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The Quickmail Block in Moodle

The Quickmail block allows instructors and TAs (and students, if the instructor allows) to send emails to course members from Moodle. Instructors who use Moodle may find Quickmail to be a convenient alternative in setting up a Class Email List in SPIRE. For more information, see Instructors - Manage Your Class Email Lists.

Note: Emails sent from Quickmail are always sent immediately and are sent separately from other Moodle email notifications. Messages from Quickmail are not affected by course members' individual Profile settings for receiving emails as daily digests. For more information, see Edit Your Moodle Profile & Preferences.

Quickmail Overview

Quickmail sends, but does not receive email

Email can be sent from, but not received, in Moodle. Moodle users do not have a mail inbox in Moodle.

Where Quickmail is Sent

  • Undergraduate and graduate students receive mail from Moodle at their IT email address
  • Faculty and staff receive mail from Moodle at their preferred (published) email address from SPIRE. For more details, see Edit your Moodle Profile & Preferences
  • Instructors in Moodle can set up an Alternate email address in the Quickmail block. (This only affects the "reply-to" for messages they send from Quickmail, see Set Up and Use Alternate Emails (Instructors Only), below.)

How the Reply-to for Messages Sent from Quickmail is Controlled

  • If your profile in Moodle is set to "Allow everyone to see my email address" or "Allow only other course members to see my email address," the Reply-to for emails sent by you will be your address as shown in your Moodle Profile
  • If your profile in Moodle is set to "Hide my email from everyone," the Reply-to will be: Do not reply to this email noreply@moodle.umass.edu.
    Note: If your profile is set to Hide my email from everyone, messages can still be sent to you from Quickmail (The Quickmail window never shows recipients' email addresses, only names).
  • For Quickmail messages sent by an instructor using an Alternate Email address, the "reply-to" will be the alternate email, unless the instructor's Moodle Profile is set to "Hide my email from everyone," in which case it will be: Do not reply to this email noreply@moodle.umass.edu.

For more on Moodle-wide email settings, see Edit Your Moodle Profile & Preferences.
For more on Alternate Email addresses in Quickmail, see Set Up and Use Alternate Emails (Instructors Only), below.

Filtering Recipients in Quickmail

One of the features of Quickmail that makes it especially useful for instructors teaching large classes is the ability to filter recipients by Role (e.g., Student, TA, etc.), Lecture, Lab or Discussion Sections, or Groups (if groups are already set up in the Moodle course). You can also send emails to all participants or individual participants in the course. For details see Send Messages Using Quickmail (below).

For more information on Roles, see Roles in Moodle.
For more information on Groups, see An Overview of Managing Groups in Moodle

Add the Quickmail Block (Instructors Only)

Quickmail is added to new courses by default, but if you are an Instructor and you don't see the Quickmail block in your course, you can add it. For details, see Add & Remove Blocks in Moodle.

Send a Message Using Quickmail

By default, Quickmail is available only to instructors and TAs. Instructors can configure Quickmail to allow student use (See below, Configure Quickmail for Student Use & Change Default Filters).

To send an email message using Quickmail:

  1. In the Quickmail block, click Compose New Email. The Quickmail Email page will open. 
  2. Set up filters for Potential Recipients if needed:
    Filter by Role using the Role Filter option:
    • To limit Potential Recipients by role, select a Role from the Role Filter menu (e.g., Teacher, Non-editing teacher, Student, or Teacher).
    •  To include all members of the class leave the Role Filter set to No Filter. (You will choose Add All later.)
    Moodle will highlight all names that fit the filtering criteria.
    Filter by Role Annotated Screenshot (click to enlarge)

    Filter by Section or Group using the Potential Sections or Groups option:
    • To limit Potential Recipients to a particular Class Section or Group, under Potential Sections, click a Group name or Section name.
    • To include more than one section or group to the selection, hold down Command (Mac) or Control (Windows) and click the additional names in the Potential Sections list.
    Individuals that match the Role Filter and Potential Sections selection will be highlighted as Potential Recipients.
    Filter by Role Using Groups Annotated Screenshot (click to enlarge)
    Note: If there are individuals enrolled in your course by special request rather than through SPIRE (e.g., Contributor, Course Assistant, Disabilities Services Helper), their Potential Section will be shown as Not in a section.To add or remove the roles to filter by, command-click (Mac) or control-click (Windows). (Highlighted roles are included as filtering options on the Quickmail screen).
  3. To add names to the Selected Recipients list:
    • To add the Potential recipients highlighted and filtered by the Role Filter (and the Potential Sections) option, click Add.
    • To include all course members as recipients, click Add All.
    • To limit Potential Recipients to a particular Class Section or Group, under Potential Sections, see Step 2.
    As course members are added to the Selected Recipients list, they will be removed from the Potential Recipients list.
    Add Potential Recipients to Selected Recipients Annotated Screenshot (click to enlarge)
  4. To remove names from the Selected Recipients list (optional):
    • To remove all names click Remove All.
    • To remove all highlighted names click Remove (Remove Icon Screenshot).
    • To remove an individual name click the name, then click Remove (Remove Icon Screenshot).
  5. Continue filtering, and adding or removing recipients as needed.
  6. To include recipients not enrolled in the class, manually enter email address(es) in the Additional emails field, located below the Selected Recipients option. (Addresses added manually using the Additional emails option will not appear in the Selected Recipients list.)
  7. Note: To add more than one email to the list, add a comma and a space between addresses (e.g., email1@example.com, email2@example.com, etc.).
  8. Compose and send your message:
    1. To attach files to your message (optional) you have two options.
      Option 1: Use the icons above the Subject and Message boxes, for Attachment(s), click Add (Add file Icon Screenshot) for add files, and/or Create folder (Add folder Icon Screenshot) to organize the files. Select the file(s) to attach and click Upload this file or Select this file (depending on the source from the File picker).
      Option 2: from your desktop drag the files and drop them into the Attachment(s) box. Attached file(s) will be sent and received in the .ZIP format.
    2. Note: The maximum upload size for attachments is set by the instructor under the Settings for the course (see Important Settings for your Moodle Course).
      Add Attachments Annotated Screenshot (click to enlarge)   
    3. Enter a Subject line (required).
    4. Enter your message into the Message box (Optional)
    5. Select a Signature (optional). (See below, Create a signature.)
    6. To Receive a copy of the message in your own mailbox, select Yes (the default is Yes, but you can set the default to No on the Quickmail Configuration page, accessed via the Quickmail block).
    7. You can either opt to Send Email to send the message or Save Draft. If you send the email, the message will be sent and you will be returned to your course page. If you save a draft, the page will refresh and a message will read Changes saved (green banner, top of page).
      (To confirm the message has been sent, in the Quickmail block, click View History. Moodle will take you to your View History page showing Quickmail messages sent from this course.)
      Click Save Draft to save a draft and continue editing or return later to continue. Moodle will display a Changes saved message at the top of the Quickmail screen once the draft is saved.
      Click Cancel to return to your course page.

View and Continue Editing a Draft Email

Once you have saved a draft email, you can return to edit and send it:

  1. On the Quickmail block click View Drafts. The Quickmail: View Drafts page will open, displaying a list of unsent emails ordered by the date that they were saved. 
  2. Click the Magnifying glass icon () to open the draft. You will be returned to the Quickmail screen where you can continue composing your message.
    View Drafts Magnifying Glass Icon Annotated Screenshot  (click to enlarge)
    To delete a draft, select X (Delete (X) Icon) in the row associated with the draft you want to delete. A Confirm draft deletion page will open. Select Continue to confirm the deletion or Cancel to undo. 

View Your Quickmail History for the Course

The View History screen lists messages you have sent from the course you are in.

  1. On the Quickmail block menu, click View History. The View History page will open, displaying a list of sent messages.
  2. To open a sent message and view recipients, click the Magnifying glass icon (). You will be returned to the Quickmail screen where you can review message recipients, and view or edit and re-send the Message.

Create a Signature (Optional)

You can automatically include a signature in email messages. 
Note: Signatures do not affect From or Reply-to fields and appear only in the body of the message.

  1. On the Quickmail block menu, click Signatures. The Signatures page will open.
  2. Enter a Title for the signature. The title will define each unique signature created and it will help you to find the signature when composing a Quickmail. 
  3. In the Signature box, enter the text you wish to appear as your signature at the bottom of your Quickmail email messages.
  4. To make this your default signature, check Default.
  5. Click Save Changes to save the signature. A Changes saved message will appear (green and highlighted, below the Signatures title) confirming the action performed. 
  6. You may create additional signatures, edit an existing signature, or return to your course page. To create additional signatures, select the drop-down menu located below the Signatures title.
    New Signatures Dropdown menu Annotated Screenshot(click to enlarge)

Configure Quickmail for Student Use & Change Default Filters (Instructors Only) 

To allow students to use Quickmail and control which roles to filter by:

  1. On the Quickmail block, click Configuration.
  2. For Allow students to use Quickmail, select Yes or No. (No, is the default setting.)
    Note: Configuring Quickmail only affects the course you are working in.

Add the Access Quickmail Block Role for Certain Users (Instructors Only) 

Instructors can add the Access Quickmail Block role for certain course members who normally would not be able to use Quickmail. For example, a departmental assistant with the role of Course Designer with the added role of Access Quickmail Block could send email to course members. For instructions, see Roles in Moodle.

Set Up and Use Alternate Emails (Instructors Only)

Instructors have the option to use an Alternate email address for Quickmail and receive email replies at an alternate address, such as a Course IT account email. For more information, see Create & Manage Course IT Accounts. When an Alternate Email is selected in the email composition screen, it will appear as the "reply-to" address for the message sent from Quickmail

Please note: Use of an Alternate Email address only affects the "Reply-to" for emails sent from Quickmail. The email visible in each instructor's Moodle Profile (see Edit Your Moodle Profile & Preferences) will be used for all other Moodle-generated emails:

  • If students are allowed to use Quickmail and they send an email to an instructor, it will go to the address shown in the instructor's Moodle Profile.
  • Moodle email notifications sent to instructors, such as Forum or Assignment submission notifications, will go to the address shown in their Moodle Profile.
  • The "reply-to" for emails sent when the instructor posts to the Announcements, or sends an Assignment grade notification, for example, will be the address shown in their Moodle Profile.

Instructors who do not want to receive email replies at their normal Moodle email address, and only want replies to come to an alternative address, should avoid other uses of email in Moodle besides Quickmail (i.e., avoid forced subscription in the Announcements, or sending Assignment grade notifications), and should not allow students to use Quickmail. To encourage students to contact you at an alternate email address, we recommend publishing the address in your syllabus, and on your Moodle course page, either in the top Section of the course where it will always be visible to students, or in an HTML block (see Add an HTML Block in Moodle).

To set up and use Alternate Email addresses in Quickmail:

Add an Alternate Email

  1. On the Quickmail block menu, click Alternate Emails. The Alternate Email page will open.
    • If you have not yet set up an Alternate Email, you will see the message: No alternate emails found for [course name]. Continue to make one. Select Continue.
    • If you have previously added any Alternative Emails, select Add Alternate Address (top left). 
    With completion of either of these steps, the Alternate Emails page will refresh, displaying an Email address entry box. 
  2. In the Email address entry box, enter an email address and select Save changes. The page will refresh displaying a message confirming that the Alternate address has been saved, followed by a second message explaining that you will receive a verification email to your alternate email address. 
  3. In a new browser window, open the inbox associated with your alternate email address and open the email from Moodle: Quickmail <noreply@moodle.umass.edu>, with the subject line Alternate email address verification.
  4. Select the link in the body of the message. A browser window will open. Use your Net ID and password to login. The window will refresh, displaying the message: Alternate email [email address] can now be used in [course name].
  5. Select Continue. The page changes to display a list of alternate addresses.
  6. To return to your course page, click your course name in the Navigation bar (at top).

Note: You can add more than one Alternate email by repeating steps 1-7. 

Send a Message From an Alternate Email

Once an Alternate email address has been added and verified (see above), it will show as an option on the Quickmail screen for composing messages.

  1. On your course page, in the Quickmail block menu, click Compose New Email. The Quickmail window opens.
  2. For From (at top left, above Recipients area), use the drop-down menu to choose an address to send from. Only approved email addresses will appear in the drop-down menu. See Set Up and Use Alternate Emails (Instructors Only) (above).
    Note: The default will be your regular Moodle email address; you must change this option every time you wish to use an alternate address.
  3. Select recipients, compose, and send your message. See Send a Message Using Quickmail (above).
  4. Once sent, your recipients will see the selected Alternate Email address as your "reply-to" address for the message. If recipients reply to the message, their reply will go to the alternate address.