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Communication tools in Ultra

There are a number of ways to communicate with your students, and for them to communicate with each other, on a Blackboard Ultra course.


Messages is a function in Blackboard Learn Ultra that can be accessed via the main Blackboard Menu or inside an Ultra course. This function is set as Read-only for students at the University of Reading. You will be able to use the tool to message your students but they cannot use it to reply to or write messages.


Announcements are a key way to contact with all everyone on the course. Announcements can be sent as an email, they can also be saved as a draft and posted when required. A new announcement will display prominently in the course when the student re-enters the course.

Class Conversations

Class conversations are similar to Discussions, but are tied to a specific item in the content area.

You can choose to activate a class discussion during or after content creation. For example activating these online content conversations as a response to student comments in class to allow a wider discussion on course materials.


Discussions can be used on your course as learning activities or assessments.


Journals can be used on your course as learning activities or assessments. Journals are a personal space for students to communicate privately with you. Students can not view each others journals.

Guide last updated on February 5, 2024

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