Problems with Large Classes
The Faculty Dashboard's class e-mail feature plugs all of the students' e-mail addresses
into the Bcc line of your e-mail. (It uses the Bcc field so that each student receives the e-mail without seeing the other students'
e-mail addresses.) For most classes, the e-mail feature works without problems. However,
the programming assumes a maximum of 3000 characters in the Bcc field. If you exceed 3000 characters, you will encounter problems.
How many student addresses can the Bcc line hold? The number varies because student e-mail addresses vary in length, but the
"safe" address limit is 142. (The maximum length of a U of M e-mail address with a
semi-colon delimiter is 21 characters. 3000 / 21 = 142 and change.) So, you should
be able to e-mail a class of up to 142 students without a problem because you will
not hit the 3000-character limit. If you have more than 142 students, you might run
into problems. If so, you have the options, outlined in Methods 2 and 3 below.
Method 1: E-mailing Most Classes through the Faculty Dashboard
Your semester's classes are listed in your Faculty Dashboard channel; click on the
envelope next to the class you wish to e-mail:
This brings up your e-mail screen. The e-mail addresses of all of this class' students
will appear in the Bcc field.
Type your own address in the To field to make sure that you will have a copy of the message; type your message, then
Method 2: E-mailing a Large Class through the Dashboard
Click the envelope icon by the class.
If your class is too large, you will see the Summary Class List page for the class,
not the e-mail screen.
Scroll down past the class roster on the Summary Class List. At the bottom of the
screen you should see a large block of e-mail addresses. Notice that there is no E-Mail
Class button, icon, or link: your class is too large to e-mail automatically through
You have two options:
- Cancel your e-mail attempt and proceed to Method 3 below (Recommended). OR,
- Proceed with your attempt to e-mail the class, but in stages.
Proceeding with Method 2
In the Class List E-mail block, copy half of the addresses. (Make note of the last
Open your U of M e-mail. Paste copied block in the Bcc field of your e-mail message. Return to the Class Listing box, copy the remaining
addresses, and paste them in the Bcc field. Then type your address in the To field, complete the Subject line, type your message, and click Send.
This method is not automatic and you have to be very careful about your copying and
pasting. If you forget where to begin with your second copy effort, you may unintentionally
omit some students from the Bcc field, and these students will not receive the message.
Method 3: Recommended Method for Large Classes
This is the most reliable method for e-mailing large classes. (Actually, you can e-mail any class, regardless of size, using this method.)
- Open your U of M e-mail and create a new message.
- In the To line, type in the class e-mail ID in the format shown in this example:
- Subject ID: The standard abbreviation for the subject area. Here, PSYC (for Psychology)
- Course #: Here, 1200
- Section #: Here, 001
- A period
- Year: Here, 2010
- Semester Code: Here, F for Fall (Use U for Summer, S for Spring)
The class e-mail ID should not contain any spaces, and all letters must be in upper
- In the Cc or Bcc line, type your own e-mail address to make sure that you will have a copy of what you send.
- Type your Subject and message, and then click Send.