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Blackboard Help

Messages

Your instructor and institution control which tools are available.

Types of messages

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

You can use two types of messages in the Original experience:

  • My Blackboard messages: Communicate with anyone in your Blackboard learning network, even those outside of the course environment. Access these messages in the My Blackboard menu. You have to be logged in to Blackboard to send and receive My Blackboard messages.
  • Course messages: Communicate with users who are enrolled in one of your classes, including students, teaching assistants, and instructors. Access course messages inside your individual courses. You don't have to be online at the same time as other people to send and receive course messages.

My Blackboard messages

My Blackboard is available everywhere in Blackboard Learn and gives you a personalized view of your learning environment.

Access the menu next to your name in the page header to access the My Blackboard menu. You can access due dates, users, and social tools that help you discover, connect, communicate, and collaborate with your Blackboard learning network.

If your institution has turned on the messages tool, you can communicate with other people who use Blackboard. If prompted, you must accept the terms of service and provide an email address before you can use this tool for the first time.

You have to be logged in to Blackboard to send and receive My Blackboard messages.

  1. View your messages in the left panel. The most recent message appears first. Select a message to view the entire conversation.
  2. Select Compose to start a conversation with another user.
  3. Delete the conversation.
  4. Write a reply.

If your institution makes enhanced profiles available, you can message users from their profile cards. If profile cards display only a user's name, profile picture, nickname, about me information, and academic discipline, your institution doesn't have enhanced profiles.


Find your course messages

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

You can view and send messages in each of your courses. Messages activity remains inside the system. You can't view or send messages outside of your course.

To view the messages for the course you're in, select the Messages link on the course menu or on the Tools page.

Your instructor determines which links appear on the course menu and which tools are available.


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: Send and receive course messages


Send a 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.

Your instructor and institution determine 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: Messages for all courses

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about the types of messages.

In the list where your name appears first, select Messages.

You and your instructors can send messages to each other, multiple people, or an entire class. Messages activity remains inside the system.

Don't miss any action. The most recent messages for each course appear first. New messages appear with a bold font. You can also access new messages right from your activity stream.

Filter your view. All your messages are organized by course. Make a selection from the menu to view all the messages from one course at a time. When you're inside a course, you can view and send messages for that course only. At this time, you will also see announcements from your Original courses in your list, but you can't send messages from this view.

Access messages across time. You can view messages for current, previous, and future courses. Use the arrows to navigate to another time period.

Ready to share? Select the New Message icon to send a message to one person, multiple people, or a class. Begin typing and you'll see recipient names pop up.

See who is 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. When you open a message, a list of participants appears.

Shorten your list. Point to a message to reveal the Delete icon and delete the message. If more responses come in, you'll get them.


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 inside a course

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

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 a message.

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.

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 bulleted list.


ULTRA: Send messages 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, and select the envelope icon to open the New Message panel. You can add 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.

New messages appear on the global messages page and in the activity stream.