In the Original experience, administrators control whether or not notifications are available. You can set the email format for notifications: individual messages, daily digest, or user choice. You can also set the number of days that must pass before notifications are removed.

Administrators can set the default notification preferences for users. Users' options are prefilled, but they can edit the options based on the administrator settings.

More on default notification settings

Users can decide on a course-by-course basis which types of notifications they want to receive and whether or not they want to receive them by email.

In the Ultra experience, notifications are always available. Users can choose the notifications they wish to receive, how often, and using their preferred delivery method.

Text-to-Voice notifications aren't available for activity generated by courses in the Ultra Course View.


How do users receive notifications?

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

Blackboard Learn delivers notifications in these ways:

  • My Blackboard: The Updates page displays notifications for all of a user's courses and the Posts page displays unread discussions, blogs, journals, and wikis.
  • Home Page modules: Within a course, modules display notifications for that course only.
  • Email: The system can distribute notifications by email if an administrator selects that setting.
  • Mobile app push notifications: The system can distribute push notifications in the Blackboard app. Push notifications notify users of course events on their mobile device screens.
  • Notifications Dashboard: If your institution has access to the community engagement features, the Notifications Dashboard appears on the My Institution tab as another way to display notifications for all of a user's courses.

Notifications are distributed every 20 minutes by default, which administrators can configure. The exception to this is email, which you can set to a once-per-day daily digest instead of every 20 minutes. For technical details about how notifications work, see Notification System Framework.

Notifications must be enabled for the Blackboard Learn system before any course notification data is collected.


General notification options

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

On the Administrator Panel in the Tools and Utilities section, select Notifications. These options control the availability of notifications and the methods the notifications are distributed. Some options are required [r].

Notification options
System Availability
Notification Collection [r] Control the availability of notifications. If Disabled, notifications are turned off completely. Events that occur while notifications are disabled aren't recorded. Turning notifications back on doesn't show any notifications for events that occurred while notifications were disabled.
Email Settings
Send email notifications as Choose how email notifications are sent:
  • None: No messages sent.
  • Individual Messages: Send each notification in an individual email.
  • Daily Email Digest: Send notifications as a single daily digest email that compiles all notifications for the day.
  • Allow User Choice: Users choose between individual messages and a daily email digest. You set which of these appears as the default email format to users.
Send submission receipts [r] Enable or disable email notifications for students when they submit coursework. Submission receipts allow students and instructors to maintain a record of submissions, even if the submission is deleted or otherwise lost. Students can access past submission receipts from the My Grades page. Instructors can access students' submission receipts in Grade Center reports.
Send email notifications from [r] Type an email address that the system uses as the sender of the notification messages. Bounced messages return to this email address. Recipients are instructed to not reply to this address.
Send daily email digest at [r] Set the time that daily digests are sent to all users who selected that option.

This time setting affects the email digest only. All other registered distributors like SMS and Text-to-Voice still distribute every 20 minutes by default.

Notification Cleanup
Remove important notifications more than ___ days old. [r]

Remove other notifications more than ___ days old. [r]

Set the age of messages at which they are deleted. Select Show Important Notifications and Show Other Notifications to view lists of the specific notifications in those categories.

Use this setting with caution. Deleted notifications can't be retrieved or easily reissued.


SMS and Text-to-Voice options

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

If Blackboard Learn has a valid and active integration with Blackboard Connect, which is licensed separately from Blackboard Learn, the following fields are also available.

More on how to enable SMS notifications

On the Administrator Panel in the Tools and Utilities section, select Notifications. These options are available:

Blackboard Connect notification options
Blackboard Connect SMS Options
SMS delivery enabled Select Yes to enable SMS notification delivery. Text messages are sent through Blackboard Connect to users who choose to receive these notifications. Users must opt-in to receive these text notifications on their phones, even if the system has enabled them. If a notification message contains any character not supported by SMS messaging, the entire message is sent in English, otherwise, it's sent in the Learn system default language. Users must have a valid, SMS-capable phone number stored in their personal information to receive notifications through SMS.

If you select No, the SMS notification option doesn't appear to users when they edit their personal notification settings.

Blackboard Connect Text-to-Voice Options
Text-to-Voice delivery enabled Select Yes to enable Text-to-Voice notification delivery. Text-to-Voice messages are read aloud to users who choose to receive these notifications. Users must opt-in to receive these text notifications on their phones, even if the system has enabled them. This option is available only when the system default Language Pack is set to English or Spanish. Users must have a valid phone number stored with their personal information to receive Text-to-Voice notifications.

If you select No, the Text-to-Voice notification option doesn't appear to users when they edit their personal notification settings.

Text-to-Voice notifications aren't available for activity generated by courses in the Ultra Course View.

Telephone delivery time frame Set SMS and Text-to-Voice messages to be delivered at any time of day or set a specific time range for delivery. Notification messages generated outside of the delivery time frame are held until the next time frame begins. These parameters don't affect email notifications, notifications displayed in the Learn interface, or system announcements sent by telephone.

SMS and Text-to-Voice are registered as distributors in the notification system. Distributions happen every 20 minutes in Blackboard Learn. This default distribution period can be configured in the bb-tasks.xml file. When distributions happen for SMS and Text-to-Voice, Learn sends the message to Connect and then Connect sends the message out.

If your institution's Learn system is running on Windows, check that the time zone is set correctly to ensure correct delivery of messages. If you're using GMT standards, Blackboard Connect resets the time zone as EST. To send the correct time zone to the Connect server, access the time zone location in the Windows control panel and select Automatically adjust clock for daylight savings.

ULTRA: How do users receive notifications?

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

Blackboard Learn delivers notifications in these ways:

  • Activity Stream: The Activity Stream displays notifications for all of a user's courses.
  • Email: The system can distribute notifications by email if the user has a valid email address in their profile and selects activities in Notification Settings. The user can choose to receive emails right away or in the daily digest.
  • SMS: The system can distribute notifications by SMS text message if the user has a valid phone number in their profile and selects activities in Notification Settings
  • Mobile app push notifications: The system can distribute push notifications in the Blackboard app or the Blackboard Instructor app. Push notifications notify users of course events on their mobile device screens. Users can customize push notifications on the activity stream's settings panel or their profile pages.

ULTRA: General notification options

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

Notifications about course activities are always on in the Ultra experience and you can't disable them.

Users need to add an email address to their profiles to receive email notifications about activity in all their Original and Ultra courses. Then, users choose how often and which activities they want to receive notifications for. Organization activities won’t trigger email notifications.

More about the notification types

Go to Administrator Panel > Tools and Utilities > Notifications to edit notification settings. These settings are required.

Notification options
Email Settings
Send submission receipts Enable or disable email notifications for students when they submit coursework. Submission receipts allow students and instructors to maintain a record of submissions, even if the submission is deleted or otherwise lost. Students can access past submission receipts from the My Grades page. Instructors can access students' submission receipts in Grade Center reports.
Send email notifications from Type an email address that the system uses as the sender of the notification messages. Bounced messages return to this email address. Recipients are instructed to not reply to this address.
Send daily email digest at Set the time that daily digests are sent to all users who selected that option.

This time setting affects the email digest only. All other registered distributors like SMS and Text-to-Voice still distribute every 20 minutes by default.

Notification Cleanup
Remove important notifications more than ___ days old.

Remove other notifications more than ___ days old.

Set the age of messages at which they are deleted. Select Show Important Notifications and Show Other Notifications to view lists of the specific notifications in those categories.

Use this setting with caution. Deleted notifications can't be retrieved or easily reissued.

ULTRA: SMS notifications

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

Instructors and students need to keep up with course activity even when they're on the go. Users can choose to receive notifications via SMS text message. In the Ultra experience, a user simply needs to add their mobile phone number to their profile to start receiving text notifications.

Administrators need to configure Blackboard Learn and set up a Connect Proxy Tool to enable SMS notifications.

More on enabling SMS notifications in the Ultra experience

More on SMS options