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Google Groups FAQ

Updated 10-14-2016

University Information Services has evaluated the replacement of the university managed mailing list system and determined that Google Groups, part of the suite of applications available in G Suite for Education, will provide a greater number of options for university faculty and students than continuing to maintain a self hosted system. University Information Services has developed this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to answer questions you may have about this transition.

Table of Contents

Q: Which browsers are supported by Google Groups?

A: Some buttons do not work setting up a new group in myAccount when using my computer or mobile device. Please see Google's list of supported browsers. If you continue to have problems, please complete the setup product on a desktop computer with a supported browser.

Q: Who can create Google Groups?

A: Ad-Hoc Google groups using an @groups.pacificu.edu can be requested by anyone with a valid PUNet account. Google Groups for faculty members to be used in classes they teach can create Google Groups under the @courses.pacificu.edu domain.

Q: What is the difference between @courses.pacificu.edu and @groups.pacificu.edu groups?

A: Only faculty members can request @courses.pacificu.edu groups for the classes they teach. Groups for courses are automatically populated with student email addresses from the official class list provided by the Registrar. Faculty members must remove students who drop the class and may add additional members such as teaching assistants. Ad-Hoc groups for all other purposes will be created under the @groups.pacificu.edu domain.

Q:Where do I go to create a new group?

A: All Google Groups must be created using myAccount. Login to myAccount using your PUNet ID and select Google Groups from the Controls menu.

Q: Where do I go to manage a list that I own?

A: After a list is created, all list management is done using the Google Groups web site. You can login to the Google groups page by using the link from the Boxer Apps page or by going directly to https://groups.google.com/a/pacificu.edu. To see and manage your groups, click on the My Groups button on the initial Google Groups page. A list of all your groups should now be shown. If you are the owner of a group, you should see the word Owner in brackets below the list name and a blue link on the word Manage to make changes to your list.

Q: How can I get help for using Google Groups?

The different options for Google Groups support can be found in the Knowledgebase article titled Google Groups Introduction and Resources. Groups administration that is specific to Pacific University is documented in the Knowledgebase. All other documentation is in the Google support community. If you are unable to find an answer in either the Knowledgebase or the Google support pages, you may contact the Helpdesk using the contact information at the bottom of this FAQ.

Q: How do I see the email address to use for the Google Groups I own?

A: Please follow these steps to find out the real email address for the group:

  1. From the My Groups page, click on the Manage link for the group that you are checking
  2. Scroll down in the menu on the left if needed and select the Information section.
  3. Select the General information option under Information
  4. The email address for the group will be shown under the "Group email address" section.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of groups I can create?

A: UIS has not placed any limits on the number of Google Groups a user can create. We do ask list owners to delete them if they are no longer being used.

Q: Are there restrictions on the group names I can use?

Course names are automatically generated based on the course, section and term. Ad-Hoc group names must be at least 3 characters long and the list address cannot be a duplicate of an existing list. Names should be descriptive of the intended audience,clear in meaning, and meet university standards for prevention of offensive, hostile, or abusive speech.

Q: What is the approval process for new Google Groups?

A: Course groups do not require approval and are active as soon as created by the faculty member assigned to the course. Ad-Hoc group requests are reviewed by UIS staff and should normally be approved or rejected within two business days from when the request is made. Rejected requests will include an explanation of why the request was rejected.

Q: How do I hand off ownership of my group when I am no longer in charge?

A: To hand over ownership of an active group, open the management page for the group and select the list member from ->Members->All members. Select the Add to role from the Actions drop down menu and choose the Owner roll for the user.

Q: How can I become owner of an abandoned group?

If the owners of the list should no longer be active, the new advisor for the group should email the Helpdesk with instructions on which accounts to add as the new list owners.

Q: When will groups be deleted?

A: A list owner can delete a list at any time. Academic course groups will be deleted one year after the course ends. Ad-Hoc groups may be deleted one year after activity on the group ends.

Q: Why can't I see the groups I've created for my courses?

A: The most common cause for this is that your web browser is logged in with your personal Google account and not your university PUNet account. You can hover over or click the circular account settings icon in the upper right of the Google Groups administration page and see which account is logged in. Log out of any personal accounts and log back in with your PUNet account to manage your course lists. If you have verified that you are logged into your PUNet account and the lists still do not appear, please contact help@pacificu.edu and we will check for other problems.

Q: Why are my courses not listed in myAccount when I go to create a group for them?

Only current and future courses are listed in myAccount for Google Group creation. Courses that have already passed their end date will not be shown. If you do not see your course in myAccount, first login to your Google Groups page to verify that they have not already been created. If the course has not been created and is not showing in myAccount, check Boxer Online to verify that you are listed as a faculty member for the course. myAccount only lists courses for faculty as assigned in Boxer Online.

Q: Can users/subscribers be manually added in bulk?

A: Yes. See: https://ithelp.brown.edu/kb/articles/156-manage-your-google-group-membership . When you direct add members, you can choose for them to receive each email as it arrives (in typical mailing-list fashion), although they can go in and change that later. Be advised that Google has restrictions on the number of non Pacific email addresses that you can direct add at a time and per day.

Q: Can I make an "announcement-only" group?

A: Yes. You can choose who is able to post to members of the group.

  1. From the My Groups page, click on the Manage link for the group that you wish to modify
  2. Scroll down in the menu on the left if needed and select the Settings section.
  3. Select the Moderation option under Settings
  4. Set the check box for Moderate all messages to the group if you only want messages posted by the list owner to go out to the group. Using this option would be considered an Announcements Only list in the old mailing list system.
  5. Set the check box for Moderate messages from non-members of the group if you wish to allow list members to post without moderation but moderate any message from someone who is not a member of the list. Using this option would be considered a Team List in the old mailing list system.
  6. Click the Save button to save this change.

Q: Can I make a "Collaborative Inbox" group?

A: Yes. You can setup a Google Group to be used as a Collaborative Inbox.

  1. Create a new Google Group through myAccount as normal.
  2. From the My Groups page, click on the Manage link for the group that you wish to modify
  3. Scroll down in the menu on the left if needed and select the Information section.
  4. Select the Advanced option under Information
  5. Under Reset Group, click on the drop down box next to Selecte a group type and pick the Collaborative inbox option.
  6. Click the Save button to save this change.

Q: Can group members see the membership rolls to see who else is in the group?

A: There is a setting where you can say whether regular users can view the membership rolls. By default they can’t. To set this setting, go to the group in Google groups and go to Settings -> Permissions -> Access permissions and set the "View Members" permission.

Q: When I try to invite or enroll email addresses that are not @pacificu.edu addresses in my group I get an error message: “Some users are outside the organization or are not valid accounts….” Why?

A: A new group will be configured, by default, to not allow people outside the Pacific organization to join. This can be true even if non-Pacific addresses have already been added to the group as part of the transition from the old mailing list system. You can change this setting as follows: Log into groups.google.com with your Pacific account, go to the group in question, go to Manage, then (on the left) find Permissions and Basic permissions. Check the checkbox that says “Allow new users not in groups.pacificu.edu” and save.

For more information, please see the Google Groups Introduction & Resources page.

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