iLearn Documentation: Best Practice for Using the Messages Tool


The iLearn Messages Tool can be used to send information to individuals, groups, or all students within a Course Site. Though the Messages Tool is similar to email, there are some important differences. These include: 


  • The Messages Tool is "course-dependent," meaning that messages you see in Course A will not appear in Course B and vice versa.

  • The Messages Tool sends messages WITHIN the iLearn environment. However, you can set your messages tool to forward your messages to an external Marist email account.

IMPORTANT: If a user sending you a message selects the option to send a copy to your email, the message will go to your message box in iLearn and to your official Marist Email Account. This option OVERRIDES the option to auto forward all messages, so be sure to check your official Marist Email or forward it to an account you check on a regular basis.

IMPORTANT: If you respond to forwarded iLearn messages through your external email account, the message will go to the recipient’s official Marist Email. It will NOT go back into iLearn.


Recommendations for Sending Information to Students

  • You may find that choosing to send a copy of messages to student's email accounts is the most convenient option for your students. Since a copy of the email is also placed in the student's Messages "Received" folder, those who prefer to check their course-specific message within iLearn would still be able to do so.

  • To use this option, choose to "send copy of message to recipients' email" option. Be aware, however, that this option sends the message to a student's official Marist Email Account. Be sure to let students know they must either check their Marist Email or forward to an account they check on a regular basis.

Recommendations for Receiving Information from Students

As an instructor, if you prefer to keep all of your course-specific messages separate from your Marist Email Account, follow the steps below:

  • Under the Settings tab, set "Sending copies to recipients' email address(es)" to Do not allow sending copies


  • If at some point you wish to get your course messages at your Marist Email Account then you can set up auto forwarding.

If you prefer to have your course-specific messages sent to your Marist Email Account then you can simply indicate to students that they should use "Send a copy of this message to recipients' email address (es)" checkbox. Alternatively, you may wish to have students send "non-urgent" information via Messages but to use the Send a copy option if it is a time sensitive issue.


Settings & Permissions

New permissions allow instructors to control whether users in a role see groups, roles, all participants, or hidden groups in the "To" menu when composing messages.

1. Make sure you have created groups in Site Info >> Manage Groups.

2. Click Settings in the Messages tool, select the group that is to be hidden from the participants when composing message from the drop down. 

3. Click Permissions and adjust the permissions by clicking appropriate checkboxes. 


Send a Message

  1. On the Messages tool page, click the Compose Message button on the top menu.

  2. Select whom (individuals, groups, or roles) you wish to send the message to from the "To" box.   

  3. NOTE: If you need to select more than one student or role, you can hold down the "control" key (Ctrl) on your keyboard and click on the names/roles you want to include.

  4. Next, you can choose whom you wish to send the message to without revealing the recipient's address by clicking "Add Bcc" button.

  5. By default, the message will remain within the iLearn tool. Select the Send a copy of this message to recipients' email address(es) checkbox to forward a copy of the message to the recipients' emails address(es).

  6. Complete the Subject line, body of the message.

  7. Attach a file if desired.

  8. Click the Send button or Save Draft to send it on a later date.


Reply to a Message that is sent to your Email

To reply to a message that is sent to your email, you can either respond directly or return to iLearn and respond from within the system. If you reply through your email, the message will go to the recipient's official Marist Email account and will NOT send a copy to iLearn Messages Tool as a backup.

To respond through iLearn, follow these directions:

  1. Access your e-mail and locate the message (the "from" or "sender" line will read "iLearn").

  2. Click on the Course ID link (e.g. "ATE_101L_013_14F").

  3. Enter in your Marist Account to authenticate into iLearn.

  4. You will then be placed directly into the Messages Tool of the course from which the message was sent.

  5. Click on the Received folder to reply back to the message.


Set Up Auto Forwarding

  1. Click on the Settings button on top of the Messages screen.

  2. Set auto forwarding to Yes.

  3. Enter in the email address to which you wish to have your messages forwarded.

  4. Click the Save Settings button.

NOTE: You will need to do this for each course.


Manage the Messages

To manage the messages, you can create folders following these steps:

  1. Click on the New Folder button on the top menu.

  2. Enter the title for the folder.

  3. Click the Add button.