Communicating with your Students

The icons below indicate how easy or hard the method/tool is to utilize.

This method/tool will be the easiest to use of the other options presented.

This method/tool is considered medium difficulty to use compared to the other options.

This method/tool is considered the most difficult to use compared to all other options presented.

  • Bb Announcements - What's New

This technology is great for keeping students updated. It is easy to use and lives in your Course already. You can edit the information in this course item to pass important information along, like

  • changes in due dates or meeting times,

  • links to upcoming online meetings, or

  • reminders.

You can delete old updates and put in new ones. You can also attach files or link to websites. Watch the training video, linked in the Training Resources section below, to see how this is done.

Training Resources

  • Bb Course Messaging

The My Mail tab in Blackboard is another way to communicate with students. Messages sent this way live in the individual Blackboard course and are sure to get from you to your students securely. Some things to know:

  • Both you and your students will be notified, via your email, that you have Course Messages waiting.

  • You can email one student, multiple students, or the whole class. 

  • You can use this feature to send out all updates you make in the What’s New area. That way students will have a record of updates and know when you have posted one. 

Training Resources

  • Navigate

Navigate is a third-party tool that you can use to communicate with students. You can choose to send messages via text to their mobile device or email to their preferred email.
It is crucial that you let students know if you intend to use Navigate so they can download the app. You can also share Student Navigate instructions  with them (see Training Resources below). 

Training Resources

  • Navigate page on Innovation Cafe

    • ​Explore this page for instructions on how to communicate with students, understand alerts, and send progress reports.

  • Communicating with Students in Navigate video

    • If you are a visual learner, follow along with this basic YouTube video.​

  • Student Navigate Instructions​

    • You can send or post this document in your course to help students get Navigate set up.​

  • Virtual Office Hours with Zoom

Using Zoom to host virtual (online) office hours for students is a common use case for Zoom; it offers the ability to meet with students one-on-one without the interruption of other participants/students via the “Waiting Room” feature.

Training Resources

  • Resources for Using Zoom

    • This page on the Innovation Cafe has all the resources and training you need to get started with Zoom.​

  • Using Zoom for Office Hours​

    • This University of Minnesota website covers some key considerations for successful virtual office hourse in Zoom. ​