Google Groups are used to create online groups of people to use for communicating and collaborating in Google Workspace (e.g. Gmail, Google Drive, Calendar).

Types of Google Groups

  • College Mail Lists: Mail lists based on institutional data that are used to email certain members of the campus such as or Only certain shared email accounts are authorized to send email to these lists.
  • Class Lists: Mail lists based on Moodle course enrollment for use by course members. The name of the group follow the same naming convention as Moodle (e.g. and are available for for all course members to send email to these lists. See Google Groups for Courses for more information.
  • Ad-hoc Lists: Mail lists created by an individual user at Lafayette for personal or group use. The name of the groups contains “.group” (e.g. and availability to send email is determined by the owner/creator of the group.

Google Groups can:

  • Function as an email list that forwards mail to everyone in a group
  • Invite everyone in a group to an event in Google Calendar, or share documents or folders in Google Drive
  • Function as a web forum where members can communicate with each other by posting to topic threads
  • Act like Q & A sessions where questions are asked of the group, and members can respond

How Google Groups differ from contact lists

A contact list is a personal list of email addresses created with Google Contacts and are used solely for emailing a list of people. Contact lists cannot be shared with others and cannot be used outside of Gmail. Google Groups can be available for use by others and provide conversation history, optional moderation, and used within other Google Workspace areas such as Drive, Chat, and more.

Ad-hoc Google Groups

To learn more about creating and managing an Ad-hoc Google Group, see Creating and Managing Ad-hoc Google Groups.

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