Working with your Course Email

Course Email

The Course Email tool allows you to send and receive messages to and from other site participants. It handles messages between site members only. This tool offers several valuable options.

      Send to individuals, groups, or all site members: Using this tool, you may send mail to an individual, a select number of individuals, a select number of groups, or all participants on the site.

      Organization of messages: By default, the tool provides four folders in which you may store email—“Received,” “Sent,” “Deleted,” and “Draft.” You may create other folders if you wish.

      Notifications on site home page: On the site home page, you can see how many unread messages you have.

      Forwarding: You have the option of having the CLE automatically forward your messages to another email address.

      Breadcrumb trail: When you are working in a folder or a message in a folder, a breadcrumb trail near the top of the screen shows your location. You can return to any location shown there by clicking on a breadcrumb.

Accessing the Messages Tool

To access this tool, click Messages in the tools menu on the left side of your screen. The CLE displays the Messages home page.

By default, your messages are sorted into four folders—“Received,” “Sent,” “Deleted,” and “Draft.” For each folder, you can see a count of the messages it contains. For the Received folder, you can also see how many messages have arrived that you have not yet read.

Sending a Message

To send a message to one or more other site participants, access the Messages tool and follow these steps:

1.  On the Messages home page, click on Compose Message in the menu bar. The CLE displays the Compose a Message screen.

2.  In the To box, click to select recipients for the message. You may select specific individuals and, depending on the permissions granted by the site owner, all participants in a particular role or group.

      To select consecutive names in the list, click the first name, hold down the SHIFT key, and click the last name.

      To select multiple names that are not contiguous, click the first name, hold down the CTRL key, and click each of the other names you want.

To clear all of your selections in this box, click on Clear Selection.   

3.  To select participants who will not display as recipients to the other message recipients you have selected, click on Add Bcc. You’ll see the same list of possible selections as in the To box:

To select Bcc recipients, proceed as instructed in step 2.

4.  To send a copy of this message to a recipient’s external email address, check Send Cc.

Note: If you check the Send Cc option, a copy of this message will be sent to the email address the recipient has specified in the Account tool.

5.  To change the priority of the message, select the appropriate level from the Label pulldown list.

6.  In the Subject box, enter the subject of your message. An entry in this box is required. In the Message box, enter message text. Use the icons and menus to format text and link to other online content, as instructed in Using the Rich Text Editor.

7.  To add one or more attachments to this message, click Add attachments and follow the instructions in Adding an Attachment.

8.  To send the message, click Send. The CLE sends the message and displays the Messages home page. To preview the message before sending, click Preview and then Send. To save a draft of the message, click Save Draft. The CLE saves the message in the “Drafts” folder. Or, to return to the home page without sending or saving the message, click Cancel.

Reading Messages

To read your messages, access the Messages tool and follow these steps:

1.  If the Messages home page is not displayed, click the Reset button.

2.  To open a folder, click its name. The CLE displays a list of messages in the folder. If you click the “Received” folder, you might see a screen similar to the following:

For each message, you can see the subject, the author, the date it was sent, and its priority. In addition:

      Boldface type indicates an unread message.  

      Normal type indicates a message that you have read.

Tip: If you select a message (by clicking on its checkbox) and click Mark Read, the CLE displays the message in normal type. If you click Mark Unread, the CLE displays the message in boldface type.

      A paperclip icon  to the left of the subject indicates a message that contains an attachment.

      An entry in the Label box indicates whether the sender considers this message to be high, normal, or low priority.

By default, the messages are arranged chronologically, by date and time, with the most recent listed first.

3.  Find the message you want to read. When you have many messages in a folder, you may not immediately see the message you want. You have these options for finding the message:

      Use any of the standard options for filtering, sorting, searching, and paging through the list. For information on working with these options, see Working with Lists.

      Specify additional search options by clicking on Advanced Search.

4.  Open the message by clicking its subject. The CLE displays the message you chose.


5.  To view an attachment, click its name in the Attachments display.

6.  To read other messages in this folder without returning to the list of messages on the preceding screen, click Previous Message or Next Message, as needed.

Replying to a Message

To reply to a message, access the message to which you want to reply and follow these steps:

1.  Depending on whether you want to reply to the sender alone or to all recipients of the message, click the Reply or Reply to all button above or below the message. The CLE displays the Reply to Message screen.

The top part of the screen looks like this:



Notice that the CLE has automatically entered the name of the person to whom you are replying and the subject. Because this is a reply, the subject begins with “Re:”

The bottom part of the screen looks like this:

It includes a place to enter message text and a means of adding attachments.

Notice that the CLE has automatically entered a copy of the email text to which you are replying, along with the date and time of the email and the name of the person who sent it.

2.  Follow the instructions in Sending a Message, beginning with step 4. You also have these options:

      If you clicked the Reply button, select from the Select Additional Recipients list to send your reply to others.

      If you clicked the Reply to all button, select from the Select Forward Recipients list to forward your reply to others.


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