Notifications about course activity

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about notifications.

Receive automatic alerts when activity occurs in your courses:

  • My Blackboard: The Updates page displays notifications for all of your courses and the Posts page displays new content in discussions, blogs, journals, and wikis.
  • Email, text, and voice messages: If your institution allows, you can receive email, text, and voice notifications.
  • Home Page modules: Within a course, modules display notifications for that course only.
  • Mobile app push notifications: If your institution uses the Blackboard app or the Blackboard Instructor app, you can have notifications pop up on your device's screen.
  • Notifications Dashboard: The Notifications Dashboard may appear on the My Institution tab as another way to see notifications for all of your courses. Your institution can rename the tabs.

Your institution controls if notifications are enabled and the settings that users are allowed to control.


About notification settings

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about notification settings.

Manage the notification settings for all of your courses. From the menu next to your name in the page header, select Settings and then select Edit Notifications Settings.

Your institution controls if these options are available. If your institution has defined notification settings, those settings are used instead of your personal settings.

  1. Edit General Settings: Select your email format—individual messages for each notification or daily digest—and the reminder schedule for due dates.
  2. Bulk Edit Notification Settings: Change the notification settings for all of your courses at once. You can select which notifications you want to receive and the delivery method.
  3. Edit Individual Course Settings: Change the notification settings for a single course.
  4. Edit Individual Organization Settings: Change the notification settings for a single organization.

Watch a video about notifications

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" video about notifications.

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Notification Settings shows how to set your notification options.


General notifications

With the general settings, you can choose if you want to receive notifications by email and if you want due date reminders.

  1. From the menu next to your name in the page header, select Settings and then select Edit Notifications Settings.
  2. On the Edit Notification Settings page, select Edit General Settings.
  3. On the General Settings page, you can choose to receive an email for each notification or a daily digest email that compiles all of the notifications for that day.
    • Individual Messages: Emails are sent for each notification. Note that the number of unread discussion messages, blog posts, and journal entries are always sent as daily digest emails.
    • Daily Email Digest: All notifications are collected and sent once a day at a time set by your institution.
  4. Select Yes to set due date reminders for notifications and choose the number of days before the due date you want to be notified. This email reminder is sent as a digest email or as individual emails, based on the option you select.
  5. Select Submit.

Choose how and when you get notifications

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about choosing notification settings.

You can choose the types of notifications you receive and how they're delivered to you.

  1. From the menu next to your name in the page header, select Settings and then select Edit Notification Settings.
  2. On the Edit Notification Settings page, select the link for Courses I am taking or Courses I am teaching in the Bulk Edit Notification Settings section to change notification settings for all courses at once.

    Or, you can make selections for individual courses. Select a course name in the Edit Individual Course Settings section. The Current Notification Settings page appears and provides the same options.

  3. On the Change Settings page, check that your Notification Destinations are correct. You can make changes in your Personal Information.
  4. In the Settings section, choose how your notifications are delivered. Select the check box at the top of a column to receive all of your chosen notifications the same way. Clear the box for any notification that you don't want to receive.
    • Dashboard: By default, all notification types appear in My Blackboard's Updates and Posts pages and in course home pages. They also appear in the Notifications Dashboard if your institution has access to the community engagement features.
    • Mobile: This column appears if your institution has enabled the Blackboard app or the Blackboard Instructor app. Choose which push notifications you want to appear on your mobile device. Push notifications appear on your device's screen even if you don't open the app. You can receive these notifications:
      • Announcement Available
      • Content Item Available
      • Course or Organization Available
      • Item Graded
      • Test Available
      • Test Due
      • Test Overdue
  5. Email, SMS, and text-to-voice: Email, SMS, and text-to-voice notification messages are sent with the information you provided in your personal information.
  6. Select Submit.

Email, mobile, SMS, and text-to-voice notifications are turned off by default. If you don't see a column for a notification method, that option isn't available at your institution.

You need to select Daily Email Digest in your general notification settings to select email notifications for these items:

  • Number of unread discussion messages
  • Number of unread blog posts
  • Number of unread journal entries

SMS (text) and text-to-voice notifications

SMS (text) and text-to-voice messages may be available at your institution. These message types are delivered by the Blackboard Learn system every 20 minutes by default. Your institution can set a delivery timeframe so that you don't send or receive messages in the middle of the night. Messages that you create outside of the delivery timeframe are held until the next timeframe begins.

  • With SMS, you can send text messages from a Blackboard Learn course to your students' mobile phones. You need to initiate a message before students can reply.
  • Text-to-voice reads aloud notifications sent to your phone. This option is only available when the system default language pack is set to English or Spanish.

If your institution has set up SMS and text-to-voice messages, the features are listed on your Edit Notification Settings page. You must list a mobile phone number on your Personal Information page and subscribe to SMS and text-to-voice messages in your notification settings.


Notification types

Blackboard Learn notifies you when these events occur if you set the notification type to On in the Edit Notifications Settings area:

  • Announcement Available
  • Assignment Available
  • Assignment Due or Past Due
  • Assignment Needs Grading
  • Blog Needs Grading
  • Content Item Available
  • Course Available
  • Course Message Received
  • Course Quota Soft Limits
  • Discussion Board Forum Needs Grading
  • Discussion Board Thread Needs Grading
  • Gradable Item Due
  • Journal Needs Grading
  • Needs Reconciliation
  • Retention Center Rule Details
  • Survey Available
  • Survey Due or Overdue
  • Survey Submitted
  • Test Available
  • Test Due or Overdue
  • Test Needs Grading
  • Unread Blog Posts
  • Unread Journal Entries
  • Unread Discussion Board Messages
  • Wiki Needs Grading

Events that remove notifications

An item's notification is deleted when any of these happen:

  • A course item is deleted.
  • A course is made unavailable.
  • A course item's end date is reached.
  • A student submits the test, survey, or assignment that generated an item available notification.
  • An instructor grades the item that generated a needs grading notification.
  • A course item's adaptive release rules are no longer met by the student.
  • Notification of an item's availability is deleted after it's marked as reviewed—for a course item with review enabled.
  • Unread discussion posts, blog entries, and journal entries are viewed.
  • A student no longer meets a Retention Center rule criterion.
  • An item has passed its duration as determined by administrator settings—the default setting is 120 days.

ULTRA: About notification settings

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about notifications.

If you see a list where your name appears, your courses appear in the Ultra experience. The notification system is always on.

On your activity stream's Notification Settings panel, you can choose which notifications you receive about activity in all your Original and Ultra courses:

  • Activity stream: Choose which activities appear on your Stream page.
  • Email: If you want to receive email notifications, add an email address to your profile page. Then, choose how often and which activities you want to receive notifications for.
  • SMS: If you want to receive SMS text messages on your mobile phone, add a phone number to your profile page. Then, choose how often and which activities you want to receive notifications for.

More on your profile page

In the Original Course View, module pages display notifications for the course you're in.


ULTRA: Watch a video about notifications

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" video about notifications.

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.


Video: Notification Settings shows how to set your notification options.


ULTRA: Choose how and when you get notifications

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about choosing notification settings.

You can choose the types of notifications you receive and how they're delivered to you.

On your Activity Stream page, select the Stream Settings icon to open the Notification Settings panel. You can also access these settings from your profile page.

Stream notifications

You can control which activity appears in your stream. Select the Stream Notification Settings tab to open the panel.

Notifications for due dates and items ready to grade always appear in your stream.

Choose which notifications you receive about activity in all your Original and Ultra courses:

  • New course calendar items
  • New messages
  • New content added
  • New gradable items
  • New courses available
  • New discussion messages
    • Discussions for all my courses
    • Only discussions I'm participating in
  • Student performance alerts

Email notifications

Select the Email Notification Settings tab to open the panel.

If you haven't added an email address to your Profile page, you won't see any options in the Email Notification Settings tab.

Organization activities won’t trigger email notifications.

Choose how often you want to receive emails for activities in all your Original and Ultra courses:

  • Email me right away: Receive individual notifications for each activity you choose from the list.
  • Email me once a day: All notifications are collected and sent once a day at a time set by your institution.

In the Notify me by email about these activities list, choose which notifications you want to receive:

  • New gradable items
  • New messages
  • New discussion messages
  • New content added
  • New and upcoming due dates
  • Past due items
  • New courses available

Clear all the check boxes if you don't want to receive emails about the activities in the list.

Course activity notifications by course view
Course Activity Original Course View Ultra Course View
New gradable items Assignments and tests need grading

Blog, journal, wiki, or discussion activity needs grading

Surveys submitted
Assignments and tests need grading
New messages Yes Yes
New discussion messages Sent in daily email only Sent in daily email only
New content added Assignments, tests, and surveys added

Content items added
Assignments and tests added

Content items added
New and upcoming due dates

Sent when an assessment is made available and 24 hours before the due date

Also, sent when you create a manually added item with a due date
Assignments, tests, and surveys due

Items due: Manually added items in your Grade Center
Assignments and tests due

Items due: Manually added items in your gradebook
Past due items Past due assignments and tests

Past due surveys
Past due assignments and tests
New courses available Yes Yes

Restored courses

When one of your course packages is restored, you'll receive an email that details the number of new items. Select the link to go to your course.

For Original courses only*

You'll always receive these email notifications:

  • Announcement available
    • You can also choose to send an announcement when you create a new test or survey
  • Need to reconcile grades for delegated grading
  • Your course is near the size limit set by your institution

You'll always receive these email notifications when you choose to receive a daily email:

  • Retention Center rule details
  • Unread blog and journal entries
  • Unread discussion activity—for both Original and Ultra courses*

You can’t remove notifications from your daily email notification.

SMS notifications

Select the SMS Notification Settings tab to open the panel.

If you haven't added a phone number to your profile page, you won't see any options in the SMS Notification Settings tab.

Organization activities won’t trigger SMS notifications.

In the Notify me by SMS about these activities list, choose which notifications you want to receive:

  • New gradable items
  • New messages

Clear all the check boxes if you don't want to receive SMS text messages about the activities in the list.

Course activity notifications by course view
Course Activity Original Course View Ultra Course View
New gradable items Assignments and tests need grading

Blog, journal, wiki, or discussion activity needs grading

Surveys submitted
Assignments and tests need grading
New messages Yes Yes