Create once - publish everywhere!

You can create and customize messages to send to recipients by phone, email, text, app, and social media. Depending on who you are trying to reach and what your message is, you can select different types of delivery methods (default delivery options can also be pre-set).

Watch the Send Message Interface https://player.vimeo.com/video/123036930 video for a tutorial of sending messages.


Create a message

Senders cannot cancel a message during its delivery, a message can only be canceled 5 minutes before the delivery is set to begin.

  1. From the Blackboard Communications HQ interface menu, select Messages > Send.
  2. Type the Subject for the topic of the message.
  3. Add Recipients, use a Saved Message to resend common messages, change the start time, or adjust many other options.
  4. Select one or more delivery methods from the main send message page to send to the recipients:
    • Template option - Create a template message to be used on all of the delivery types and modified later in each one to customize them. Type the body of the message here. You can also add images for the template option. Not all messages types will post images.
    • Phone messages - If you created a template message, the content will be added here for phone calls. You can update the text and select how to make the recording - Call me to record, Call in to record, Upload audio file, Text to speech, or Use microphone. To remove the phone call option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
    • Emails - If you created a template message, the content will be added here for emails. You can update the text and add any images. To remove the email option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
    • Text/SMS - If you created a template message, the content will be added here for text/SMS messages, but you may need to edit the content to be less than 160 characters. To remove the text/SMS option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
    • Mobile App Notifications - For districts and schools that subscribe to Blackboard Mobile Communication app, the content will be added here for the app notifications. You can update the text and add any images. You can also mark the notification to appear only to known recipients and not to the general public of your mobile app. To remove the app notification option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
    • Facebook - For districts and schools that subscribe to Blackboard Mass Notifications, Blackboard Mobile Communication app, or Blackboard Social Media Manager, the content will be added here for Facebook messages, but you may need to edit the content to be less than 160 characters. You can update the text and add any images. To remove the Facebook option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
    • Twitter - For districts and schools that subscribe to Blackboard Mass Notifications, Blackboard Mobile Communication app, or Blackboard Social Media Manager, the content will be added here for text/SMS messages, but you may need to edit the content to be less than 140 characters. You can update the text and add an image. To remove the Twitter option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
    • RSS - For districts and schools that send messages to a third party website, the content will be added here for RSS feeds.
    • District/School Websites - For districts and schools that subscribe to Blackboard Web Community Manager and have implemented the Universal Navigation bar, the content will be added here for your district or school websites. You can update the text and add any images. To remove the website option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
    • Alerts - For districts and schools that subscribe to Blackboard Web Community Manager and have implemented the Universal Navigation bar, the content will be added here for your district or school website on-screen alerts. You can update the text and select which sites will display the on-screen pop-up alert message. To remove the alert option, close out the tab from the upper right hand corner.
  5. Include language translations by selecting Add Language, and select each language needed.

    You can remove any language with the Delete icon.

    Amheric language will not include translation or text-to-speech capabilities. Some Android devices and iOS do NOT support Amheric, and the message may not look correct on those devices. However, it is expected that those users requiring Amheric language will use phones that support the display.

  6. Set the message as an Emergency if needing to send out immediately.

    You can set the message to be sent immediately with the proper language translations.

  7. Select Send when ready to send the message.

Merge tags with recorded messages

You can use merge tags for recorded phone messages. The tag will record the information available in the database for the specific information.

For example, if you want parents to confirm that their specific child is absent with a phone message, you can record the message, insert a merge tag for the name of the student, and the student's name will be inserted into the generalized recording. Then the message will be sent to all parents of absentee students with the information for their own child.

Merge tags help you to send personalized messages with only one recording.

  1. In the Advanced Options section, select Use merge tags with recorded audio.
  2. From the Phone area of the Send Message interface, select Call me to record or Call in to record.
  3. When typing your script, select your merge tags through the Merge Tags feature. To avoid errors, do NOT copy and paste merge tags into the text.
  4. Read the script and when you see a merge tag, press the Star (*) button on your phone. Wait for the beep to continue reading your script.
  5. Press Pound (#) when finished recording, and press 1 to save the message.

Send a saved message

There are several pre-written, standard messages you can use.

  • System created: Written and recorded in four supported languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian-Creole. Can't be edited, copied, or deleted. Identified by the Blackboard logo.
  • Admin created: Created by your district administrator. Can be copied only. Identified by an image of a building.
  • User created: Written and recorded by a user. Can be edited, copied, and deleted. Identified by an image of a person.

Create your own or use system and admin created ones to make common communications easier.

  1. Select any default or saved messages from the folders in the Saved Messages section. Open each folder to see what default and saved messages are in them.
  2. If you have permission, update the message or select other delivery methods - Phone, Email, Text/SMS, App Notifications, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, District/School Websites.
  3. Add Recipients, change the start time, or adjust many other options by using the menu to the left of the message area.
  4. Include language translations by selecting the Languages.
  5. Set the message as an Emergency if you need to send it immediately.
  6. Select Send when ready to send the message.

Search for recipients

Users are able to select recipients by groups, schools, grades, even individually. There are various ways to select recipients.

More on searching for recipients


Use advanced message options

You can adjust how messages are sent — adjust the send time, recipient numbers, and change who is allowed to send this message at another time.

  1. Select Advanced Options.
  2. Select the specific district or school from the Sending Organization list.
  3. Adjust the Delivery Schedule by setting a start date/time, and an end date/time.
    • To schedule messages to be sent multiple times, select the Add (+) icon to set multiple dates and times. Use this feature to send reminders to recipients multiple times for an upcoming event.

      Check out the video for scheduling multiple deliveries of a message:

  4. Select or clear the remaining options:
    • To send a message during blackout times, select Send messages during blackout times.
    • To send a message to all numbers available for every user, select Deliver to ALL recipient delivery addresses.

      Select Deliver to ALL recipient delivery addresses only during emergencies.

    • To send to the parents of selected students, select Deliver to parents of students.

      This doesn't send the message to the students, just to the parents of the selected students. If you want to send the message to both parents and students, you have to select both as recipients.

    • If you want the header and footer information included in an audio message, clear the Do not play header/footer prompts during outbound calling option. This option is usually checked so that the header and footer information is not included.
    • To save this message as public, select Allow other users to also send this message (public).
    • If you want recipients respond by pressing 2 from their phones, select Allow message recipients to respond to this message via voice recording.
    • If using merge codes for phone messages, select Use merge tags with recorded audio.
    To update the message category, select a new category from the Message Category list.
  5. Select Save when finished.

Creare messaggi accessibili

Sapevi che un miliardo di persone nel mondo è affetto da disabilità fisica o mentale? O che il 12,9% di tutti gli studenti del Nord America è affetto da disabilità? È pertanto importante assicurarsi che tutte le tue comunicazioni siano comprese da ogni studente e membro della community.

Ulteriori informazioni sull’accessibilità nell’istruzione


Best practice sull’accessibilità per tutte le comunicazioni

Indipendentemente dal contesto, e-mail o Facebook, rendere i tuoi messaggi accessibili è facile se adotti le seguenti best practice.

  • Scrivi in modo semplice. Usa frasi brevi. Se possibile, usa parole o combinazioni di parole con 1-2 sillabe. Usa contrazioni. Utilizza strumenti come Hemmingway Editor per misurare la leggibilità del tuo testo.
  • Non utilizzare soltanto lo stile o il colore dei caratteri per evidenziare l’importanza del testo! Se hai bisogno di un forte impatto visivo, assicurati di utilizzare un’alternativa accessibile. Usa un punto esclamativo alla fine della frase se è importante. Gli screen reader sono in grado di dare l’intonazione giusta per il punto esclamativo e di domanda. Questo significa che lo strumento non legge “punto interrogativo”, ma assume il tono interrogativo (ascendente) mentre legge la domanda.
  • Includi testo alternativo nelle immagini. Non è necessario dire “immagine di” poiché gli strumenti di tecnologia di assistenza sanno già che si tratta di un’immagine. Utilizza espressioni chiare, concise e descrittive. Non usare lo stesso testo alternativo per ogni immagine, come “Immagine che illustra il testo associato”. È inutile e genera confusione.
  • Se non puoi inserire il testo alternativo, aggiungi didascalie alle immagini. Se non puoi aggiungere testo alternativo alle immagini, assicurati che il testo comunichi tutte le informazioni, senza utilizzare l’immagine.
  • Crea link descrittivi. Ogni link deve descrivere ciò che l’utente può attendersi quando lo seleziona. Evita l’uso di frasi generiche come “fai clic qui” o “vedi altro”. Gli indirizzi web o gli URL non sono considerati informativi e non devono essere utilizzati. Piuttosto rendi il testo descrittivo.
  • Fai in modo che i tuoi allegati siano accessibili. Segui le stesse best practice per fare in modo che i tuoi allegati siano accessibili. Per ulteriori informazioni, consulta Accessibilità in Blackboard.
  • Includi sottotitoli attivabili o trascrizioni nei tuoi video. Fornisci un link per le trascrizioni, se il video non contiene sottotitoli attivabili.
  • Ascolta il tuo messaggio per assicurarti che sia chiaro. Usa gli strumenti che leggono ad alta voce il testo scritto disponibili su numerosi dispositivi per ascoltare il tuo messaggio prima di inviarlo.

Accessibilità sui social media

I social media non sono sempre accessibili. Sono difficili da esplorare per gli utenti di screen reader e i contenuti non sempre usano intestazioni, testo alternativo per le immagini o sottotitoli attivabili per i video. Ciò non significa che non puoi usare i social media. È qui che trovi i tuoi utenti. Assicurati quindi che i contenuti siano accessibili a tutti.

Attieniti alle best practice sull’accessibilità per tutti i tuoi contenuti e ai seguenti suggerimenti quando usi Facebook o Twitter.

Facebook

  • Fornisci testo alternativo per tutte le foto e immagini che pubblichi.
  • Fornisci un link alle trascrizioni quando pubblichi video.

Twitter

  • Comunica agli utenti il contenuto del tuo tweet. Se contiene foto, video o audio, usa i seguenti prefissi all’inizio del tweet.
    • Foto: [PIC]
    • Video: [VIDEO]
    • Audio: [AUDIO]
  • Inserisci hashtag e citazioni alla fine del tweet.
  • Usa la notazione a cammello (Camel Case) negli hashtag. Scrivi in maiuscolo la prima lettera di ogni parola dell’hashtag. Ad esempio, #AccessibilitàBlackboard
  • Evita gergo che potrebbe essere distorto da uno screen reader.