How do I communicate with my students through Blackboard?

Instructors can communicate with their students in Blackboard many ways: through Announcements, the Send Email tool, the Grade Center, and the Discussion Board. Even with these excellent communication tools in place, however, it's still a good idea to put your contact information on your course site in case they have trouble reaching you through Blackboard directly (instructions below).

Instructor Info Page

The Instructor Info area in your course site functions as a contact information page for your students. In this area, you can include office hours, phone numbers, email addresses, and other links that you wish students to access. While on this page, press the Create Contact button to add yourself as an instructor contact.  Learn more.


A lot of instructors post weekly announcements to keep students on track with their work. Or, if you need to move back a deadline or notify students of grades being posted, you can simply post one to your course site and trust that students will see it.

Announcements are visible to all students when they first enter your course. They will also appear to students on the Home page of Blackboard for up to seven days:

On top of this, Blackboard automatically notifies students via email that your new announcement has been posted within 30 minutes, or you have the option while posting the announcement to have the email immediately sent out.

How to create an announcement:

  1. When you click into your course site, you should automatically be on the Announcements page.  In the upper-left corner, click the grey Create Announcement button.

  2. On the Create Announcement page, give your announcement a title in the Subject box and type in the announcement text or embed an image, video, or file in the Message field which uses Blackboard's content editor:

    • If you want students to receive an email copy of the announcement, make sure to check the Send a copy of this announcement immediately check box.
    • If you make the announcement date restricted, this means the announcement will not post until the start date and will only stay visible on your course site and on the Home tab until the end date. Blackboard will not email your students until within 30 minutes of the start date.
    • If you wish to create a link to an assignment that has been made available to students, click the Browse button and choose the course area or item you want students to be directed to when they click that course link.
  3. To finish creating the announcement, click Submit.

Send Email

Using the Send Email tool allows you to send an email to all TAs, all students at once, select groups of students, or individual students from within your course site. This way, you don't have to track students' email addresses through Outlook and myFSU. 

How to use the Send Email tool:

  1. Once you have clicked into your course site, click Course Tools under the course Control Panel:

  2. Click Send Email:

  3. On the Send Email page, simply click on the course user group that you want to email. This will take you to an email page where you can type out your email message. When you are finished, click Submit.

Grade Center

You can email selected students while you're grading, too. Here's how:

  1. Navigate to Control Panel > Grade Center > Full Grade Center:
  2. Select any names of students you wish to email.
  3. Select the Email dropdown button and select Email Selected Users:

    Note: Although an email is sent to the selected group, each individual recipient is not aware of any other recipients included in your email. It will appear private to each student.

Discussion Board

Another communication channel is to set up a "Q&A" or "General Question" forum via the Discussion Board feature and advise students to subscribe to the forum. If students do not subscribe to the forum, however, they will not receive email notifications when posts are made by either student or instructor.

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  • 20-Jun-2016