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Message from richardson@rutgersprep.org

Friends,

We use Google for our faculty email, but this is really a broader email philosophy question.

The question relates to return receipts.  We have not enabled return receipts, but my nurse has made the request that we do. Unfortunately, we have to enable for everyone if we enable it for her.  I am not inclined to say yes, but wanted to hear thoughts from this august body.

Anyone willing to share what they do and why?

Thanks.

See you in June.

Peter K. Richardson
Director of Information Services
Rutgers Preparatory School
1345 Easton Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08873
732-545-5600
www.rutgersprep.org

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Comments

Hi Peter:

 

I’m assuming you mean “return receipt” in the sense that a message is sent back to the sender when a message has been read (versus when a message has been delivered).

 

We used to have First Class previous to our current Microsoft Exchange email system.

In both systems there are ways to not send a return receipt but still read the message.

I’m assuming other email systems are the same (users have the ability to control whether or not a read receipt is returned to the email sender).

 

It has been my personal philosophy that when I send an email to someone I assume it has been read.

If I am expecting a response and do not receive one, I don’t re-send the message but use an alternate communication method (in person visit, phone, carrier pigeon, etc.).

 

I would summarize the above by stating that return/read receipts are unreliable.

We currently have our system set up to allow users the ability to ask for a return/read receipt (as well as a delivery receipt) but due to recipient control of it we never recommend anyone using it to “prove” anything!

 

J

 

Joseph Lorenzatti  | Technology Director

The Williston Northampton School | http://www.williston.com

19 Payson Avenue

Easthampton, MA 01027

413.529.3246

      

 

 

 

 

 

We enabled it for our domain and haven't told users about it and don't prompt the user for approval. I hope this feature will help facilitate teacher/student communication. 

The biggest issue with return receipts is you can't count on them working, although in a Google Apps domain, I'd think they'd work OK.

Robert 

Message from walshw@wra.net

Peter,

The question for us was why to use them. We wanted to ensure that a particular message was read.  A delivery receipt is reliable, but only with in you own domain and read receipts are not reliable at all since the recipient can refuse to send the receipt. In the end we chose not to use them at all, since we wanted to ensure a message was read and ultimately neither receipt (deliverd/read) can confirm that reliably for us.

-Bill

William Walsh, CCNP-V
Director of Technology
Western Reserve Academy
330-650-5801
walshw@wra.net
 



Message from tphelan@peddie.org

Hi Peter,

They're useless IMHO. We don't need a return receipt to know that a student receives an internal email as internal mail never fails so it is not a question of confirming delivery.

Even assuming that a return receipt could accurately tell the sender whether the recipient opened the email, I still don't see the point and think this is yet another example of trying to get technology to solve what is essentially a behavioral problem. Students should be held responsible for responding to requests from faculty/staff whether that request is in the form of a piece of paper in a physical student mailbox or an email in their inbox. So, from a tech perspective, the only thing that really with respect to this issue is to be able to assure the health center that their messages are being delivered which you can do. If students aren't responding to requests from the health center, then the health center should be talking to the Technology Department, they should be talking to the Dean's Office about students not fulfilling their responsibilities. If the Dean's Office doesn't think it is worth addressing, then...

Tom

-- 
Tom Phelan
Director of Technology
Peddie School



Message from tphelan@peddie.org

Oops, should have proofed it before hitting send, left out a few key words added below....

Message from richardson@rutgersprep.org

Thanks all for your thoughtful replies.  

Tom,

Unfortunately, it is parents that aren't responding not kids.

But, given the lack of reliability of return receipts, I think we have an answer.

Thanks to all.

Peter
Peter K. Richardson
Director of Information Services
Rutgers Preparatory School
1345 Easton Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08873
732-545-5600
www.rutgersprep.org


Message from tphelan@peddie.org

Ooops! I assumed it was an internal issue.

Tom

Message from richardson@rutgersprep.org

We never have kids who don't respond to faculty.  Are you saying you do?  WOW.  :)
Peter K. Richardson
Director of Information Services
Rutgers Preparatory School
1345 Easton Avenue
Somerset, NJ 08873
732-545-5600
www.rutgersprep.org