University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Email and Messages

Differences between Email and Messages

Both tools allow correspondence with others in the course, however Emails sent within Blackboard are not received within the course, but are sent by Blackboard to the users' UVM Email accounts. (The sender of the Email also gets a copy sent to her/his UVM Email account.) On the other hand, Messages are sent and received WITHIN the course, but the disadvantage is that there is no notification that a user has received a message—they must click the Messages link on the course menu (a tool link added by the instructor) to check their Message inbox.

Using the Tools

There are three levels of access possible for the tools:

  • Full course access
  • Partial course access
  • Instructor/TA only access

Full course access: When/if the tools are linked on the course menu, anyone in the course can access them to send messages to individual students, the instructor, or the entire class. To add the link to the menu,

  1. At the top of the Course Menu, click the button for adding items (square with a "+" sign).
  2. Choose "Tool Link" and select Email or Messages from the drop down list.
  3. Type in the name you wish to appear on the menu
  4. Be sure to check "Available to Users" before clicking "Submit"

Partial course access: Students may access Email to communicate within their working groups, if the Blackboard Groups tool is used in the course. See Blackboard Groups for more information.

Instructor/TA only access:

While Instructors and TA's may want to use the course Email or Messages tools, they may not wish to grant students access to the tools. To access Email or Messages through the Control Panel, click Course Tools and choose "Send Email." (If you do not see "Send Email" on the list of tools, you can add it by clicking "Customization / Tool Availability" in the Control Panel.)

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