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Mailing List and Discussion Group Links

Creation of both mailing lists and discussion groups is automatic. A link to each automatically appears on your course home page.


  1. Click on “Manage Discussion Settings” at the bottom of the right hand index frame.
  2. Click on the “Edit Preference” button.
  3. Under the heading:

Do you wish to enable the discussion feature?
Select:  “I do not want to enable the discussion feature”

  1. Click on the “Save & Close” button and the discussion links will not appear.

The list of registered users for both mailing lists and discussion groups is dynamic, based on registration.  In other words, the participants are updated according to the Academic Services database.  As students register for a course with Academic Services, their names will automatically be added to that particular course mailing list.  Likewise, if they drop the course Academic Services updates their database and the mailing list will automatically drop that student from that course mailing list.

Mailing List Specifics

As mentioned earlier, a mailing list is automatically created for every course. A link to your course’s mailing list will appear automatically on your course home page.

Currently, both faculty and students enrolled in the course will have access to the mailing list link. The mailing list cannot be subdivided into groups. In other words, if a faculty divides a 30-member class into 6 groups of 5 students, can the mailing list be divided into 6 sub-mailing lists? Unfortunately, the answer is no, not at this time. It will be a single mailing list of the entire class. 

Threaded Discussion Specifics

A popular feature of a course web page is a threaded discussion. A threaded discussion is analogous to a series of e-mails posted in one central place so that all users can view all comments and follow-up comments together. A threaded discussion differs from e-mail because all messages are stored in one place, whereas with e-mail, a single message is sent to many recipients, and it ends up in several different places (i.e., the inbox of the recipient).

As mentioned earlier, discussion groups are automatically created for every course. A link to your course’s discussion group will appear automatically on your course home page.

Some faculty members have voiced concern about having to respond to electronic discussions. Their concern is that they will involuntarily be pulled into the threaded discussion by responding to one question and then inevitably having to respond to a whole host of other questions. The faculty member is, of course, not obliged to participate in the threaded discussion. It is there in order to encourage student interaction, and can occur with or without faculty member participation (this occurs informally anyway). In this case, some faculty members have told their class members that they are free to use the threaded discussion, but that he or she won’t be logging into it as a practice.