What You Can Do With UMail
Catalyst UMail allows you to create a Web-based form that directs messages to the email address(es) that you specify. UMail forms can be set to keep the sender anonymous, if you choose, and so are a great way of encouraging feedback in many situations. For example:
- Use UMail to provide a convenient way to get in touch with you from your Web site without posting your email address on the Web.
- Encourage candid feedback on a project by allowing people to send you anonymous messages.
- Allow students to anonymously submit messages including questions, reflective feedback, concerns, and so on.
- Ask students to send you a one-minute response to the day's lecture. For example:
- What did they find interesting?
- What portions of the discussion were unclear?
- You can use this feedback to modify your lecture accordingly.
- Set up the form to allow senders to select from several recipients, for example a lecturer and several TAs.
Planning and Preparation
Setting up an UMail form is easy—just answer a few online questions and your form will be posted on the Web. To make sure you get the responses you are looking for, some planning might be in order.
Assess Appropriateness of This Technology For Your Goals
This tool is ideal for one-way class feedback, but not for intraclass discussion. As a class discussion board we recommend that you use Catalyst GoPost.
Consider Whether Anonymity Is Important
Posting with UMail can be anonymous, allowing students to more freely express their opinions. You can also set up UMail to identify the sender, or let them choose whether to be identified or anonymous, depending on the type of feedback or interaction you desire.
Decide Where You Want Feedback to Be Sent
Postings can be sent to any designated email addresses. However, you should let your students know who exactly will be reading their responses.
Consider the Method of Access to Your UMail Form
Although having a course Web site or CommonView workspace is not necessary to use UMail, it can be a useful starting point to direct students to your class tools. The URLs of the UMail forms can be long and complicated to transmit and retype. By creating a workspace or Web site with a link to the UMail feedback form, you can ensure that your students will more easily find it.