Course email subscriptions allow instructors and students the option to be notified automatically when Items are made available for a course. Users can choose to receive emails from all courses automatically or subscribe to notifications on a course by course basis. Students also have the option of subscribing to an RSS feed to be notified when Items are made available.
Configuring Course Email Subscriptions
The Course Email Subscription feature sends the email notifications using a pre-formatted email template and is included in the default web forms.
Database Tables and Fields
For all new Ares installations, the CourseEmailDefault value in the Users table is set to False (0) so that users are not subscribed and email notifications are not sent automatically by default. This ensures that when a new user registers for an Ares account, the Manual option is pre-selected by default; in order to receive notifications, the user would have to select the Automatic option or subscribe on a course by course basis after registering. When a user selects the Automatic option, whether when registering or from the Change User Information form, the CourseEmailDefaultValuechanges to True (1). The CourseUserSubscription table tracks the CourseID and Username of each course email subscription. When a course email subscription is removed from a course, the entry is removed from the CourseUserSubscription table.
Email Templates Used
The default email template used for course email subscriptions is the ItemSubscription template.
Web Forms Used
The email course subscriptions feature is mentioned in these default web forms:
- GCreateAccount: Default Course Email Subscriptions field
- ChangeUserInformation: Default Course Email Subscriptions field
- ICourseInfo: Email subscription note within Course Details box
- UCourseInfo: Email subscription note within Course Details box
Removing the Course Email Subscriptions Option
If a new site does not wish to use the course email subscriptions feature, the web pages and the client User form should be edited to remove all references to subscriptions:
- GCreateAccount: Remove Default Course Email Subscriptions field
- ChangeUserInformation: Remove Default Course Email Subscriptions field
- ICourseInfo: Remove Email subscription note within Course Details box
- UCourseInfo: Remove Email subscription note within Course Details box
- User form: Remove the Autosubscribe All Courses field
Existing sites wanting to remove the course email subscription feature should also edit the web forms and User form as described above. In addition, existing sites should run the following script to remove all active subscriptions from the database and reset all user defaults to not automatically subscribe to email notifications:
DELETE FROM CourseUserSubscription UPDATE Users SET CourseEmailDefault = 0
Registering for Default Course Email Subscriptions on the Web
The Course Email Subscriptions feature is a default feature that gives instructors and students the option to be notified by email when items are made available for a course. Ares will send an email and notification to a user each time an item is posted to a course. Users sign up to receive the email notifications in the Default Course Email Subscriptions field on the New Ares Account form when registering and can change their subscription preference on the Change User Information form. Choosing Automatic directs Ares to send the email and notification automatically for all courses whenever reserves items are posted. Selecting Manual gives the user the option to subscribe to email notifications and cancel subscriptions on a course by course basis from within the Course Details window.
If the user chooses to subscribe to receive all course email notifications using the Automatic email option, they can still opt out of email notifications on a course by course basis by cancelling the subscription on the Course Details page. If a user chooses the Manual option when registering but does not subscribe to course notifications on a course by course basis, or the user opts out of a course and later decides they want to receive email notifications for that course, they will need to activate the subscription manually from the Course Details page. Changing the email subscription to Automatic in the Change User Information form activates subscriptions for future courses but does not retroactively assign email subscriptions to current courses.