Skip to main content
Blackboard Help


Your instructor and school control which tools are available. If this tool is not available, your instructor or school may have disabled it.

The chat tool allows you to interact with other users using a text-based chat. Chat is part of the virtual classroom, but you can also access it separately. Some of the functions in chat are limited to those users with active roles.

How to Join Chat and Send a Message

  1. On the course menu, click Tools.
  2. On the Tools page, select Collaboration.
  3. On the Collaboration Sessions page, click a chat title in the Session Name column.

    Image illustrating associated text.

  4. In the Compose box, type a message.
  5. Click Send.

    Image illustrating associated text.

How to Send Private Messages

If your role is active, you and your instructor can send private messages to one or more participants. Your instructor enables this function. Private messages are not recorded.

  1. In the Participants list, select the recipient or recipients of your private message.
  2. Click Private Message.

    Image illustrating associated text.

  3. In the Compose Private Message pop-up window, type your message.
  4. Click Send.

    To send a private message to a single participant, double-click the participant’s name.

    Private messages appear with all your other messages in the chat display panel. Alternatively, you can choose to display them in a separate panel.

    “Private Message from” always precedes private messages.

    Click View on the Action Bar and select where private messages appear.

How to View User Information

The User Information pop-up window displays personal information about a user such as name, email address, and any other information a user chooses to include.

  1. In the Participants column, click a name.
  2. Click User Info and the User Information pop-up window appears.

    Image illustrating associated text.

About the Chat Functions

The following table details the functions available in the chat.

Chat Functions
Function Action
Type a message for the class to read Type a message in the Compose box. Click Send. The message appears in the chat area. You may include up to 1000 characters in your message.
Become an active user Click the hand symbol. A hand appears next to your name. The moderator clicks the hand to make your role active.
View user information Select a participant and click User Info.
Send a private message Select a participant and click Private Message.