Keywords allow you to address students by name in bulk emails sent from the course, to automatically pull in and display variables such as the course start and end dates, and more. These can be very useful in keeping people engaged and on the same page.
There are a few locations in Studio within the course where you can use keyword substitutions.
Course Enrollment Emails
From the Schedule & Details page (to get to it, click on Settings and then Schedule & Details from the menu navigation at the top of your course in Studio), find the "Course Enrollment Email" section near the bottom of the page. Check the box next to "Enable enrollment emails" and two pre-populated forms will appear. The first will be a customizable message to automatically have sent to anyone who enrolls in your course before it begins, and the second will be for anyone who enrolls in your course after it has started.
You can use keywords such as %%USER_FULLNAME%% to inject a little student recognition into your automatic email, or %%COURSE_START_DATE%% to let early birds know when to expect the class to start.
Course Info Page Announcements
Course updates also support keyword substitutions, which means you can be sure to let participants know when the final day of the course will be, how their name will appear on their Statements of Accomplishment after the course ends, and more.
To access this page in your course, go to Studio, access your course site, and click on Content and then Updates from the menu navigation at the top.
HTML components also support keyword substitutions. You add these to a page or unit in Studio when you click on the green HTML button in the "Add New Component" bar. A text component or an announcement component, for example, will display a blue "Supports keyword substitutions" link at the top of the edit screen.
One use would be for courses which allow participants to generate their own Statements of Accomplishment. The text component above the button to generate a Statement of Accomplishment would show participants how their names will appear on a statement, so they can confirm or update it if needed.
In your live course, you have an Instructor dashboard, accessible from the Instructor tab. In there, one of the options is an Email tab. This takes you to a page where you can send email messages to the entire course. This location also supports keyword substitutions.
Please note that keyword substitutions are not supported in the subject line for any of the email options.
The example above results in an email with values being pulled in from information you've provided in Studio, such as the course display name you chose when creating the course, and the course start date and end date you provide in the Schedule & Details page. The user full name comes from the individual student's full name as it appears to the student on the dashboard at https://lagunita.stanford.edu/dashboard.
Here is an email with keywords that have been replaced with real text. The highlighted texts are what were entered as keywords in the above example.