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Icon e-mailThe course element E-Mail allows for the integration of an email form into a course or group. By using this form, course participants can directly communicate with the author or with recipients defined by the author. Subject and content can be predefined or freely determined by the sender.


Usage: Learners' View


In the course element E-Mail, there is a ready-made form for sending emails. This is because the course author can preconfigure the recipients, subject, and content text of emails. The mail author will then find this prefilled form in the course view of the course element. They can still change the subject and content of the mail, specify recipients for mail copies, and add attachments. The preconfigured recipients, however, cannot be changed.

Course element email from the user's perspective
Functions for users

As a user, you can use the following functions in a course element of the type E-Mail:

Send email

Send an email to a preconfigured group of recipients using the form provided.

 How to use the form? ...
  1. Open the course element E-Mail.
  2. The upper section shows information about the sender and preconfigured recipient group of the email.

    The recipient is determined by the author of the course and cannot be changed by the learner.

Sender and recipient 
3. Optionally enter another email address in the text field Copy to. To send a copy to yourself, select the option Copy to sender.Send copy
4. In the fields subject and message, a sample text is displayed if previously configured by the course author. This text is for orientation and can be changed. Enter the desired changes or additions in these fields.

If the course author has not added any sample text, enter a meaningful subject and your desired text in the fields.

5. Optionally add documents or images with the button Select Files under the section Attachment.

Add a subject, message, and an attachment
6. At the bottom of the form, click Send message.Send message button

Configuration: Authors' View

In the course editor

The following functions are available to course authors in the course editor:

Add a course element email

 Click to open instructions on how to add a course element ...

To integrate a course element into your course, proceed as follows:

Open the course you want to edit.

Use the pencil icon at the top of the page to open the editing mode.

Switch from the course view to the editing mode


Select a course element from the menu on the right.

Select course element


In the new window, you can define the position of the new course element within your course structure (left navigation pane). The available positions are marked with an insert icon.

To insert the new course element into an existing substructure, you need to open the substructure by clicking on the small triangle symbol next to its title. The area will open and you will again see insert icons at the positions which are available.

Click on the insert icon at the desired position within the structure. The selected area will be highlighted.

Confirm your choice with Insert course element.

Insert course element into the course tree


The element will be inserted into the course structure at the selected position.

Depending on the course element, you have to make additional configurations or add content in order to complete the configuration.

For these changes to take effect, you must publish the course. The course element will then also become available in the course view.

Configure and publish course element

General configuration settings

In the course editor, you will find the following configuration tabs:

Title and description
 Configuration options in the tab title and description ...

Course editor settings in the tab title and description

You need to enter a title for the course element. The title can comprise a maximum of 100 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear in the navigation menu of the course and also as a heading in the content area.

 Changes to the title of the first course element, the so-called main course node ...

(warning)  If you change the title of the first course element, the new content will only be applied to the main course node and then displayed in the opened course. If you wish to edit the course title or description, you can do so using the more settings menu of the course.

SubtitleYou can enter a subtitle for the course element with a maximum of 255 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear as a tooltip in the navigation menu and - if selected and configured accordingly - as a subtitle in the content area.

Here you can describe the course element. The description will appear in the content area below the title.

Depending on the settings configured in the element Display, this additional text is displayed to the user when opening the course element. The user can expand or collapse the view of the text.


Define which information about the course element should be displayed in the course view. In addition to the content, you can optionally display the title and description. All course elements are provided with a reasonable presetting, which mostly includes the setting Title, description and content. You can adjust this setting in accordance with the options available for each course element. For an example of the different setting options, refer to the help page Displaying information about the course element.

Set link for this course element

Each course element can be accessed via fixed link addresses. Therefore, an internal and an external URL is assigned to each course element. These direct links to concrete elements can be used within courses or provided to learners. The URLs are located below the title and description of the element and will appear upon selecting Set link for this course element.  

  • External link: To refer to this course element from outside of the course or learning platform, you can use the external link and insert it, for example as a href attribute, into the desired HTML page.
  • Internal link: To set a link to another course element within the same course, you can insert the internal link as a href attribute into the desired HTML page.
IDYou will need the ID number of the course element (on the bottom right), for example, if you wish to use the expert mode in the visibility or access tab.

 Configuration options in the tab visibility and access ...

In the areas Visibility and Access, authors and course owners can individually determine the presentation of course elements. If no input is made in the access area, the content of a course element will by default be visible to all course participants after publishing the element. Apart from the general options listed below, additional configuration options are available depending on the course element.

The following general options are available for the configuration of visibility and access:

Course editor - Tab visibility and access

General configuration optionsDescription
Blocked for learners

If you select this checkbox, all other configuration options will disappear. The course element content is now exclusively accessible for tutors and administrators of the course.

Block access or visibility for learners
Depending on dateMark this checkbox to specify a particular access time. You can set individual dates or date ranges by filling in only one or both input fields respectively. You can also create or delete dates via the + and - buttons.

Set access or visibility rights depending on dates

Depending on group

Select this checkbox to restrict the accessibility of the course element to learning groups or learning areas. You can then select existing groups and areas or create new ones.

If you set restrictions with the configuration option "depending on group", the corresponding course element will be restricted for all non-members of the group. This includes, for example, users who have not yet confirmed the group invitation or who are on the waiting list for a group. Such users cannot yet see or access the restricted course element.

Set access or visibility rights depending on groups

Depending on assessmentHere, you will find all assessable course elements. These include, for example, the elements test, assessment, task, or structure. 

If you select the option Check for "passed", you will be able to choose a course element from the input field Course element, which the user must have passed as a prerequisite to accessing this course element. 

If you select the option Check score, you can indicate a number of points in the input field "Passing score", which have to be achieved in order to be able to access the course element.

Set access or visibility rights depending on assessments

Depending on attribute

The visibility of this option is system-dependent.

Via this option, you can set visibility or access rights according to user attributes. Only users who meet the predefined attributes will be able to see the course element or have access to its content. Multiple attributes need to be linked with an operator (AND/OR).

Different kinds of relational operators might be available depending on the selected attribute. For example:

  • "contains the value"
  • "does not contain value"
  • "has exactly the value"
  • "does not have value"
  • "starts with value"
  • "ends with value"
  • "greater than" (>)
  • "less than" (<)
  • "greater than/equals" (<=)
  • "less than/equals" (>=)

A list of all available attributes of several selected institutions can be found on the page Overview of the OPAL-Shibboleth attributes.

Set access or visibility rights depending on attributes

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutorThis option does not become visible until one of the other options has been selected. If you activate the checkbox, the same access rules which apply to users will also be valid for tutors and course administrators.

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutor

PasswordThis option is only available in the area Access and can either be applied to the whole course or a structural element of the course. Enter the desired password, which users will need to use in order to gain access to the course content, in the text field.

Set access or visibility rights depending on passwords

Display expert modeClick on the button Display expert mode to open an input field, which allows you to perform a more complex configuration according to your needs. For more detailed information about the expert mode, see the help page Publishing within Courses (Expert Mode).
Set access or visibility rights in the expert mode
Advanced configuration optionsIn the case of individual course element types, there are further attributes to configure access to editing rights for course participants.

If various restrictive single options are set, they will be linked with AND, i.e. all conditions of the single options must be met for the user to see and have access to the course element. The only exceptions are the single options Attributes. In this case, various restrictive single options can also be linked with OR. The OR linking only requires the fulfilment of one condition in order to enable visibility or access, unless other restrictive single options prevent this.

All restrictions are also automatically valid for all subordinate course elements.

Note about hiding access restrictions

If a course element is visible, but there are

  • current or future access restrictions or
  • restricted rights for the course element,

the user will be informed accordingly when accessing the course element. This information helps the user to learn more about the functions available, e.g. which functions will be available at what time and under what conditions.

If required, however, you can hide this information text (from the user) for each course element individually.

 How to do that? ...

Notification message about existing access and authorisation restrictions in the course view:

Course element with notification message about authorisation restrictions


To hide this message, open the course editor and switch to the Visibility tab of the respective course element.

In the section Information if course node is visible but not accessible (max. 248 characters), remove the check mark in front of the entry Show access restrictions below the text field.

Publish your changes.

Course editor setting to hide notification message


The note will no longer be visible in the course view.

Course element without notification message about authorisation restrictions

RecipientIn this tab, you can decide who will be eligible to receive emails. Further, you have the option of creating text templates. Detailed instructions are given in the following section Special configuration settings.
MultilingualismIn this tab, different translations can be added to individual course element areas.

Special configuration settings

In the course view of the email course element, the user can use a preconfigured email form. In the tab Recipient, you can define all relevant settings and specifications for this form:

Specify a title for the mailing list

With the mailing list title, you can specify which title or name will appear as recipient in the mail form.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course editor of the course element E-Mail and switch to the tab Recipient.
  2. Enter your desired title in the text field Mailing list title.
  3. Click on Save.
  4. The title will now be displayed as the recipient to the users.
Specify a title for the mailing list
Specify a group of recipients

Select one or both options: 

Distribution to group members or tutors: By activating the option Distribution to group members or tutors, you can specify a course-specific recipient group to which the emails will be sent. Then specify this group in more detail. 

Distribution to e-mail addresses: Activating this option allows you to set individuals as recipients. Use this option if you want to use mail addresses that are not linked to any group member or tutor.

Specify group of recipients
Distribution to group members or tutors

By activating the option Distribution to group members or tutors, you can specify a course-specific recipient group to which the emails will be sent in the course view.

Then choose from the following options:

  • To all tutors of this course
  • To all participants of this course
  • To selected learning groups
  • To selected learning areas

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course editor of the course element E-Mail and switch to the tab Recipients.
  2. Select the checkbox next to the entry Distribution to group members or tutors.
  3. Now select the recipients from the other options.
  4. In the case of the learning group and learning area options, you can enter the names directly separated by commas or by using the grey square button with the three dots.
Further recipient options
Distribution to e-mail addresses

The option Distribution to e-mail addresses allows you to specify specific participants or tutors as recipients. You can also use mail addresses that are not linked to any group member or tutor.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course editor of the course element E-Mail and switch to the tab Recipients.
  2. Select the checkbox next to Distribution to e-mail addresses.
  3. Now enter the desired email addresses in the text field.
Distribution to e-mail addresses
Create text templates

The function Create templates allows you to suggest a subject and/or message to the user. The suggestions are for orientation and can be changed by the user at any time. 

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course editor of the course element E-Mail and switch to the tab Recipients.
  2. Enter a suggestion for the subject and/or message in the appropriate text fields.
  3. Click on Save. The suggestion will now be displayed to the users in the respective fields.

Create text templates
In the course view

In the course view, you can use the mail form in the same way as the course participants. Detailed instructions can be found in the help section Functions for users.