickmail: if Yes then Students will be able to see Quickmail in the course and use it to send emails. If No then Quickmail will be hidden to the Students.

NOTE: Quickmail displays all email addresses for all moodle users in any course. Quickmail overrides the user profile setting of "Hide my Email address from everyone".

In Moodle 1.7 or later, the Allow Students to use Quickmail setting has been removed. To allow students (or any other role) to use Quickmail, just override the Quickmail block capability called block/quickmail:cansend. For more information about role management, please review the Manage roles page.

Compose

When composing an email, the following fields must be set:

  • To: this area contains a series of check boxes, one for each course user. Each user who has their check box checked, will be emailed. Also, there is a handy button that can Check All or Uncheck All users. If a Group mode has been set in Quickmail's settings or if Force group mode is turned on, then the display of the users and their check boxes changes. Here is how the different modes affect the display:
    • Visible groups: users and their check boxes are grouped together by their groups and each group has a Check All and an Uncheck All button.
    • Separate groups: only users belonging to your group are displayed. Teachers always see the Visisible groups display because s/he never belongs to a group.
    • Similarities between both modes: each group's name and picture are printed. Also, all users not belonging to a group are added at the bottom.
  • Subject: whatever is written here will appear as the email's subject.
  • Message: this area is used to compose the email message or body. You can use the HTML editor for this section if you have it turned on in your user profile. Otherwise, you can select from one of Moodle's formats.
  • Attachment: this is the only optional field and it behaves differently for Students and for Teachers.
    • Students can select a file from their hard drive to attach to the email. This file is only temporarily stored on the server and it deleted after the email has been sent.
    • Teachers use the standard course files interface. These files are stored in the course files and are never removed by Quickmail.

History

This page displays a table with information regarding sent emails. The columns are as follows:

  • Date: the day and time of when the email was sent.
  • Subject: the subject of the email.
  • Attachment: name of the attachment sent along with the email.
  • Action: contains action buttons. The button that looks like a magnifying glass takes you back to the Compose email page, but pre-fills the form with the original values from the old email. This is handy for resending an email to a particular user or for sending similar emails. The other image is in a shape of an X and it deletes a single sent email.

All columns are collapsible and sortable. If you have more than ten emails in the history, then a paging mechanism is displayed for paging through all the sent emails.

Also, there is a Clear History button on the right in the header of the page. Clicking on this button brings you to a confirmation page prompting you to delete all entries in your history. Choosing yes will clear your history and choosing no will leave the history unchanged. If you have no emails in your history, then the button is disabled.

Credits

  • Original developer: Mark Nielsen (currently co-maintained by Wen Hao Chuang)
  • Project Manager: Michael Penney
  • Postgres7 contribution: Rubens Ribeiro
  • Language Translations:
    • Japanese: Mitsuhiro Yoshida
    • Spanish: Rubens Ribeiro
    • French: Yves Dufour
    • German: Andy Tagliani
    • Slovak: Miroslav Fikar
    • Hungarian: Császár-Cs. Péter
    • Hebrew: Miki Alliel
    • Italian: Lorenzo Nicora

Links