Skip over navigation

Notifications

This section deals with the modules found in the Notifications Dashboard, a sub-tab below the My Blackboard tab. Instructors can also add Notification modules to course sites.

Overview
Notifications Dashboard
Using Notifications


Overview

Complete Notifications Instructions

What are Notifications?

Notifications for Instructors:

Blackboard Learn provides timely and actionable Notifications of Instructor's course information, including when new content becomes available and when Student submitted assignments and tests are available for grading. Notifications are displayed in modules within Bb Learn and are available by default.

Email notifications, except for Announcements, must be opted in to. Even if a user opts out of Announcement email Notifications, an instructor can override that choice. (User's personalization settings are available through My Places and through the Edit Notifications Settings button on each of the Notifications modules.)

There are several things Instructors should consider when creating course content to take full advantage of Notifications:

  • Content Availability, which can be controlled by the Display As Of dates in the content properties
  • Adaptive Release rules, which will be respected by Notifications

The user experience is much improved with this centralized view of course related activity. Instructors no longer are required to keep track of their students' activities inside each course. Instead, they have easy access to notifications across all of their courses. The format of the display automatically segments by urgency, further automating the process of determining which of the multitude of events require immediate attention, or which can be deferred.

Notifications for Students:

Blackboard Learn provides timely and actionable Notifications of student's course information, including when new content becomes available and Due Dates of assignments and tests. Notifications are displayed in modules within Bb Learn and are available by default.

Email notifications, except for Announcements, must be opted in to. Even if a user opts out of Announcement email Notifications, an instructor can override that choice.  (User's personalization settings are available through My Places and through the Edit Notifications Settings button on each of the Notifications modules.)

Notifications make students' online learning experience much nicer. Instead of hunting around for all of their new content and wondering when Assignments and Tests are due, this information will be given to them in an easily consumable format. Using the context menu to navigate to the appropriate action page (i.e., Assignment Due notification will take the student to the Submit Assignment page and Survey Available notification will take the student to the Survey), students will have a more intuitive way to navigate Blackboard Learn.

The To Do List on the Notifications Dashboard gives students a single source of all of their upcoming Due Dates, allowing for more efficient management of their time.

Top


Notifications Dashboard

What is the Notifications Dashboard?

The Notifications Dashboard is a page that contains modules that give information to users based on their enrollment and their role in the system.  Users with multiple enrollments will receive information in modules for all their classes and organizations. Users with multiple roles will receive information in modules for all their roles. Users can navigate to individual items to take action.

The dashboard is accessed through the Notifications tab, found in the top frame beside the My Blackboard tab.

Instructors can also also add Notification modules to a Course site, which would be specific to that course. This is accomplished by adding a Module Page to the Course menu.

Users can customize the notifications that appear on dashboard, as well as opt to have email notifications sent to their account.

The dashboard displays these modules:

  • Needs Attention - (Available only to Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students) Displays all items in a course that require some type of interaction. Instructors, Instructional Staff, and Graders see assignments, tests, and surveys that have been submitted.
  • What's New - Displays a list of new items in all relevant courses and organizations.  Instructors, Instructional Staff, and Graders see any new assignments that have been submitted, tests that have been submitted, new discussion board posts. Students see new discussion board posts, new grades posted, new content that is available.
  • To Do -  Displays to students the status (Past Due/Due) of relevant course work and tasks. Students see any grade items that have listed due dates in two categories, what is past due and what is due in the future. Links to relevant course items are provided.

Top


Using Notifications

How do Instructors create Notifications and when will Students receive Notifications?

Most Notifications are tied directly to the creation of course content. When creating course content, Instructors can control the delivery of Notifications in several ways:

  • Display As Of date range: Content Availability Notifications will be sent to Students based on these dates. If there are no Display As Of dates on the item, Notifications will be delivered immediately.
  • Adaptive Release Rules: Any content that is subject to Adaptive Release rules will send Notifications to the appropriate Students if and when they meet the criteria of the Adaptive Release rules.
  • Announcements: When creating Announcements, email Notifications can be forced to students via email, regardless of what personalization settings the Student may have. This is an excellent way to send emergency Notifications, such as when a class is canceled.
  • Due Dates: For tests and assignments to appear in the students To Do module, due dates must be selected. due dates maybe selected when creating an assignment; for assessments, however, one must go to the column heading in the Grade Center and select Edit Column Information from the contextual menu to select a due date.

Some Notifications are created by the actions of Students, as when a Student submits an Assignment or Survey, or when posts are made to Discussion Board forums, Blogs and Journals.

Top

Many Instructors use Announcements as a way to notify Students when Assignments are due. Do Announcements generate Notifications to Students?

Students will receive Notifications when Course Announcements become available to them. However, Instructors will discover that Students are also receiving Notifications when Assignments become available and are due and will quickly learn they can rely on Notifications to keep Students up to date.

How can Instructors communicate with students?

Each Notification has a contextual menu. For many types of Notification this menu provides, among other actions, a quick way to communicate with Students or Groups via email.

How can Instructors track Course activity on a daily basis?

The Needs Attention module displays all Student Submissions that are ready to be graded. Not only can Instructors easily see which Students have submitted each assignment, they can use the Notifications' context menu to navigate directly to the submission page where they can view and grade the submission. Submission Notifications even tell the Instructors if a submission came in after the due date.

Top

How can Students use Notifications to take action?
Notifications include links to pages where students can take appropriate actions. For instance, Notifications for unread Discussion Board postings contain links to the course Discussion Board and Notifications for Assignment Due Dates contain links to the Assignment Submission page. Most Notifications also provide a quick way to send an email to the instructor or Course Group members pertinent to that Notification.

Can Students personalize how they receive Notifications?
Yes. Notifications Settings can be accessed via a button on the Notifications modules and via My Places. Students can choose, on a course-by-course basis, to whether to receive notification.

Top

The To Do List shows the due dates of Assignments and Tests. What if a Student wants a few days advanced notice?
Students can set up Reminders via email for Due Date Notifications by defining how many days in advance they would like to receive them.

Are Notifications only for Course content?
Notifications cover Course and Organization content, but not System Announcements. Students can have different personalization settings for each of their courses and organizations.

Students can select which types of Notifications they would like to receive in email form.

Top

Where do Notifications appear?
Notifications modules can reside on any Modules page in the system. By default they appear on the Notifications Dashboard sub-tab of the My Blackboard tab. Instructors can also add them to a module page in a course.

There are three Notifications modules available to users:

  • Needs Attention - (Available only to Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students) Displays all items in a course that require some type of interaction. Instructors, Instructional Staff, and Graders see assignments, tests, and surveys that have been submitted.
  • What's New - Displays a list of new items in all relevant courses and organizations.  Instructors, Instructional Staff, and Graders see any new assignments that have been submitted, tests that have been submitted, new discussion board posts. Students see new discussion board posts, new grades posted, new content that is available.
  • To Do -  Displays to students the status (Past Due/Due) of relevant course work and tasks. Students see any grade items that have listed due dates in two categories, what is past due and what is due in the future. Links to relevant course items are provided.

Edit Notifications Settings allows students to personalize which Notifications they receive and how they receive them.

Top

Is there a way to clear out old, unneeded notifications?
Many Notifications have known life cycles. For instance, an Assignment Due Date Notification will be removed from your display once you have submitted the Assignment. Others, such as new Content Available Notifications do not have an obvious life cycle. These Notifications can be removed, individually or en mass, using the Dismiss option from a context menu.

When students personalize their Notifications via Edit Notifications Settings, they can also set up an Aging option, which will automatically Dismiss older Notifications. Due Date Notifications are not Dismissed by this setting.

Individual users can choose to Dismiss their older notifications by setting their own number of days to retain them. However, a user's setting cannot exceed that of the System Administrator, which is 120 days. Notifications that are not Due Date specific will be deleted 120 of days after creation. Also, any Notification can be dismissed (removed from the users display) manually.

Top

Where do users go to personalize Notifications?
There are two ways to get to the Notification settings pages:

  • The Edit Notifications Settings button on each of the Notifications modules.
  • The Edit Notifications Setting link in My Places.

Where does the personalization feature appear?
User's personalization settings are available through My Places and through the Edit Notifications Settings button on each of the Notifications modules.

Top

User Manual  Select 9.1 SP14 from the Table of Contents, then select your role (Instructor or Student)

blackboard@princeton.edu

Blackboard Help Line (609) 258-0737