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With this course element, the author can make available various topics. Depending on the setting, the learner will then be able to choose one or more of these topics. This allows, for example, for a precise and quick assignment and organisation of presentation and term paper topics.

 

 

Content

Related topics
Course element task

Usage: Learners' View

Overview

The course element Topic Assignment lists all topics in a tabular overview. The table may also contain additional information depending on the configuration. For example, the topic name, supervisor, appointment or submission date, and the number of available places can be displayed.

Example of a course element topic assignment
Functions for users

Functions in the topic overview

As a user, you have access to the following functions in a course element of the type Topic Assignment :

Select a topic

The list of topics provides you with detailed information about all topics and allows you to enrol in those of your choice. However, enrolment is only possible if the supervisor has enabled it and the maximum number of places has not yet been reached.  

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. You will see a list of available topics.

 

 

List of topics in the course view

3. Clicking on the title of a topic opens the detailed view, which includes further details. Here you can, for example, view the enrolment and submission period or access additional documents related to the topic.

4. Click on Select to enrol in the topic. Alternatively, you will find the same button in the list of topics.

The course author can configure whether your enrolment in a topic must first be confirmed by a supervisor. In this case, you only have the option to enrol provisionally. The author may also restrict the number of topics in which you can enrol.  

Detailed view of a topic

5. An icon in the topic overview shows the current status of your enrolment:

: You have been scheduled for the topic. The topic selection still has to be confirmed by the supervisor.  

: Your topic selection has been confirmed.

Enrolment status in the topic overview

Deselect a topic

You can deselect an already selected topic. However, if the topic has already been confirmed by a supervisor, only they can deselect the user's choice.  

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Select the topic you want to deselect. If you can see the Deselect button, this means you can undo your selection by clicking on it.
Deselect button

Functions in the detailed view of a selected topic

Clicking on the title of a topic opens the detailed view of the selected topic in the course view. Depending on the configuration of the course supervisor, you will have the following options:

Submit a solution

In this area, you can submit a solution to your topic. Depending on the configuration, you can either upload files or create them directly in the course view. 

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Click on the name of the topic for which you want to submit a solution.
Open the detailed view of a topic

3. Depending on the configuration, you have the following options:

  • Create a solution file in the course view (option 1)
  • Upload a solution file (option 2)  

Decide on one of the two options.  

Submit a solution to a topic

Option 1:

  • Click on Create .
  • Enter a file name and content in the appropriate text fields.
  • Optionally, add a licence.
  • Click on Create to complete the creation process.
  • The created document will then be listed under Submit solution .
Option 1 - Create a new file

Option 2:

  • Click on Upload .
  • Upload the desired file by clicking the Select files button.
  • Optionally, add a licence.
  • Confirm the process with Upload .
  • The uploaded document will then be listed under Submit solution .
Option 2 - Upload an existing file

Delete your solution

Whether you can delete an already submitted solution depends on the configuration of the course supervisor. You can delete an already submitted file if there is a recycle bin icon at the end of the entry. Select this button and confirm the dialogue.

Save your solution as an artefact to the ePortfolio area

Detailed instructions on how to use artefacts can be found on the help page Artefacts.
View returned documents

This area allows you to open and view documents that have been shared with you by a supervisor.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Click on the name of your topic.
Open the detailed view of a topic
3. Once the course author has returned a document, it will appear in the Return documents section.

Return documents area in the detailed view of a topic

Configuration: Authors' View

In the course editor

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

Add a course element topic assignment

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

To integrate a course element into your course, proceed as follows:
1

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

2

Select a course element from the menu on the right.

Select course element

3

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

4

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
ElementsDescription
Title

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.
Description

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.


Display

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.


Visibility

 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

1

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

2

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

Course element without notification message about authorisation restrictions


Access

Configuration

In the tab Configuration , you can customise general settings such as the number of topics per participant. All available options are explained in the section Tab Configuration .

Persons in charge

This tab allows you to configure the settings for topic authors. Detailed instructions are given in the section Tab Persons in charge .

Partial elements

Here you can select partial elements for the topic assignment. Detailed instructions are given in the section Tab Partial elements .

Due date

The tab Due date allows you to configure the settings for the submission of documents. Detailed instructions are given in the section Tab Due date .

MultilingualismIn this tab, different translations can be added to individual course element areas.

Tab Configuration

Here you can specify the basic settings for all topics. The creation of topics is done in the course view.

  1. Open the course editor of the course element Topic Assignment and go to the tab Configuration .
  2. Configure the following options:
  • Do you want to limit the number of topics per participant:   Enable this option to specify the maximum number of topics a participant may select. If you leave this option disabled, participants can select any number of topics.
  • Topic authors have to accept participants:   If you enable this option, an author must first confirm the topic request of a participant before they can start working on it. Therefore, participants will only be able to enrol provisionally for a topic.

    If this option is enabled, the checkbox Only one topic allowed opens. If you select this checkbox, accepted participants will be automatically removed from all other topics in which they have enrolled.

Click on Save to confirm the configuration.

Configuration of the number of topics
  • Additional fields: Here you can specify a maximum of five additional fields for the creation of topics. These fields can be configured as free text or drop-down fields. To create a free text field, enter only a title and leave the value field blank. To create a drop-down field, enter the options to be selected in the input field Value . Separate the different choices with a semicolon, e.g. Faculty of Medicine; Faculty of Theology.

    In the course view, topic creators will then have the possibility to select an option from the drop-down field and/or enter free text in the free text field when creating or editing a topic.

    If an additional field should be displayed as a column in the topic overview, check the option Appears in table below the respective text field.

Click on Save to confirm the configuration.

Configuration of additional fields
  • Dates: The author has the option to activate a registration deadline and/or due date for the topics. If the dates are also to appear as a column in the topic assignment overview, select the option Appears in table .

    Click on Save to confirm the configuration.

Configuration of dates

Tab Persons in charge

This tab allows the course author to name topic authors. Topic authors can create topics in the course view, manage the topics' participants, view their submitted solutions, and return documents to them.

 Administer topic authors ...

Export

With this option, you can save the list of enrolled topic authors as an Excel spreadsheet to your computer.  

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course editor of the course element Topic Assignment and go to the tab Persons in charge .
  2. Click on Export user list .
Export user list
3. Select the checkbox Open with or Save file and click on OK . Open or save file

Import user list

Use this function to register several users as topic authors. A wizard opens to guide you through the process.

Add user(s)

This button allows you to search for users to add as topic authors.  

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course editor of the course element Topic Assignment and go to the tab Persons in charge .

  2. Click on Add user(s) .

Add user(s) button
3. Enter the first name, last name, email address, and institution in the appropriate text fields. Then click on Search . User search form
4. Select the checkbox in front of the user you want to add and click on Choose . Choose users

Remove user(s)

Users, who are added, can be removed at any time.  

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course editor of the course element Topic Assignment and go to the tab Persons in charge .

  2. Select the user you want to remove by ticking the checkbox next to them.

  3. Then click on Remove .
Remove button

4. Decide whether the user should receive a notification email.

5. Then click on Next .

6. Confirm the dialogue with Yes . The user will be removed from the list of topic authors.

Email notification

Tab Partial elements

This tab allows you to provide a drop box and/or return box.  

  • Using the drop box, participants can submit solution files.
  • Using the return folder, topic authors can individually return files to the participants of a topic.

If you do not make any changes, both partial elements will be active.

Tab partial elements

Tab Due date

In the tab Due date , you have the following configuration options:  

  • Trainees are only allowed to upload documents: If you select this checkbox, users can only upload documents to the storage folder. Therefore, the creation of new documents directly in the course view will be prevented, and users will only see the Upload button in the area Submit solution in the detailed view of their topic.
  • Send hand in confirmation via email: If you enable this option, the user will be sent an email after the successful submission of their file with the confirmation text you provided under Text after handing in . The placeholders are individually filled with the information of the user or the course data. If necessary, you can further customise this text.

Click on Save to confirm the configuration.

Submission configuration
In the course view

In course view, course and topic authors can create and manage topics, view participant solutions, and return documents.

Functions in the topic overview

Create a new topic

This button allows you to create a new topic, which will then be displayed in the topic overview.

 Create a new topic ...
  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Click on Create topic in the header area of the list of topics.
Create topic button

3. Enter the title of the new topic in the appropriate text field and provide further information on the topic:

  • Optionally, add a description of the topic.
  • Specify the number of places available.
  • If necessary, determine a submission period.
  • You can also upload more files as an attachment to the topic using the button Select file .
  • In addition, you have the option to send an email notification. If this checkbox is selected, an email will be sent to all topic authors as participants select or deselect this topic or submit a solution.

4. Click on Save to complete the creation process. The newly created topic will then appear in the list of the topic overview.

Detailed view of a topic

Copy a topic

This function allows you to copy existing topics.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Select the topic you want to copy by ticking the checkbox next to it.
  3. Then click on Copy in the table header.
Copy a topic
4. The copied topic will be displayed in the topic overview. Copy of a topic

Delete a topic

Topics can be deleted at any time.

 How to do that?
  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Select the topic you want to delete by ticking the checkbox next to it.

  3. Then click on Delete in the table header.

Select the topic you want to delete
4. Confirm the deletion process with Delete topics . Confirm deletion process

Download table

Export table content as a file. The file format you have selected within your System settings will be used as the default format.
Configure tableSelect the columns to be displayed in the table.

Functions in the detailed view of a topic

Click on a topic name in the topic overview to open the detailed view of the topic. For authors, the detailed view consists of three tabs. Users can only see the content of the first tab.

TabFunctions

Edit topic

In this area, you can edit the opened topic and set its status.

 Edit topic ...

Edit a topic

  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Click on the name of the topic you want to edit.
Topic overview
3. Make your desired changes in the tab Edit topic and confirm your changes with Save . Authors' view of a topic

Solutions

In this tab, you can see which users have already submitted a solution to the topic, view the solution, and return documents to the user.

The functions submit solutions and return documents are only possible if the partial elements drop box and return box have been configured.

 View solutions and return documents ...

View submitted solutions and return documents  

  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Click on the name of the topic for which you want to view the submitted solutions.

Select a topic from the topic overview

3. Switch to the tab Solutions and click on the name of the user whose solutions you would like to view.

Select a user

4. Under Submitted solutions , an overview of all existing solution documents uploaded or created by the user appears.

5. If a return box has been configured, you will also see the area Documents for the participant where you can create or upload documents to the user's return box. To do this, use the appropriate button ( Create or Upload ).

Open the solution of a user

Participants and supervisors

This area allows for the management of all participants and supervisors of a topic. This includes adding supervisors to a topic, enrolling users directly in topics, and accepting user enrolments.

 Manage participants and supervisors ...

Manage participants and supervisors of a topic  

  1. Open the course element Topic Assignment .
  2. Click on the name of the topic.

Select a topic from the topic overview

3. Switch to the tab Participants and supervisors . Now you have the following options:

  • Remove user: Select the checkbox next to the participant you want to remove and click on Remove user .
  • Accept as participant: Select the checkbox next to the user you want to add and click on Accept as participant . Note that this function is only available in the Candidates table if you have enabled the option Topic authors have to accept participants in the course editor.
  • Add users directly as participants or topic authors: Use this field to add individual users of your institution to a topic. Enter at least three letters for the first or last name of the person in the text field. You can add all users displayed within the pop-up selection list, based on your user rights. Click on the desired name and the user will be added to the list.

Participants and supervisors of a topic