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#04-E-Mail Merge

 June 10, 2002

Overview

Send an individualized Email message to many different people – dozens, hundreds, automatically. Facilitate simultaneous but separate one-to-one communication with many people. The Low Threshold Application of the Week #4 is about using Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word to do “Email Merge.” Think of this as using email for – PARTIALLY – private, individualized communication between one teacher and many students.

If a faculty member learns how to manipulate Outlook “contacts” and/or the simple database features of Microsoft Excel, he/she could send individual grades and comments to students via email without having to set up each message individually. See below for more details including prerequisites and caveats.

Credits

Steve Gilbert
President
TLT Group
gilbert@tltgroup.org

 

Each recipient’s email address appears as the only one in the “To:” field. That is different from most other ways of sending one email message to many people. The sender can also include in the body of the message any individualized information that is easily kept in Outlook “Contact” files (i.e., can begin message with recipients first name). If a faculty member learns how to manipulate Outlook “contacts” and/or the simple database features of Microsoft Excel, he/she could send individual grades and comments to students via email without having to set up each message individually.

This approach avoids these problems:

Typical Email distribution lists.

So many addresses appear in the “To:” field that the recipient sees the incoming Email as ugly and inconvenient – makes it more difficult to read the body of the message. See #4 below.

Typical Email distribution lists and many listservers.

The recipient doesn’t see his/her own name as the only one in the “TO” field and perceives the message to be impersonal mass communication or “spam”, and may discard it unread or treat it with low priority.

Typical Email distribution lists and many listservers.

The recipient’s “reply” that was intended only for the original sender is sent to EVERYONE who received the original message.

The recipient’s “reply” that was intended only for the original sender is sent to all others who received the same message.

Prerequisites

The following is adequate, but I would like to know what other configurations also support this LTA – and what, if any, hardware limitations cause any problems.

Caveats

Check the additional resource below and offer your feedback regarding this LTA.

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