Workshops and Consultations

Course Email

What is Course Email?

As an instructor, you have a number of options for emailing your students:

1) Course email lists

With a single email address, course email lists allow you to broadcast messages to all students in your course. Registration for this list is automatically updated to match course enrollment throughout the semester. There are two types of email lists available to academic courses: an announcement list to send a message from the instructor of record to registered students, and a discussion list that allows students to respond and broadcast a message to all registered students. You can also add your TAs or other instructors as recipients or senders of email. This email list can be set up as an announcement list where only you can post messages (and others as you specify), or as a discussion list where students can also send email to everyone in the class.
Your email address will look similar to this:

To activate your course email list(s), check out the Academic Services Gateway.

Note: You must send the initial message from your address or from the address where your mail is forwarded.

Fore more information about the course email list (Sympa), check out Course Email List (Sympa).

2) Banner email
For instructors, Banner allows you to email all the students on your advising page or on a class list at one time. You will see the email icons on each of these Banner pages.
Note: This is the same email address that is used in the course email list mentioned above, so you can use either method.

Fore more information about the course email list (Sympa), check out Course Email List (Sympa).

3) Brown Listserv
To set up an email list for a group that doesn't have to be linked to course registration, Brown has a list server tool. Listservs allow you to easily manage opt-in email lists, such as email newsletters, announcement lists and discussion groups. The disadvantage of Listserv is that the list of subscribers is not automatically updated to match course enrollment. One of the list owners has to do that manually. To find out more about this service, please visit

4) Google Course Groups
This is very similar to the Course email list option. The primary difference is that in Google Course Groups you can easily assign permissions to Google Documents and/or share Google Site access so students can collaborate online. Google Course Groups also differ from Course email lists in that they can support non-Brown account users. Faculty who co-teach with faculty at other institutions, or who have RISD or other students enrolled in the course, can add anyone to the Google Course Group with just that persons' email address. 

Google Course Groups can also serve as announcement email lists (only the instructor can send out messages) or class discussion email lists (students enabled to send messages).

For more information about Google Course Groups, check out this FAQ.