Communicating Online

Online courses require students to write clearly and concisely in order to communicate effectively. Due to a lack of face-to-face interaction, it is easy for the tone or context of a message to be lost if it is not expressly stated. Keep this in mind as you communicate within your online course.

Discussion Boards

  • Post early, and read your classmates' posts.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling.
  • Express your opinions clearly. Avoid idioms whenever possible.
  • Be sure to clearly cite any work that is not your own to avoid plagiarism.
  • Write and save your posts in a word processor. This allows you to keep a copy of your work, as well as run spell and grammar checks before posting.

myCourses Messages and Email

Every instructor will have different expectations for the level and style of communication they have with their students. You can expect to find communication preferences within your syllabus or course welcome messages. Within myCourses, you can send messages or emails.

Messages Tool

The myCourses Messages tool is an email-like environment you may use to communicate with your instructor and your classmates. This tool must be activated by your instructor, so you may not see it in every course. Please note, you cannot send or receive emails using the message tool, as it only works within that one specific course. Also, you will not be able to access messages once the course in complete.

Using the Messages Tool

  1. Click “Messages” on the Course Menu.
  2. On the Messages page, click “Create Message”.
  3. On the Compose Message Page, click “To”.In the Select Recipients: To box, select the recipients and use the right-pointing arrow to move them to the Recipients box.
    1. A list of course members appears.

  4. Type a Subject.
  5. Type a message.
  6. To attach a file, click “Browse” and select the file you'd like included with the message.
  7. Click “Submit”.

Email Tool

Similar to the myCourses Messages tool, the Send Email tool allows students and instructors to send email to other people in the course from within Blackboard Learn. Emails are sent to the user’s email address (Zimbra). Sent emails are not saved in myCourses, but in Zimbra.
This tool must be activated by your instructor, so you may not see it in every course.

Using the Email Tool

  1. On the Course Menu, click Send Email.
  2. From the Select Users page, select the recipients in the Available to Select box.
  3. Type a Subject.
  4. Use the right-pointing arrow to move recipients into the Selected box.
  5. Type a Message. A copy of the message is sent to the sender.
  6. Click Submit.