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Class Mailing List Introduction and Overview

Introduction

Information Systems and Computing (ISC) in conjunction with the Office of the Registrar provides e-mail listserve services for courses taught in the Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Design, Nursing School, School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Social Work, School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Wharton School.

Course e-mail lists, or classlists, can provide a quick, convenient, and easy method of communication between students and professors. When a professor wishes to communicate with the class, all he/she has to do is send a message to the classlist e-mail address and the message will automatically be sent to all members of the class.

A classlist is automatically created for every class that is registered in SRS for these schools. The listserver software that we are using to manage the classlists is L-Soft's LISTSERV .

Classlist Names

The classlist is given a list name based on the course number, section number, the last two digits of the calendar year and a one-character designation for the semester: "A" for Spring, "B" for Summer and "C" for Fall.

For example, the course COMM225001, taught in the Fall semester of 2009 represents:

Course: COMM 225
Section: 001
Year: 09
Semester: C

and is therefore assigned the list name of comm225-001-09c. The LISTSERV machine is lists.upenn.edu.

To send mail to all members of this class, create a message and send it to comm225-001-09c@lists.upenn.edu.

Classlist Owners

The faculty instructor of the class is assigned as the list owner for the classlist. Each school has assigned a classlist administrator who can assist the faculty with maintaining the list.

It is the listowner's responsibility to handle problems with the list membership. Please see our Classlist FAQ for common problems and questions about the classlist service.

Since the classlist service is an email based service, we do not create a classlist unless the faculty instructor has an email address registered in the Penn Directory database. Please use the Faculty/Staff Directory Update Form to update your Directory listing, if necessary.

Classlist Membership

ISC rebuilds the classlists each morning, Tuesday through Saturday, following an update to the Data Warehouse database, from which we extract the list of classes and their student enrollment. The faculty instructor and all students enrolled in the course are automatically subscribed to the list by the classlist process. As list members, they will receive all messages that are mailed to the list. Since the classlist service is an email based service, we do not subscribe students who do not have an email address registered in the Penn Directory database.

The faculty instructor or the school's classlist administrator can add members who are not enrolled in the class through the Classlist Request Menu.

Classlist Mailing Profiles

Classlists all share some common characteristics.
  1. Lists are private and only the faculty instructor and classlist administrator can review the list of subscribed members.
  2. The email addresses of the lists are not known to the world and cannot be reviewed therefore sparing these lists from spamming.
  3. Messages sent to the list are archived in monthly logs that are available to all members of the list for the duration of the semester and can be accessed by the faculty instructor for six months after the semester ends.
Each school has determined the other default characteristics of the classlists for that school. Based on these default characteristics, there are five list profiles.
List Profile 1
Graduate School of Design
School of Social Work
List Profile 2
School of Arts and Sciences
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
List Profile 3
Graduate School of Education
Law School
Nursing School
List Profile 4
Wharton School
Veterinary Medicine
List Profile 5
SAS, Department of English
List Type Characteristics
List Profile 2
GSFA
SSW
1. Only the faculty instructor can send mail to the list. Lists must be activated through the Classlist Request Menu to allow all students enrolled in the class to send mail to the list.
More information on activating a classlist is available.
2. All replies to messages sent by any list member are sent to the entire list.
3. The sender of a message to the list does not receive a copy of the message.
4. The sender of a message receives an acknowledgement message from LISTSERV.
List Profile 2
SAS
SEAS
1. Only the faculty instructor can send mail to the list. Lists must be activated through the Classlist Request Menu to allow all students enrolled in the class to send mail to the list.
More information on activating a classlist is available.
2. All replies to messages sent by any list member are sent to the entire list.
3. The sender of a message to the list also receives a copy of the message.
4. The sender of a message does not receive an acknowledgement message from LISTSERV.
List Profile 3
GSE
Law
Nursing
1. The faculty owner and all students enrolled in the class can send mail to the list.
2. All replies to messages sent by any list member are sent to the entire list.
3. The sender of a message to the list does not receive a copy of the message.
4. The sender of a message receives an acknowledgement message from LISTSERV.
List Profile 4
Wharton
Veterinary Medicine
1. The faculty owner and all students enrolled in the class can send mail to the list.
2. All replies to messages sent by any list member are sent to the entire list.
3. The sender of a message to the list also receives a copy of the message.
4. The sender of a message does not receive an acknowledgement message from LISTSERV.
List Profile 5
SAS-English
1. Anyone can send mail to the list.
2. All replies to messages sent by any list member are only sent to the sender.
3. The sender of a message to the list also receives a copy of the message.
4. The sender of a message does not receive an acknowledgement message from LISTSERV.

Owner Documentation

Owner documentation is available directly from L-Soft. The list owner can also get information on how to manage the lists through the LISTSERV email interface by sending an email to listserv@lists.upenn.edu and in the body of the message include the text info listownr.

ISC has provided some online documentation for the list owner:

User Documentation

User documentation is available directly from L-Soft. The list member can also get information on how to use the lists by sending an email to listserv@lists.upenn.edu and in the body of the message include the text info refcard. This will request from LISTSERV a reference card on how to use the service.
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