Alternatives to Emailing Students through Course Announcements

The recommended process for communicating with the students in your eClass course is to use the Announcements forum, which is automatically created in every eClass course. If you do not see the Announcements forum in your course, consult the article Missing the Course Announcements Forum.

The Announcements forum force subscribes all students so that they receive email notifications (as long as they don't turn these off). Only instructors and TAs can post topics or reply in this forum so it acts as a record of all important communications in a convenient place for students to check.

To ensure that all students receive any important course messages, the recommended best practice is to also instruct your students to login to eClass and check the Announcements forum on a regular basis.

If you run into issues using the forum and need an alternate method of contacting your students via email, two other external services are available:

  1. Email from Bear Tracks Class Roster
    • Log into Bear Tracks
    • Enter your course
    • Click on the student roster
    • Select all, some, or a single student
    • Select 'Send email' and compose a message to these students

  2. Send an email to the Google group for your course
    • A google group is automatically created for every Bear Tracks course which contains all the students in your course
    • Sending an email to this group will also send the message to all the enrolled students' ualberta gmail accounts
    • Your course google group can be located by typing the group name into the gmail composer
    • All course groups are built using the same naming conventions: TERMCODE-COURSECODE-COURSENUMBER-SECTIONTYPE-SECTIONNUMBER
    • By typing your course group name (in that syntax) into the gmail To: address field, you can then select your particular section from the list
    • For example, typing 'F14-MATH-101' into the To: field will show all the available lab and lecture section groups of the Fall 14 MATH 101 course in the dropdown list below the box and you can select the specific sub-section
    • The  term code syntaxes are:
      • Fall = F ... eg.
      • Winter = W ... eg.
      • Spring = R ... eg.
      • Summer = U ... eg.
    • You can also access the list of all google groups you are enrolled in (which should include groups for any Bear Tracks sections where you are enrolled as an instructor) through the following area within your ualberta gmail or google drive:

Additionally, there is a person-to-person messaging system built into eClass - see option 2 under Sending Messages to Students for more information. Please note that this person-to-person messaging system is not usually recommended because it can be difficult to track message history when using it.

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