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Blackboard Help

Send Messages

Your institution controls which tools are available in the Original Course View. The messages tool is always available to instructors in the Ultra Course View.

Send a message to the whole class, or communicate with one or more students at a time.

Watch how to send and receive messages

Doesn't seem familiar? Watch a video about messages in "Ultra."

This video explains how to access, view, and send messages to members of your course.

Video: How to send and receive course messages


Access course messages

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about accessing course messages.

Navigate to the Course Messages page in the these ways:

  • On the course menu, go to Tools > Course Messages.
  • On the Control Panel, go to Course Tools > Course Messages.

You can also add a link to course messages on the course menu.

More on adding course menu links


Send a course message

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about sending messages.

Everyone can use messages for reminders, quick questions, and social interactions. If your institution allows, you can attach files from your computer to your messages.

On the Compose Message page, select To. A list of all course members appears. In the first box, select the recipients and select the right-pointing arrow to move them to the Recipients box.

For Windows, to select multiple recipients in a row, press the Shift key and select the first and last recipients. To select recipients out of sequence, press the Ctrl key and select each name needed. For Macs, press the Command key instead of the Ctrl key. You can also select all course members with the Select All function.

You can use the functions in the editor to format the text of your message. You have creative control over how your content appears and the flexibility to change the order and appearance.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

Reply to a message

You can reply to the sender or reply to all. The sender and all other recipients of the message are populated in the To: box.

Add other course members to the message as needed. The text of the message is populated with the text of the original message. You may add additional text.


New message alerts

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about new message alerts.

The What's New module appears on the first page after you log in and on the course Home Page. You're notified when new course messages arrive.

The module reports changes once a day when you first log in. If you want to see new alerts later, select Refresh in the Actions menu.

You and your institution control which modules appear.

If you see an activity stream, Original Course View announcements appear in the stream as messages. They also appear on the global messages page in the Ultra experience, but Original messages don't appear at this time.


ULTRA: Watch a video about messages

Doesn't seem familiar? Watch a video about messages in an "Original" course.

This video explains how to access, view, and send messages to members of your course.

Video: Messages


ULTRA: Messages page

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about accessing course messages.

In a course, all messages and responses stay together on the Messages page. You can easily scan the entire list, and expand a message to read all the responses and see who is participating.

Easily view what's new. A count of messages with one or more unread responses appears above the list. New responses appear with a bold font.

Select the New Message icon to send a message. Send to one person, multiple people, or the entire class.

  1. See who's involved. Each message displays the profile pictures of the participants. When more than two have participated, the creator's profile picture appears with a count of participants.
  2. Delete a message. Point to a message to reveal the Delete icon and delete the message. If more responses come in, you'll get them. You can't edit or delete individual responses in a message.
  3. Navigate to another message. Messages open in a panel displaying all the responses. Use the View Previous Messages and Next Message icons at the top to view the previous or next message in the list.
  4. Add more people. When you create or respond to a message, select the Add Participants icon to add additional people unless the message was sent to the entire class. The original recipients see a note in the next message that you added new people or the whole class. The new recipients see the message from the point they were added.

ULTRA: Send a message

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about sending course messages.

When you select the New Message icon on the Messages page, the New Message panel opens.

Start typing to add recipients. As you type, matching recipient names pop up for easy selection. You can continue to add as many names as you want or send to the whole class.

Allow or disallow replies. You may choose not to allow replies for messages you create. If you choose to send a message to the whole class, no one is allowed to reply by default.

Lead with the most important info. The first 100 characters of a message appear in the list. Messages don't have titles. Recipients need to rely on the first part of your message as they choose what to read. Use the functions in the editor to format your text.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.


ULTRA: Communicate from the roster

From the roster, you can send a message to anyone involved with your course.

Select a profile picture to open the profile card. Select the envelope icon to open the New Message panel. You can add more recipients to the message as needed.

Messages you send from the roster also appear on the Messages page.

More on the roster


ULTRA: New message alerts

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about message alerts.

You and your students see new messages on the global messages page and in the activity stream.