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In this course, Patrick Crispen teaches the ins and outs of Blackboard 9 so that educators and trainers can get up to speed in the system quickly—even if they've never used Blackboard before. The course explores customizing a course site, managing users, and adding and organizing content, including multimedia. It also shows how to perform student assessments in the Grade Center, as well as how to communicate with students and encourage participation and collaboration.
We talked about sending email back in Chapter 1, but I want to take some time to go through sending email a little slower now, especially now that you are more familiar with the Blackboard interface. If you're going to send email a lot and if your institution allows you to update your email address-- Many do not. In fact, many institutions, they automatically update your email address based on your payroll records or your campus directory. My recommendation is start by going to My Places, click on Personal Information, scroll down, and edit your personal information.
You want to make sure that you have the correct email address. Now don't be surprised if your campus has disabled this feature. If your campus has connected Blackboard to your campus directory, you're not going to be able to edit it. But some campuses allow you to do this. In that case you want to make sure that your email address is correct. Another tip is you want to make this your first class assignment, to have your students update their email addresses. Now remember, this is only going to work if your campus allows you to go into Blackboard and update your email address.
If not, you're going to have to contact your help desk to figure out how to upgrade your email address. I mentioned there are several ways to access Blackboard's Email tool. What I didn't mention is that you maybe able to send email from the My Institution or the default Home tab in Blackboard. Some campuses have link under Tools to send email. Now some also disable that. The reason why they disable that is to cut down on student to student email abuse.
But if your campus allows this, you can click on Send Email, click the course in which you're participating, and it takes you straight into the Send Email tool in Blackboard. Now don't be surprised if you log in to My Institution and Send Email is not available here. Again, some institutions disable this tool at least at this level. Let me also get into my course. Within my course, there are several ways that I can send email. One is I can just click on Tools and just scroll down and click Send Email.
The other way I can do it-- Remember, this is a Tools panel that you're going to share with your students. The other way you can do it is under Course Tools you can actually click on Send Email. My recommendation, in fact, I really strongly recommend this, is, if you're going to be sending email a lot, this link is kind of buried within your course. Go back to your course menu. We've already done this before. Let me redo this. I am actually going to remove this email link. Let me show you one more time. I really strongly recommend that you create a tool link on your Course menu which you can call Email or Send Email, link it to the Email tool, and then choose whether or not you want to make this available just to you, leave it unchecked, or make it available to everyone in the course by clicking Available to Users.
I am going to click on Submit and it adds an Email tool. So now whenever I get back into my course if I ever need to send email, I don't have to go into Tools and Email, or scroll down, click on Course Tools and Email. I have a link right here on the course menu straight to the Email tool. So now that we've found a way to get into the Email tool, let's go through one more time on how to send an email. I am going to send an email to everyone in my course. It's going to show you the person's first and last names.
Actually, the last name first and first name. It's not going to show you the email address. That's actually a privacy feature here. I can type in the subject. No Class on Tuesday. I can type in the message. Class on Tuesday has been canceled. I can scroll down. Now, as I mentioned in Chapter 1, Return Receipt, when the students receive your email message, they are going to be prompted to send a message back to you saying they received it.
It's completely opt in. So while Return Receipt looks like a good idea, I never use it. Attach File is also almost always a bad idea simply because students' email spam filters might actually erase your email message or the attachment. My recommendation is put the file in Blackboard and in the message tell the students where they can find it. Never send a file attached to an email message from Blackboard. When I click on Submit, Blackboard is going to send the message to my students.
Remember that Blackboard does not keep a copy of email messages. It's not an email server. It's sort of like an email sender. So if you want to find a copy of this, a copy will be sent to you. In fact, you can see that right here. A copy of this email will be sent to the sender. But Blackboard is not going to keep a copy. So check your email Inbox to see a copy of that message. I have now sent the message. Now, I've got some fake email addresses in my class. That's why I am getting a little error message saying that some of the email addresses were not delivered.
What I get in my email box is some bounced messages. In this case, I can then contact the students in class and say, "Hey, I told you to update your email address. You didn't. I am taking points away from you." One last thing I want to mention this just because it's a common misconception. I've said it a couple of times, but I want to say it one more time. I am going to get into the Grade Center and I want you to notice that there is an ability here in the Grade Center for me to click students' names on the left-hand side and then click on email and choose Email Selected Users.
Please remember the Grade Center's email tool does not email grades. It's a common misconception. The Grade Center email tool opens up an email message to the students so that you can send them reminders. Grades remain in Blackboard. The reason why Blackboard doesn't email grades is email is not secure and you don't want grades being put out there in the World Wide Web and you don't want grades released to the public. So that's basically how to send an email from Blackboard.
In our next movie, let's go back and take a look at announcements again.
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