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Course messages are private and secure text-based communication that occurs within courses among course members.

Although similar to email, users must be logged in to a course to read and send course messages. Messages activity remains inside the system, and users don't have to worry about email addresses that may be incorrect or outdated.

More on how students use messages

More on how instructors use messages


Availability of the course messages tool

To learn how to make the course messages tool available in courses and organizations, see Manage Tools.


Course messages options

You can customize how course messages are used at your institution.

On the Administrator Panel in the Tools and Utilities section, select Course Messages to access the options. These options apply to all Ultra and Original courses and organizations.

You can choose not to allow students to reply to or create messages in their courses. You can also allow users to add file attachments to messages and create personal folders to store messages in.

File attachments and personal folders

By default, users can't add file attachments to messages or create personal folders to store messages in. Select the check boxes to allow these options. You might disable these options to help save disk space and not allow users to use course messages to store content.

Read-only course messages for students

Each institution has different communication preferences and policies. Some institutions may want to limit how students communicate with others in their courses. Your institution can choose not to allow students to reply to or create messages in their courses. Only the student role has these restrictions. Instructors can't turn this option on and off in their individual courses.

Select the check box for Course/organization messages are read-only for students/participants. Students can only read the messages other roles send, such as instructors and teaching assistants.

When you select this option, students also can't forward messages.

Instructor workflow

When course messages are read-only for students, instructors are alerted when they create a message.

Student workflow

When students view their Original course messages, the Create Message, Reply, and Forward options have been removed.


Migrate message storage

To help maintain course messages archives, you can migrate messages in courses and organizations to the Learn database. Older messages were stored in flat files on a shared storage volume. New courses and organizations always store messages in the database.

  1. To begin a course messages migration, go to Administrator Panel > Tools and Utilities > Course Messages.
  2. Next to Create Migration Request, choose Select Courses/Organizations.
  3. Type the IDs for courses and organizations that contain messages you want to migrate. Separate the IDs with a comma.
  4. Select Submit. The system starts to process the request automatically. During migration, the system skips a course or organization if it doesn’t exist, is disabled, or already uses database storage.

If you want to confirm that the message migration is successful, check the Learn system logs.