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B.C. Institutions: Open Education Mailing Lists

BCcampus is in the process of setting up mailing lists (listservs) for each of B.C.’s post-secondary colleges, institutes, and universities as the next step toward building an open educational community within each of these institutions. These lists can be used to share information about open education news, events, and resources within the institution and at BCcampus.

Initial membership will include faculty and staff who have authored, reviewed, adapted, or adopted an open textbook, attended an open education workshop, conference, or other event, or shown interest in learning more about OER.

Participants are free to use these listservs to disseminate their own open education information and news, or to ask colleagues for assistance with open educational issues. For instance:

  • Looking for an open textbook in your subject area? Ask your colleagues for ideas.
  • Wondering how to use Pressbooks or create an open textbook adaptation? Use this listserv to find out who has this expertise at your institution.

Participating Institutions

Kwantlen Polytechnic University piloted this initiative during the March 2017 Open Education week. This list now boasts 90 members.

For more information/how to join:  contact Caroline Daniels (caroline.daniels@kpu.ca)

Douglas College joined this initiative on April 25, 2017 with their first listserv welcome message to over 70 members.

For more information/how to join:  contact Debra Flewelling  (flewellingd@douglascollege.ca)

Listserv Administrator User Manual

The listserv (mailing list) used by BCcampus is an open source system called Mailman. A detailed User’s Manual is available online.

Quick Start Guide to Using Mailman

General Options

This page provides general options for your mailing list such as:

  1. Adding other administrators
  2. Sending monthly reminders (or not) to members
  3. Sending welcome emails to newly subscribed members.

The options on this page have been set up per BCcampus standards; however, you are welcome to make changes.

Note: Email addresses are unique and can only be once per mailing list.

Mailing list message

An introductory description about the mailing list can be added to the field labelled:  “An introductory description – a few paragraphs – about the list. It will be included, as html, at the top of the listinfo page. Carriage returns will end a paragraph – see the details for more info.”

This information appears on the page entitled “About NAME OF LISTSERV”. No login is required to view this message.

Good-bye message

In the “Text sent to people leaving the list” field, a message can be added for the email sent to members who unsubscribe. One example of a message could be a survey.

If this field is left empty, there will be no text in the body of this email.

Message size

In the “Maximum length in kilobytes (KB) of a message body” field, message size can be adjusted. If you want no limit, use 0 (zero).

Membership Management

How to add a member

  1. Log into your listserv administrator account
  2. Click on link to “Membership Management”, then click link to “Mass Subscription”
  3. “Subscribe these users now or invite them? ” should say “Subscribe”
  4. Enter address in box (one address per line)
  5. Click on “Submit Your Changes”.

How to invite a member

(This is typically done at request of someone other than the new member.)

  1. Log into your listserv administrator account
  2. Click on link to “Membership Management”, then click link to “Mass Subscription”
  3. “Subscribe these users now or invite them? ” change to “Invite”
  4. Enter address in box (one address per line)
  5. Click on “Submit Your Changes”. Note that the email address does not appear on the subscribers list until they respond to their invitation and accept it.

How to remove a member

There are two ways to do this.

Method one

  1. Log into your listserv administrator account
  2. Click on link to “Membership Management”, then click link to “Mass Removal”
  3. “Send unsubscription acknowledgement to the user? ” selection YES or NO
  4. Enter address in box (one address per line)
  5. Click on “Submit Your Changes”.

Method two

  1. Log into your listserv administrator account
  2. Click on link to “Membership Management”, then click link to “Membership List”
  3. Search for the member to remove (see alphabet at the top of the list)
  4. Select the checkbox under the far left “unsub” column, by the member to remove
  5. Click on “Submit Your Changes”.

Note: If you don’t want to send an unsubscription notice to the user, make sure this option is NO on the General Options page.

Customizing the member welcome email

The layout and language for the welcome email sent to newly subscribed members can be revised. Contact helpdesk@bccampus.ca for assistance if you wish to change the standard message.

To see what your members experience, create a test subscriber (with an email address you have access to) and see what comes to the inbox.

Moderating member posts

The listserv administrator is not required to moderate posts/messages sent by members; only messages sent using an email address that is not in the listserv require moderation. For example, if a member sends a message using a different email than the one listed for her/him on the listserv, it will need approval by the administrator.

  1. The administrator receives a notification email each time a non-member email sends a message to the mailing list.
  2. Within this email is a link to the “Tend to pending moderator requests” page where the administrator is given the option to Defer, Accept, Reject, or Discard the message.

If the administrator wishes to assign the moderating task to someone else, this can be done:

  1. on the General Options page
  2. in “The list moderator email addresses” field where the email address for the assigned moderator is added.
  3. Multiple moderator addresses, each on separate line is okay.
  4. The moderator(s) don’t need to be members of the mailing list.
  5. If a moderator is not also an administrator for the listserv, she/he cannot add or remove memebers.
Reason for assigning a moderator might include:
  1. Delegating this task
  2. Assigning this task during the administrator’s absence (vacation or sick time).