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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 a convenient alternative to setting up a Class Email List in SPIRE.

Note: Emails sent from Quickmail are always sent immediately and are not affected by course members' individual Profile settings for receiving emails as daily digests.

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 OIT email (UMail) address.
  • Faculty and staff receive mail from Moodle at their preferred (published) email address from SPIRE (shown on their Moodle Profile page).
  • Instructors in Moodle can set up an Alternate email address in the Quickmail block. (This affects only the "reply-to" for messages they send from Quickmail, see Set Up Alternate Emails, 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.oit.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.oit.umass.edu.

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

Add the Quickmail Block (Instructors Only)

Quickmail is added to new courses by default, but if you you are an Instructor and you don't see the Quickmail block in your course, you can add it. 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).

To send an email message using Quickmail:

  1. In the Quickmail block, click Compose New Email. The
  2. Set up filters for Potential Recipients:
    Filter by Role:
    • To limit Potential Recipients by role, select a Role from the Role Filter menu (e.g., Student, Non-Editing teacher or Teacher).
    •  To include all members of the class leave the Role Filter set to No Filter. (Later you will choose Add All.)
    Moodle will highlight all names that fit the filtering criteria.
    Select Role filter and sections or groups for Potential Recipients(click to enlarge)

    Filter by Section or Group:
    • 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, hold down Command (Mac) or Control (Windows) and click additional names in the Potential Section list.
    Individuals that match the Role Filter and Potential Sections selection will be highlighted as Potential Recipients.
    Combine Role and Section filtering to highlight Potential Recipients (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
  3. Add names to the Selected Recipients list (at left):
    • 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, hold down Command (Mac) or Control (Windows) and click additional names in the Potential Section list.
    • To include all course members as recipients, click Add All.
    As course members are added to the Selected Recipients list, they will be removed from the Potential Recipients list.
    To select Recipients, click the Add buttons (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 >.
    • To remove an individual name click the name, then click Remove >.
  5. Continue filtering, and adding or removing recipients as needed.
  6. Compose and send your message:
    1. To attach a file to your message (optional), above the Subject and Message boxes, for Attachment(s), click Add (for a single file), or Create Folder. Select the file(s) to attach and click Add or Select this file (depending on the source from the File picker). Attached file(s) will be sent and received in the .zip format.
      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 at the top of the message area (click to enlarge)
    2. Type in a Subject line (required).
    3. Type your message into the Message box.
    4. Choose a Signature (optional). (See above for setting up a signature.)
    5. Choose Yes to Receive a copy of the message in your own mailbox (optional, default is No, you must select  Yes  each time you wish to receive a copy).
    6. Click Send Email to send the message. To confirm the message is sent, Moodle will take you to your View History page showing Quickmail messages you have sent from this course. Your message should show at the top of the list.
      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.

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.  A list of unsent emails will open with the most recent at the top.
  2. Click the magnifying glass to open the draft. You will be returned to the Quickmail screen where you can continue composing your message.
    View or delete draft (click to enlarge)
    Click the X to delete a draft. Moodle will ask you “Are you sure you want to delete the message… .”  Click Continue to delete it.

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, click View History. The View History screen opens, displaying a list of sent messages.
  2. To open a sent message and view recipients, click the magnifying glass. You will be returned to the Quickmail screen where you can review message recipients, and view, edit or 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. To set up a signature to appear at the bottom of your sent messages, in the Quickmail block click Signatures. The Signatures screen will open.
  2. Enter a Title for the signature.  The title will show in the dropdown where you choose a signature in the screen where you compose a message.
  3. In the Signature box, enter the text you wish to appear as your signature at the bottom of email messages.
  4. To make this your default signature, check Default.
  5. Click Save Changes to save the signature.  You sill stay on the Signature screen. No confirmation message will be displayed, but new signatures should be added to the drop –down menu at left.
  6. You may create additional signatures, edit an existing signature or return to your course page.

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.)
  3. To add or remove the roles to filter by, command-click (Mac) or control-click (Windows) roles. (Highlighted roles are included as filtering options on the Quickmail screen).
    Note: Configuring Quickmail only affects the course you are working in.

Set Up and Use Alternate Emails (Instructors Only)

Instructors (but not students or TAs) have the option to use an Alternate email address for Quickmail and receive email replies at an alternate address, such as a Course OIT account email, or an OWL email. 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 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 News Forum, 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 News Forum, 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.

To set up and use Alternate Email addresses in Quickmail:

Add an Alternate Email

  1. On the Quickmail block, click Alternate Emails. The Alternate Email screen opens.
    • If you have not yet set up an Alternate Email, you'll see the message:  "No alternate emails found for [course name]. Continue to make one." Click Continue.
    • If you have previously added any Alternative Emails, click Add Alternate Address (at top left).
    The page will change to show an entry box.
  2. In the entry box for Email address, enter an address and click Save changes. A message will appear at the top of the screen:
    "Alternate address [email address] has been saved. An email to verify that the address is valid has been sent to [email address]. Instructions on how to activate the address is contained in its contents."
  3. Open the inbox for the address you entered and look for an email from Moodle: Quickmail <noreply@moodle.oit.umass.edu>, with the subject line Alternate email address verification.
  4. Click the link in the body of the message (or paste the URL into your browser address bar). A new browser window will open with the message: "Alternate email [email address] can now be used in [course name]."
  5. Close the new browser window, and return the window where you were previously working in your Moodle course (Alternate Emails).
  6. Click Continue. The page changes to display a list of alternate addresses.
    • If your response to the confirmation was successful,the new address will be listed as Approved.
    • If not, it will be listed as Waiting. Refresh the page, if it still says Waiting, you may need to repeat some steps of this process to verify the address.
  7. You can add more than one Alternate email. When you send a message, you will be able to choose which address to send from (see below). If you wish to do so, repeat steps 1 through 7.
  8. To return to your course page, click your course name in the breadcrumb links (at top).

Send a Message From an Alternate Email

Once an 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, 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 Add an Alternate Email, 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 Messages 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.