Courses in Valamis are scopes of your environment that help divide your content and users into specific areas.
One user can be a member of one Course and join another, if it is available.
The availability of Courses is fully adjustable.
There are two tools related to Courses: Course Manager and Course Browser.
Course Manager is mostly an instructor tool, but it can be made accesible to normal users, if needed - for example, you can allow learners to create their own subcourses (for current course) for their collaboration needs.
Course Browser is a tool for listing available courses for users.
Creating a course
To create a new course, open Course Manager, and click the New Course button.
In the creation window, you will see a number of fields to be filled:
- Course Name: create a name for your course.
- Upload a Cover image, or choose it from the Media Gallery.
- Summary: briefly describe the course in this field.
- Full description: here you can provide a full description of the course, using the WYSIWYG editor.
- Active: set the active status of the course.
- Create organization site - this course will be used for organization of user hierarchy purposes, like in Liferay. Organization itself is also created.
- You can't create an organization site as a subcourse to a normal course, because it's a different type of site.
- For an existing organization site, you can create subcourses (suborganizations)
- For subcourses: Limit membership to members of the parent course
- Choose an URL to be used for that course, e.g. typing "valamis" here will make your URLs look like this:
- Choose a membership type. There are three membership types:
- Open: any user can join by clicking the Join button.
- Restricted: any user can send a request to join by clicking Send Request. The instructor either approves or dismisses the request.
- Closed: the instructor assigns the users; the course is not visible to everybody.
- Categories: categorize your course with tags.
- Prerequisite learning paths: list the prerequisite learning paths that are required to be achieved in order to access the course.
Assign members to user group - all members of the course are automatically assigned into the defined user group. You can use this in various ways - for example, when you create a Learning Path and add this user group to it, later, when the course gets new participants, they will automatically also become participants of this learning path, due to being in the user group. It helps you avoid adding new users manually to the learning paths relevant to the course.
- Instructors: choose the instructors for this course.
- Starting date/End date: set the availability period of this course.
- Maximum number of participants: set a limit on the number of concurrent participants in the course.
- Visual preset: Template or Theme. Note that you can only choose your Site Template once during creation. After that, you can only edit the applied Theme.
- Course pages: Private, Public, or both.
To add a member to a course, choose Edit Members in the Action menu. In the following dialog, choose Add users. Select the users you want to add to the course. The users should already exist in the environment.
Additionally, in the Actions menu, you can set permissions for user roles on available courses.
Course Manager preferences
The Preferences in the Course Manager contain several settings that may be useful for administrators who work with the Liferay part of the environment.
- Show child courses only - Course manager will only show subcourses of a current course
- Display organization sites - defines whether Organization type of sites are shown in the Course manager
The following settings define some default values for created courses. It means that, if set up, these fields will not be available when creating a new course, and the default values will be used.
- Predefined template - a default site template
- Course pages - Public, Private, or Public & Private.
- Predefined site role
- Predefined organization role
- Predefined membership type - Open, Restricted, or Private
- Limit membership to the members of the parent course
- Predefined categories - show courses of only specific categories
- Hide fields: Logo, URL, Instructors, Prerequisite learning paths, Member limit.
Course browser provides a simple list of Courses for learners to join or browse.
In the Preferences of Course browser you will see the following settings.
- Simplified view - if enabled, a more minimalist view will be used. The following settings are available if you enable Simplified view:
- Show courses - choose My Courses or Available Courses
- Show Actions buttons - enables Join, Leave, and Send request action buttons. If disabled, users will only be able to view Courses.
- Show number of participants
- Replace dropdown menus with action buttons - if Simplified view is disabled, this setting switches between Actions dropdown and separate Action buttons for Join, Leave, and Send request.
- Show only child courses - shows only the subcourses for the current course
- Display organization sites
- Show sites with these templates
- Show sites with these categories