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I presented and demoed the LRNASST listserve to CRLA State Directors and
SIG Leaders during the recent national conference in Tempe. For the
presentation, Guillermo Uribe and I made up a four page handout that was
written in a question/answer form to help our colleagues understand,
access, and promote this LRNASST. Note that you have permission to
duplicate it for dissemination to your colleagues.
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What is a listserve?
 
     As one of many Internet services available to postsecondary
educators, a listserve is an automated system for maintaining academic
discussions among people who have subscribed and want to network through
email with other who share a common interest. Almost 3000 listserves are
available on academic topics, most research oriented. Listserves promote
collaboration with distant colleagues and distribute news quickly through
the academic community. Listserves are alternatives to expensive,
sometimes time-consuming telephone conversations, and letter writing.
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Is there a specific listserve for developmental educators and learning
assistance practitioners and directors?
 
     YES, a listserve, "LRNASST," was started in 1994 at the University
of Arizona's Winter Institute for Learning Assistance Professionals. It
began to provide learning assistance and developmental educators a way
to share information via email. In 1994, more than 190 subscribers
networked electronically with questions, answers, problems, solutions
and even position available notices  posted on LRNASST. Hopefully, all
professional organizations like CRLA, NADE, CRA, NYCLSA, MCLCA, and NCEOA
will use LRNASST to internetwork for the benefit of all who work in
learning assistance and developmental education programs and services.
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How do I get connected to email and the Internet listserves?
 
     At your institution, find out what office or person is responsible
for electronic mail and Internet services. Meet with that person and
request email capability. This will get you an email address. Also,
request an orientation and specific training on email and the Internet as
provided by your institution. When you know how to send and receive email
on your campus computer, you are ready to become a subscriber to the
LRNASST listserve.
 
     If your campus does not have email and/or Internet capability and
you want to be able to partricipate in LRNASST as well as other email and
Internet services, you need to find out if there is a commercial provider
that can give you that capability. In addition to thousands of companies
that provide Internet connection for a monthly fee, there are services
like Compuserve, America OnLine, Prodigy, Delphi, and Genie that can get
you connected to Internet services like the LRNASST listserve. Find out
what is available by visiting local computer clubs and computer supply
stores.
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How do I subscribe to LRNASST?
 
     Follow these steps:
 
1) Send an email to [log in to unmask]
2) Leave the subject header blank.
3) Put this request in the body of the message:
         SUBSCRIBE LRNASST [your name here]
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What happens next?
 
     You should receive a welcome message in your email box from Guillermo
Uribe, the LRNASST moderator, soon after you email your request to
subscribe. Thereafter, check your mailbox daily to read the LRNASST
messages that automatically come to it. Even a message that you send to
LRNASST for the group to read will be emailed back to you since you are a
member of the LRNASST distribution list.
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How do I participate in LRNASST discussions?
 
     You can "lurk" -an Internet word for someone who reads listserve
messages and does not respond- a few times to orient yourself to the group
and its questions and concerns, or you can send messages immediately to
initiate a discussion as well as respond to questions or concerns that you
see on LRNASST. Be an active member by sharing your experience and
knowledge with your colleagues.. None of us is alone with a problem or a
question. Each of us has much to contribute to LRNASST.
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How do I send messages to LRNASST?
 
     Please note that you use a different address to send email to the
LRNASST listserve from the one you used when you subscribed.  Use the
following email address:  [log in to unmask] to share your
thoughts with your colleagues. In sending messages, be aware that
Internet forbids posting of advertisements. However, discussion of the
relative advantages or disadvantages of a product by users is encouraged.
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Are there some tips that I can use to be a better emailer?
 
     Quoting the original email message in your reply is needed sometimes
to be sure that you and the person reading your reply know what you are
referring to.  Quoting saves the original sender from having to look back
through previous messages to decipher your reply especially when some time
has elapsed since it was written.   However, quoting can be an irritation
to others when too much is quoted.  It's good netiquette to limit your
quote to as few words as possible. Although it may take some time to
delete unneeded parts of a message, doing so is easier for your reader.
 
     Use a signature at end of your message so others on the list can
identify your messages. Your signature should include your name and
email address. This is necessary because some email software packages do
not include address headers at the top of their messages and some
subscribers will not know who sent a message unless there is a signature
at the end of the message.
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Are old LRNASST messages stored somewhere and can they be accessed by
email?
 
     Yes. To find them and retrieve them, follow these directions:
 
1) Send email to [log in to unmask]
2) Leave subject header blank
3) Put this request in body of your message: INDEX LRNASST
 
     The return message will display filenames and filetypes in the index
such as the following: LRNASST LOG9501.  "LRNASST" is the filename and
"LOG9501" is the filetype. This  tells you that all messages for January
1995 are in this file. To retrieve a set of messages, do the following:
 
1) Send email to [log in to unmask]
2) Leave subject header blank
3) In body of message, type GET FILENAME FILETYPE. Therefore to get
messages for January 1995, you would type GET LRNASST LOG9501
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Can I send a message only to the person who has placed a message on the
LRNASST listserve?
 
     Not only can you, but listserve etiquette requires that you do so
when you want to say something for his/her eyes only. Otherwise, your
personal response will be read by all 200+ subscribers to the LRNASST
listserve.
This can not only be embarrassing but your message can clog the listserve
with a message meant for one pair of eyes only. Remember that LRNASST and
all other listserves are public forums designed for an audience of your
peers and other interested professionals. LRNASST, like most academic
listserves, is a forum for discussion of issues of professional interest,
not a "chat" service.  Similarly, private correspondence should remain
just that: private. Personal messages do not belong in a public forum.
Another
way to look at it is to think of your email message as a postcard that can
be read by anyone who is a subscriber.
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Can I find out who else is currently subscribed to LRNASST?
 
     Yes, a list of all subscribers can be obtained by following the
directions below:
 
1) Email to [log in to unmask]
2) Leave subject header blank
3) Put this request in the body of the message:
         REVIEW LRNASST BY NAME
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Can I subscribe to, access, and receive LRNASST from services other than
an Internet provider - services such as Compuserve, America OnLIne,
Prodigy, Delphi, or Genie?
 
Certainly. Check with your service for details. Directions vary for
each service.
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Can I have LRRNASST send me all of the daily messages as one message
instead of one by one?
 
     Yes, follow these directions:
 
1) Email to [log in to unmask]
2) Leave subject header blank
3) In body of message, type SET LRNASST DIGEST
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Is there a way for LRNASST to temporarily hold messages if I am away from
my computer for some time?
 
     Yes, follow these directions:
 
1) Send email to [log in to unmask]
2) Leave subject header blank
3) In body of message, type SET LRNASST NOMAIL
 
     To resume message service, repeat #1 and #2 but type LRNASST MAIL
in the body of the message.
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How do I unsubscribe to LRNASST?
 
     To unsubscribe to LRNASST, follow directions below:
 
1) Send an email to [log in to unmask]
2) Leave the subject header blank.
3)Put this request in the body of your message:
               UNSUBSCRIBE LRNASST [your name here].
 
   Whenever you choose to reconnect, follow directions for subscribing.
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What can I do to get other interested professionals connected to our
listserve?
 
     1) Put your email address on all professional correspondence.
     2) Print your email address on your business card and return address
           labels.
     3) Encourage your professional associations to use email addresses
          for their officers, presenters at conferences, and authors of
          articles whenever they appear in association publications.
     4) Encourage your professional associations to disseminate their
board minutes, SIG newsletters, job announcements, and other professional
information through the LRNASST.
     5) Encourage your campus colleagues to subscribe to and participate
          in LRNASST.
     6) As you roam the Internet, let other professionally related people
           know about LRNASST and how to subscribe to it.
     7) Review the names in your professional network. Consider letting
          them know, by mail or telephone, about LRNASST.
     8) At conferences, encourage colleagues to subscribe.
     9) Make copies of this document and share it with colleagues.
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     This document is a service of the Winter Institute for Learning
Asssistance Professionals sponsored annually by the University Learning
Center of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
 
     WI '96, held in Tucson from January 2nd to January 6th, will focus
on Management Skills for Postsecondary Learning Assistance and
Developmental Education Program Administrators.
 
     Written and edited by Frank L Christ [[log in to unmask]] and
Guillermo Uribe [[log in to unmask]], the University
Learning Center,  the University of Arizona in Tucson.
 
     Permission is granted to disseminate this document. PLease give
credit as listed above.
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[log in to unmask]       "The illiterate person is not one who cannot read,
Frank L Christ              but the person who has not learned to learn"
Emeritus, CSU Long Beach               [Freely adapted from Gurjuoy/HRRO]
Visiting Scholar, U of AZ