Koha How-To

Deep Dive: Course Reserves

Jessie and Kelly take a deep dive into the Course Reserves Module.

Set Up for Course Reserves in System Preferences

The first thing that will need to be done is to enable the Course Reserves Module in Koha. For libraries not using the Course Reserves module (yet), the button will not appear on their staff client.

In Global System Preferences:

UseCourseReserves- set this to Enable.

Authorized Values for Course Reserve

The Course Reserve Module uses an Authorized Value called Department. By default, there are no values listed. So a library can go into the Authorized Value option (in the Administration Module), and find DEPARTMENT.

To the far right side of this table, there is an +ADD button to add values to the Department Authorized Value drop-down found in Course Reserves. Now a library can create one or many Departments in Koha.

When creating the Authorized Value itself, this is the code for Koha. The rules for creating this value are that it must be 10 characters or less, no spaces or special characters, and all in CAPS. The description is what the staff and users will see, which has no rules associated with it, so the description is where you can get creative. The description can be different on the Staff side versus the OPAC, so note if there is a different description for the OPAC.

For multi-branch consortiums, you can indicate whether this department is specific to a branch.

Creating a Course

Once the system preference has been enabled, the new option for Course Reserves will appear on the home page of the staff interface as well as under the drop-down "More" from the top of the window.

Once in the course reserves module, the first thing we will want to do is to create a course. All fields that are RED are mandatory. The first field will be the Department which we created in the previous step. Any and all departments that were created for the branch will appear.

Then the fields course number and course name will also be mandatory. Other fields such as Section, Term and Number of Students can be used but are not mandatory.

NOTE: All fields are searchable to both staff and the patrons, so the more information you add to the Course may help the staff find the right course or the student.

Instructor Search- multiple instructors can be attached to a course. As you start to type, Koha will search your library's patron database for the instructors.

Both the Staff Note and Public Note are helpful if there is something specific to the patron or staff about this course.

Most importantly, if this course is active or enabled, this box will need to be checked. If this is a course that you would not like students to see on the OPAC yet, you can mark this Not Enabled. This field will be important when needing to 'deactivate' a course for a semester.

Adding Items to the Course

There are two ways items can be added to a course

1. Use the Add Reserves button

2. Batch Add Reserves button

The difference between these options will exist in how your library needs to alter these items. Koha gives libraries the opportunity to modify these items (when adding items to course with barcode) during the time they are on the 'active' Course reserves. Those modifications include item type, collection, shelving location, home, and holding library.

For adding Biblio records to a course, Koha will allow only a Public and Staff Notes.

If a library will be adding a bunch of reserves with the same values, they can use Batch Add. If each item added to a course is going to be slightly different, then the Add Reserves is the way to go.

This is the screen a library will see when adding items to a course. To alter the item information for when this item is on reserve, the library would checkmark that the modification is making a change and make that change.

For example, if a library had an Item Type specific to Reference, they may change the item type from Book to Reference when this item is added, as the item while on reserves has a different circulation rule.

Any of the changes marked on this screen will be stored in Koha and displayed as such UNTIL the item gets removed off of Course Reserves or the course it is attached to get 'Deactivated'.

Viewing the Course

Once a course has been created and items have been attached to it. The course page it self will display all the course information and items currently attached. There are multiple actions that can still take place on this course, such as adding more items, removing items, deleting the course, and editing the course. In addition, if an item needed to be edited on this course, there is an option for that as well.

Item View

Once an item/s is attached to a course, there were will be a notation to both the staff and the OPAC that this item is attached to the course and the name of the course will display.

This is an example of the staff view. This item is now a Reference Item Type and there are two courses listed for this particular item.

Here is what your patrons will see when they look at the item in the catalog. Again, it will show the Course/s that is attached to. Both on the staff side and the patron side, the Course Title is clickable, bringing the user to the entire Course.

Overview of Courses

All enabled courses will display in the OPAC for users to find and search. So instead of searching for a particular title that is on reserve, they can go to the Course Reserve option and see all courses and associated material.

More Course Reserve Resources

Here are other Course Reserve blog posts and tutorial videos:

OPAC: Customizing Course Reserves

Monday Minutes: Batch Remove Course Reserves

Koha Question of the Week: What are the benefits to using the course reserves module?

Self Paced Learning in Koha: Course Reserves

Read more by Kelly McElligott

Tags course reserve