UNCP Faculty Corner

Student Email

This is a page for  discussion of student use of UNCP email accounts verses personal email accounts, such as within Blackboard.

Prior to a recent Blackboard upgrade students were permitted to use presonal email addresses in Blackboard. Currently students do not have this option. They must use their UNCP email addresses. What are the pros and cons of allowing students to use personal email addresses? What have been experiences with use of student personal email addresses? What issues or concerns are there about allowing students to use their personal, non-UNCP email addresses.


4 Comments »

  1. A small part of the issue lies in an old old old conflict:

    First: “Who bears ultimate responsibility for a communication, the sender or the receiver?”
    Answer: The Sender.

    Second: “Who bears ultimate responsibiity for making the teaching/learning interaction work?”
    Answer: The Student.

    So — I have fulfilled my obligation as SENDER if I have put info out there all these ways beyond face-to-face class: in my course outline, (printer friendly version), in the Course Info section of Bb, in Announcements on Bb, in appropriate Q & A Discussion Bds AND all my students know how to call me where I am answering a telephone regularly or find me f-2-f in my office and in regular on-going communications established in my Bb format for online, hybrid, and Bb enhanced classes.

    Emailing, through Bb, even to UNCP student addresses, is actually an intrusion into my students’ world. It is me going after them. Without a great deal of trouble to select my students into a group that is actually attending rather than hit send to all when I hit send to all I get all the students who dropped the class, as well as those who may think they are still in class.

    This is convenient as classes open, but I believe it is a real intrusion as the semester goes forward. If as Sender-in-Chief, I worry too much about getting those messages to them, I’m actually encouraging them to believe that in my most crucial role: Teacher, I can relieve them of their most crucial role, student, where it is part of their contract to come where I am and receive The Teachings. This is what makes me different from a parent or a counseling caretaker. I not only do not have an obligation to go after my students, I am obligated, in the interest of fairness, not to go after any one of them in any particular way beyond what I can provide for them all.

    My policy, as outlined here, is resiliant in face of any decision made by Bb admin and Bb users as to how to set the limits for the students. I’ve worked with the settings both ways. In the end it really doesn’t matter to my students because by the end of each semester I am usually able to get them relying on Bb for their interactions and reserving email for emergencies. Their emergencies.

    As The Teacher, I’m supposed to refrain from having any emergencies of my own, you know.
    Fran Fuller

    Comment by Fran Fuller — February 24, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

  2. The issue prompting this subject is that students no longer have the ability to have their Blackboard messages sent to the email address of their choice.

    This discussion is about the following question: should the Blackboard option be turned back on [or not] so students can make that choice?

    The university issues each student an email account, but many use their own for a variety of reasons. This may be because of force of habit, software systems, particular organizations they work for, automatic forwarding to a personal device, and many other reasons. In other words, each individual may have a preference as to which email account they regularly check.

    The flexibility to select another email account USED TO EXIST within Blackboard. The problem has arisen because faculty members sending messages trough Blackboard have noted that some students do not receive them. Full-time employed and graduate students often do not make use of their UNCP email account. Some students have asked instructors to use non-UNCP email addresses to make sure they get messages. This creates problems for the faculty member.

    Comment by Christopher Ziemnowicz — February 22, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

  3. The issue prompting this subject is that students no longer have the ability to have their Blackboard messages sent to the email address of their choice.

    This discussion is about the following question: should the Blackboard option be turned back on [or not] so students can make that choice?

    The university issues each student an email account, but many use their own for a variety of reasons. This may be because of force of habit, software systems, particular organizations they work for, automatic forwarding to a personal device, and many other reasons. In other words, each individual may have a preference as to which email account they regularly check.

    The flexibility to select another email account USED TO EXIST within Blackboard. The problem has arisen because faculty members sending messages trough Blackboard have noted that some students do not receive them. Full-time employed and graduate students often do not make use of their UNCP email account. Some students have asked instructors to use non-UNCP email addresses to make sure they get messages. This creates problems for the faculty member.

    Comment by Christopher Ziemnowicz — February 21, 2009 @ 9:09 pm

  4. The primary issue for discussion in this blog deals with the use of UNCP email addresses (i.e. those assigned by UNCP to students) in Blackboard vs. the use private email addresses (i.e. @hotmail.com, @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.).

    The purpose of using email (in my opinion) in any environment is to communicate efficiently and effectively which includes the safe, reliable, and private delivery of the communication as well as any attachments that may sent. Having one controlled email protocol to meet these end goals makes sense to me.

    While the UNCP email system has had it share of problems in the past, today’s system proves to be a vast improvement over its predecessors. While no system is perfect, our system is one in which we can all focus our energy (to communicate effectively) to make as perfect as possible to meet our needs at UNCP. We have no control over other “private” systems that may pose a threat to our overall communication (via spam, viruses, and other harmful possibilities in the environment employed).

    For the above cited reasons, it is my belief the use of the UNCP email accounts should be employed for all communication within the UNCP Blackboard community. In addition, our continued efforts (not only those of DoIT, but also input from faculty, administrators, and students) to improve the UNCP email system will improve the quality of effective communication inside and outside the classroom.

    Comment by W. Stewart Thomas — February 21, 2009 @ 7:51 am


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