Skip to main content
Blackboard Help

Advanced Features

Watch the video and then complete the to-do list.

Video Transcript

Connect 5 is a robust communication platform right "out of the box," so to speak, but there are many advanced features that we can activate for you at no extra charge that will take your system to the next level.

In this video we will go over each feature so you can decide which ones are right for you. These features include:

  • Email attachments
  • Translation
  • Multi-question survey
  • Mode prioritization
  • Two-way messaging
  • Mapping
  • iPhone app

You wouldn't want to turn them all on if they won't be used because it's best to keep the message sending process as simple as possible, while still meeting all of your communication needs.

Email Attachments

If enabled, this will allow you to attach up to three documents to an email message. Each document can be up to 3 MB in size.

Your attachments will be hosted by Blackboard and recipients will see a link in their email to download the file or files.

You can attach newsletters, forms, flyers--pretty much anything you would mail out, save the postage cost and send it via email!

Multi-question Survey

The standard survey feature in Connect 5 lets you record one question with up to 5 answer choices. Recipients listen to the question and then press [the letter] a on their phone to indicate their answer.

If you have multi-question surveys enabled, you will be able to ask up to nine questions with up to five answer choices for each question. Get feedback from your contacts to inform your decision making!

Automated Translation

Connect 5 is capable of sending multilingual messages as soon as you've identified contacts that speak something other than English. We recommend that you have a native speaker translate, record, and write messages in other languages, but we realize that is not always possible.

That's why we have a translation tool that will translate your English phone call, email, and text message into dozens of other languages with a single click. You can send a text-to-speech phone call, and email, and a text message in the following languages:

  • Chinese Mandarin (Simplified)
  • Chinese Cantonese (Traditional)
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish

You can send an email and text message in over 60 more languages.

Mode Prioritization

When you send out a Connect 5 message, you can create multiple modalities--phone, email, text, and so on. A contact can have up to 10 phone numbers, 4 emails, and 4 text numbers. An outreach message goes to the primary phone number (each contact can have one or two primary phones), and all of the email addresses and text numbers.

That means for an event reminder, someone could theoretically get two calls, four emails, and four texts. While this ensures the person sees the message, some might consider it overkill for something very low priority.

For this reason, Connect offers mode prioritization. If this feature is enabled, the message sender can rank the modes in order of priority, and each recipient will only receive the message via one modality.

For instance, if email is priority one, all recipients who have email addresses will receive the message only via email. But if a contact didn't have an email on file, they would be sent a phone call.

The message sender can decide whether or not to engage mode prioritization on a message-by-message basis. Rest assured that emergency messages are always sent to all selected recipients via all available modalities.

To see mode prioritization in action, watch the following video.

Two-way Messaging

Up until recently, Connect 5 was a one-way communication tool. You used it to send messages to your contacts. The exception was surveys, but those were limited to the phone modality.

Last year we introduced two-way messaging, which lets your recipients respond to your message via phone, email, and text.

Two-way is also engaged on a message-by-message basis so you are in control of when it gets used. If activated, the message sender can define up to three response options.

Recipients press a button on their phone, click a link in their email, or reply via text with a code to indicate their response to the question. For email and texting, they can even add additional comments.

You can see how people responded in a pie chart, and view their additional comments directly in Connect 5, or in a report exported into Excel.


If you are interested in being able to select recipients based on their location, then you should request to have mapping activated on your account. This powerful feature lets you draw up to 25 shapes on a map to select recipients, or even upload an ESRI shape file. In order to use this feature, you must have addresses loaded for your contacts in the Connect 5 system.

Sender Apps

The vast majority of our clients have smart phones, and while you can access from your device's browser, having a native app is much easier. Connect offers both an iOS app and an Android app that you can use to send messages.

The Android app can be downloaded from Google Play and does not require activation. But if you have an iPhone or iPad, you need to request that your account be activated for the app before you will be able to log in to it. This only needs to be done for one user at your site. Once it's activated for one user, it's activated for all users at your site.

Don't confuse the sender app, called Blackboard Connect, with the recipient app, called MyConnect. No activation is required for iOS or Android for the MyConnect app; however, you must have a MyConnect portal set up for it to work.

The To-do List

If you want to activate any of the following advanced features, email

  • Email attachments
  • Multi-question survey
  • Automated Translation
  • Mode prioritization
  • Two-Way Messaging
  • Mapping
  • Sender apps