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Blackboard Help

Notification Options

Administrators control whether or not notifications are available. You can set the email format for notifications: individual messages, daily digest, or user choice. You can also set the number of days that must pass before notifications are removed.

Administrators can set the default notification preferences for users. This prefills users' options, but they can edit the options depending on the administrator settings. To learn more, see Default Notification Settings. Users can decide on a course-by-course basis which types of notifications they want to receive and whether or not they want to receive them by email.

How do users receive notifications?

  • Notifications display within Learn on My Blackboard's Updates and Posts pages and in course Home Pages.
  • The system can distribute notifications by email, if an administrator selects that setting.
  • The system can distribute notifications to users' phones as text messages (SMS) or Text-to-Voice messages with Blackboard Connect Integration. Users must opt-in to receive these messages.
  • The system can distribute push notifications via the Blackboard Mobile Learn app, if Blackboard Mobile is available. Push notifications notify users of course events on the screen of their mobile device without opening the application.
  • If your institution has access to community engagement, notifications display in the Notifications Dashboard.

Notifications are distributed every 20 minutes by default, which administrators can configure. The exception to this is email, which can be set to a once-per-day daily digest instead of every 20 minutes. For technical details about how notifications work, see Notification System Framework.


Notifications must be enabled for the Blackboard Learn system before any course notification data is collected.

General notification options

On the Administrator Panel in the Tools and Utilities section, select Notifications. These options control the availability of notifications and the methods the notifications are distributed. The following options are available. Options following [r] are required.

Notification Options
System Availability
Notification Collection [r] Control the availability of notifications. If Disabled, notifications are turned off completely—no events that occur while notifications are disabled are recorded. Turning notifications back on does not show any notifications for events that occurred while notifications were disabled.
Email Settings
Send email notifications as Choose how email notifications are sent:
  • None: No messages sent.
  • Individual Messages: Send each notification in an individual email.
  • Daily Email Digest: Send notifications as a single daily digest email that compiles all notifications for the day.
  • Allow User Choice: Users choose between individual messages and a daily email digest. You set which of these appears as the default email format to users.
Send submission receipts [r] Enable or disable email notifications for students when they submit coursework. Submission receipts allow students and instructors to maintain a record of submissions, even if the submission is deleted or otherwise lost. Students can access past submission receipts from the My Grades page. Instructors can access students' submission receipts in Grade Center reports.
Send email notifications from [r] Type an email address that the system uses as the sender of the notification messages. Bounced messages return to this email address. Recipients are instructed to not reply to this address.
Send daily email digest at [r] Set the time that daily digests are sent to all users who selected that option.

This time setting affects the email digest only. All other registered distributors like SMS and Text-to-Voice still distribute every 20 minutes by default.

Notification Cleanup
Remove important notifications more than ___ days old. [r]

Remove other notifications more than ___ days old. [r]

Set the age of messages at which they are deleted. Select Show Important Notifications and Show Other Notifications to view lists of the specific notifications in those categories.

Use this setting with caution. Deleted notifications cannot be retrieved or easily reissued.

SMS and Text-to-Voice options

If Blackboard Learn has a valid and active integration with Blackboard Connect, which is licensed separately from Blackboard Learn, the following fields are also available. To learn more, see Notification Settings for Connect.

On the Administrator Panel in the Tools and Utilities section, select Notifications. The following options are available:

Blackboard Connect Notification Options
Blackboard Connect SMS Options
SMS delivery enabled Select Yes to enable SMS notification delivery. Text messages are sent through Blackboard Connect to users who choose to receive these notifications. Users must opt in to receive these text notifications on their phones, even if the system has enabled them. If a notification message contains any character not supported by SMS messaging, the entire message is sent in English, otherwise it is sent in the Learn system default language. Users must have a valid, SMS-capable phone number stored in their personal information to receive notifications through SMS.

If you select No, the SMS notification option does not appear to users when they edit their personal notification settings.

Blackboard Connect Text-to-Voice Options
Text-to-Voice delivery enabled Select Yes to enable Text-to-Voice notification delivery. Text-to-Voice messages are read aloud to users who choose to receive these notifications. Users must opt in to receive these text notifications on their phones, even if the system has enabled them. This option is available only when the system default Language Pack is set to English or Spanish. Users must have a valid phone number stored with their personal information to receive Text-to-Voice notifications.

If you select No, the Text-to-Voice notification option does not appear to users when they edit their personal notification settings.

Telephone delivery time frame Set SMS and Text-to-Voice messages to be delivered at any time of day or set a specific time range for delivery. Notification messages generated outside of the delivery time frame are held until the next time frame begins. These parameters do not affect email notifications, notifications displayed in the Learn interface, or system announcements sent by telephone.

SMS and Text-to-Voice are registered as distributors in the notification system. Distributions happen every 20 minutes in Blackboard Learn. This default distribution period can be configured in the bb-tasks.xml file. When distributions happen for SMS and Text-to-Voice, Learn sends the message to Connect and then Connect sends the message out.

If your institution's Learn system is running on Windows, check that the time zone is set correctly to ensure correct delivery of messages. If you are using GMT standards, Blackboard Connect resets the time zone as EST. To send the correct time zone to the Connect server, access the time zone location in the Windows control panel and select Automatically adjust clock for daylight savings.