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6.42. Email Communication in Brightspace

Brightspace Email

One of the advantages of online teaching and learning is that nearly everything communicated between faculty and students is automatically documented, whether in course communication (announcements, activity directions, or other content information) or course email. This documentation is valuable for both student and instructor to understand and to review communicated information and may be useful as documentation if any problems arise.

Use Course Email

D2L provides a means of communication by email (course email in D2L) within the course, but this is a closed email system. Instructors and students are highly encouraged to use the internal communication platform instead of external sites, such as Yahoo, Gmail, or Outlook.

Getting Started with Brightspace Messages

A direct link to your Brightspace email is provided at the top of your course homepage located on the minibar. Select Email from the expanded menu.

Email icon selected on the minibar opens a menu with another email icon linking to the page.

Email Preference Settings

Before getting started sending and receiving messages, setup Email Settings by choosing Settings with the gear icon. 

Settings gear icon highlighted.

*Please note, in a previous version of Brightspace, there was an option to save Sent Messages by checking the preference. That is a default option and requires no changes by the user.

Once this feature is activated, it is very easy to check the message activity. Select a sent message and choose View Recipient Activity. The date, time, and action will populate in a new window.

View Recipient Activity selected and Read Email highlighted in new window.

Compose or Read Messages

This system works much like other email products. Choose the Compose button to start a new message or select a message to read from the list.

Compose and sample message highlighted.

Message to Class

Messages can easily be sent to individuals from the email tool. To send messages to the entire class, instructors may use the Classlist tool to send group messages. The Classlist same frame tutorial is also found here in the Knowledge Book pages.

Using External Email

The preferred method of communicating with students is directly in the course through course tools. There are times when a student has not logged into the course for the first time or is not active in the course. Those are good reasons to use an external email to make contact in the interim.

This information can be difficult to access if the student is not on your home campus, but Brightspace has a solution to access external email addresses if provided. Open Classlist and check the Email box.

Email search checkbox highlighted. Email column highlighted in classlist.

In addition to Names and Usernames, Email will populate if the home institution entered it in the student account. It is necessary to copy the email address from the Email column.

*Please note, clicking a student's name will open an email window, but it will populate the Brightspace message address, not the external email.

If there is not a private email and you are unsuccessful contacting the  student, take advantage of the Report it Now button found on the course homepage. You can learn more about it through a short tutorial Escalate Student Success Concerns (Knowledge Books)

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