- ISC provides a service that extracts e-mail addresses of students enrolled in courses from the Data Warehouse (which gets them from SRS) and builds mailing lists for faculty/student interaction
- List participation can be as restrictive or permissive as the faculty member wants; faculty can moderate lists to control all messages and responses, or can allow participation just by the course attendees, the whole campus, or the whole world.
- Unless lists are made public, participants must send messages and other commands from their "official" e-mail addresses.
- Very easy to send messages.
- A passive means of communication: the information flows to students' e-mail accounts (in some cases whether they like it or not).
- Good archiving features that can be converted to Web access if appropriate.
- Communications can be restricted to just those students enrolled in a class and the faculty member's "guests."
- List can be maintained after the end of the semester if the faculty member chooses to continue interacting with students.
- Listservs tend to create a feeling of comfort and privacy among
those participating in the discussion.
- Replies to messages sometimes intended to the original sender alone may get sent to the entire list due to improper list settings or user error.
- Students may not respond to messages from the list due to "junk mail" overloading their mailboxes.
- Message size may be restriced by campus listserv or e-mail servers.
- Listserv can impose heavy load on e-mail servers, especially during peak periods, and cause delays in message delivery.
- The listserv server can have large disk space requirements due to lingering archives.
- Problems with individual recipient mailboxes may generate message failures that may need to be dealt with by the faculty list owner or his/her designee.
- Easy to forge "from" address on messages.
- Maintaining mailing lists can be time-consuming and difficult.
Strategies for Effective Use
- Use short messages for best performance.
- Point to more centralized publishing means (Web, NetNews, ftp) for distribution of files or longer material.
- Faculty should expect e-mail activity from students at all hours of the day (and especially) night, and may want to log in from home at night to facilitate this discussion.
- Users should not assume that just because a message is sent that it will be read promptly (or ever!).
- Users should be notified if archives will be kept of messages, and informed of the expected use of these archives.
Contact: Dr. Noam H. Arzt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified: 01 February 2012