How do you handle allowing students create groups?

Occasional Contributor

I work for a University and wondering how others handle students creating groups? At this point we don't allow them to create groups after they went nuts. Thinking about allow them with name@groups.dns.edu.

8 Replies

Hi Matt. Creating a separate sub-domain or domain primarily for Groups is certainly a good strategy, and is one we use at Microsoft. For Admins, this eases the discovery and management of Groups significantly. We talk about multi-domain support in this article and even have an example of how schools would implement this scenario (ex. students.contoso.com for students and faculty.contoso.com for faculty members).

 

What other concerns do you have around students creating Groups?

It is a great idea to use subdomain names. You may as well consider to use the newly introduced policies to allow certain security groups to create groups as well. I am currently working on setting up these policies and to which groups to extend these. Another option to consider is to implement a submission form on SharePoint that a user can enter to request to have a group created. You may then consider to have the group created (after approval) automatically using Powershell or the API or manually.

Hi Matt, we have our students in their own subdomain and separate O365 tenancy. You are right in that the students found and started using O365 groups without any input from us - they haven't quite gone nuts, but they're getting there. I am, however, much looking forward to the time that I can time-ex the Groups after aset period of non-use.
We have for Groups a Subdomain set by Address Policy with Powershell: New-EmailAddressPolicy -Name Groups -IncludeUnifiedGroupRecipients -EnabledEmailAddressTemplates "SMTP:@groups.contoso.com" -Priority 1

This is very helpful. We have over 72,000 students and are now in the process of moving over 50+ email servers on campus in to Office 365.

Although not feasible in our Staff domain, I will probably enforce a Group naming prefix in our Student domain to help students identify Office 365 Groups/Plans/Email addresses in the GAL.

Matt, please keep us posted on your groups deployment.  We would love to help in anyway we can to help enable your students to use groups.

Great suggestions! We have a number of schools that are finding success with Office 365 Groups. In addition to, or as an alternative to multi-domain configurations (https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Multi-domain-support-for-Office-365-Groups-Admin-help-7cf56...), you may want to employ naming conventions to prepend/postfix information to these groups' names to identify them visibly as student-created groups (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj218693(v=exchg.150).aspx). Note that naming policy today only applies to groups created in Outlook/OWA, but we're expanding that to other group endpoints (e.g. Planner) soon. We've also released profanity filtering on group names leveraging the same filters applied in other MSFT services. Enabling this requires a bit of code, and isn't straightforward today though we're hoping to make it easier in the near future. PM me and we can work together to get this configured on your tenant.