What's a good way to give a class full of people the opportunity to share email addresses?
February 25, 2012 6:47 PM   Subscribe

What's a good way to give a class full of people the opportunity to share email addresses?

I occasionally teach classes to groups of, say, 10 to 30 people.

People in the class often say they'd like to be able to be in touch with other classmates, and would like to get a list of their classmates names and email addresses.

I have a list of all their classmates names and email addresses, but the thing is:

1) While most people in the class want to engage in this mass address-swap, some people do not.

2) Some people to want to engage in the email address swap, but using a different address than the one I have.

Is there a reasonably simple, reasonably automatic way to do this? I am imagining sending an email to everyone in the class that would, say, link them to something where they could choose to share their address or not, and also choose what address to share.

The people who take my class are of various degrees of tech proficiency, so it should be simple for them. I am lazy, so it should take very, very little work for me.

Any suggestions?
posted by ManInSuit to Technology (12 answers total)
You could set up a quick survey online (free via Survey Monkey or Zoomerang, both of which are very easy to use) that asks:
1. Name (text field)
2. Would you like your email address shared with the class? Yes/no
3. What email address would you like to share? (text field)

Send the link to the class to fill out by the following week. Then compile the yes responses into an email to send everyone who wants to participate. Done.

If you want to use this for multiple classes ongoing, include a field on the survey that asks which class (you could make a dropdown menu so they can choose the class).
posted by dayintoday at 6:54 PM on February 25, 2012

Create a Googledocs spreadsheet that they can all access. I made one for a class, I suck at spreadsheets and found it quite easy.
posted by mareli at 7:17 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Mareli - I'd thought using a google doc (it could even be a regular doc, not a spreadsheet). But for people with low teach skill and no google account - would it be complicated to get at it?
posted by ManInSuit at 7:23 PM on February 25, 2012

Ask the class to email you with something specific in the subject line and saying that they'd like to be added to the list, then copy/paste their addresses into the cc: line of an email to all of them.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:13 PM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't touch this. FERPA issues and all that.
posted by k8t at 8:22 PM on February 25, 2012

Best answer: But for people with low teach skill and no google account - would it be complicated to get at it?

Yes, it would. I have to share information with a group of people who don't spend a lot of time on computers, and some of them find the Google interface confusing and/or intimidating.

I would pass around a clipboard with a piece of paper on it for people to write down their names and e-mail addresses if they so desire. You then send out an e-mail to everyone on that list with all the addresses in it. I know you said you want it to be automatic, but this would be simpler.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:33 PM on February 25, 2012 [5 favorites]

Can't those who wish to share emails just ask each other directly? It's nice of you to facilitate this but I don't see why it's your responsibility.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 10:20 PM on February 25, 2012

"I wouldn't touch this. FERPA issues and all that."

Your FERPA Compliance Officer would be able to confirm this for you, but email addresses are generally considered to be directory information, which can be released without written consent unless your institution is advised otherwise by the student in writing. You are vanishingly unlikely to run into issues of genuine FERPA compliance, though we have no way of knowing whether your compliance officer might freak out on you.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:46 PM on February 25, 2012

2nd-ing sending around a piece of paper for contact information for those that want to share. If you don't want to type out all the e-mail addresses just make copies of the page and hand them out.
posted by simplethings at 11:49 PM on February 25, 2012

Best answer: "If you'd like to share your email address with the rest of the class, please write it, along with your name, on this big ol' piece of posterboard I've taped to the wall. I'll give you a few minutes when we get back from break to copy them all down."
posted by Rock Steady at 2:00 AM on February 26, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions! They all sound very reasonable, though I guess I had hoped/imagined there would be some super-simple maybe pre-existing tool that would just do it, without my having to do anything. Sounds like that is not the case (at least from the answers so far), which is good to know.

Not that it would be *hard* to pass a clipboard around, or do a surveymonkey, but as "These Birds of a Feather" suggests - doing this is not my responsibility. As a teacher, I sort of like to avoid taking on extra care-taking tasks. It's not so much, I guess, that the extra 10-minutes of work bugs me. It's more that, for a number of reasons, I don't want to convey to the students that if they have something they want done, the best route is to have me do it for them...

If there's not a totally automated way to do it, I suppose the next best solution would be one that created extra work for one of the students (ie the one who suggests "we should have a list") as opposed to for me...
posted by ManInSuit at 6:14 AM on February 26, 2012

Response by poster: In the end- the best way to collect email addresses was to have a paper sign-up sheet, like they way they used to collect email addresses in the 19th century.

(It didn't create too much extra work on my part, since most of the addresses were already in the master electronic list. I edited that, based on the paper list, and sent it around.... It still feels surprising there is not a better easier way...)
posted by ManInSuit at 8:50 AM on February 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

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