CIS provides several different methods for emailing the instructors and students in a particular course. For many years we have automatically created course mailing lists for all courses using software called MajorDomo. The JICS portal also includes a way for a faculty member to email all of the students in his/her class. Sakai has a handy tool called the Email Archive tool which creates a mailing list for emailing all of the participants in a course site from any email client. And finally, CIS has begun creating regular mailing lists in Google Groups, and can create course mailing lists for faculty in this tool as well.
Available to faculty and students at HMC.
How to Access the Service
The Sakai Email Archive tool allows you to email students and keeps a convenient searchable and sortable archive of the messages on the Sakai site. You can set up a memorable address of your choice for the list, and configure the tool to allow email from any address or keep it closed. You do not have to be in Sakai to send messages, but can use the email client of your choice. Although the Email Archive tool is not part of the default set up for a course site, it is very easy to add, and can easily be configured to suit your needs. Anyone you have included in the site (eg. as an auditor) will be included in the recipient list. Even if you don’t use Sakai for anything else, it is worth considering the Email Archive tool for communicating with your class. The Sakai help menu has more detail about this tool; see the installation instructions.
The JICS portal allows you to view all of your students (with photos) and email the class. The portal functions more as a one way faculty to student broadcast system, in that the students cannot mail to the class list via the portal.
The Majordomo course mailing lists are the classic “course mailing lists” that are run on the Majordomo list management software. There is no web interface, and the lists are managed by sending email messages containing instructions to the server. We have some scripts that create the Majordomo lists automatically and they run periodically throughout the semester to keep the lists up to date. Lists with names like firstname.lastname@example.org have been created. See details of list configuration for more information (link requires login with HMC Credentials, as list subscription information is included). There is also a spreadsheet of all the Spring 2015 course mailing lists.
We have begun migrating regular (not course) mailing lists off of Majordomo to Google Groups on the g.hmc.edu domain and, when people request new lists, we are recommending Google Groups. We have not migrated the course mailing lists to Google Groups, nor have we decided that this is the best path. But you could easily set up a Google Group for your class if you wanted.