Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Goal: Fewer E-mail Messages about Spanish Community Based Learning

In my previous post I mentioned that it is important to not send too many e-mails to students. They get "e-mail fatigue." And rightfully so.

So how do you craft a welcome message that eliminates (hopefully!) the need for follow-up messages? Below is my "welcome e-mail." See if it can work for you, too.

Subject: SPAN 232 and SPAN 332 Students: Sign up now!

Dear SPAN 232 and 332 students,

As you saw when you signed up for SPAN 232 or SPAN 332, you are required to work 28 hours with a community partner for this class. Please do the following:

1. Make sure you have the prerequisites for the course you have signed up for. We will check them the first day of class, and if you do not have the prereqs or permission from Prof. Ann Abbott, you will have to drop the class. You might as well drop now and read no further if you don't meet the course's requirements.

2. Go to, read all the information (there is a lot!), and sign up for your community partner.
*OJO: If you sign up to work at a school or with the Girl Scouts, you must follow the directions completely and submit the forms for your criminal background check (Champaign schools, Girl Scouts) or make an appointment for fingerprinting (Urbana schools).
*OJO: Do not erase the information on the wiki! If you do, please hit "Page history" and restore the previous version!
*OJO: If you do not find a community partner that interests you, you can contact the Office of Volunteer Programs and request that they help you find a suitable community partner. They are aware of this class and are happy to help.

3. Buy your coursepack now. You will use it the first day. The coursepack is nonrefundable; that is another reason why you should drop the course now if you do not intend to stay in it.

4. Join the Facebook group: Students of Spanish Community-based Learning Courses SPAN 232/332. There you can talk to each other to make plans to share rides, ask each other or former students questions about the course, etc.

Sorry to be so heavy in this e-mail, but if you do not follow instructions your participation grade will be lowered. This course requires great personal responsibility because of the community service work.

Good luck in your Spanish community-based learning course!

Prof. Ann Abbott

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