Send Mail and Course Messages are two similar tools in Blackboard Learn that aid the instructor with communicating with students. There are important differences between the two, and the instructor should choose the one that best suits the needs of the course. Since Course Menu links can be renamed each tool can be named to fit your needs.
- Send Mail
- Course Messages
Send Mail sends an email to the recipient’s University of Arkansas email account (@uark.edu). There is no outbox or sent mail area within Blackboard so no copy or trace is left inside of the course. It is a simple one-way email out of Blackboard. If the recipient replies to the email, it will go to the sender’s UARK email account. Senders can also ask Blackboard to send them a copy of the email.
Course Messages are sent internally within Blackboard, and there is no notification sent or visible indication outside of Blackboard showing that you have received a Message. Messages functions as an email system internal to the Blackboard course. All communications stays within the Blackboard courses. Messages are kept in an email like tool accessible only thorough the course, complete with an Inbox and Sent Messages.
There are benefits and drawbacks to these tools:
- Some instructors don’t want all course communications sent to their UARK email, and would prefer it to remain within the course.
- Using Messages would also keep all attachments inside of the Blackboard course, instead of their UARK email account.
- All messages are only accessible through the Blackboard course, so in a way you are checking a separate email account.
- Useful for courses which don’t require students to log in to Blackboard regularly.
- Students often ask how mail can be forwarded from Blackboard to their UARK accounts- this tool automatically fulfills that request.
- If you are teaching several courses and students from all courses are emailing you, you might get an unmanageable number of emails.