Note: The video below shows the old look of Brightspace. Nothing has changed with regards to how the tool works. 

About Email

The Email tool allows you to send email from within Learning Environment. You can also organize received mail using folders and store email addresses using the Address Book.

Access the Email tool

Click the Email link on your course navigation bar.

Composing (creating) emails

  1. From the Message List page, click the Compose button.
  2. Type the recipient’s email address in the To field. Click the Address Bookbutton on at the top of the page to locate an address from your Address Book.
  3. Type a brief description of your email in the Subject line.
  4. Type your message in the large text box.
  5. Click the Spell Checker icon to check for misspellings.
  6. Click Send.

Add an attachment to your email

  1. From the Compose New Message page, create a new email as usual.
  2. In the Attachments section, click Browse and select the file you want to attach.
  3. Click Add.


If you add an attachment and want to delete it before sending, click the Remove link beside the attachment.

The following file types cannot be added to or downloaded from email messages in Learning Environment: .asp, .aspx, .exe, .bat, .dll, .com, .asa, .asax, .ascx, .asmx, .axd, .cdx, .cer, .config, .idc, .cs, .csproj, .java, .jsl, .licx, .rem, .resources, .resx, .shtm, .shtml, .stm, .vb, .vbproj, .vjsproj, .vsdisco, .webinfo, .ini.

The size of the attachments you are able to send is determined by your organization. You will receive a warning message if your attachment is larger than the allowable size.

Compose Message options

Address Book
Click the Address Book icon to open, in a pop-up, an address book containing your contacts. Use the Address Book to quickly fill in the To, Cc and Bcc fields. See Using your Email Address Book for information on how to use this feature.
To, Cc, Bcc
You can also send messages to contacts by directly entering their addresses into these fields.
Specify a subject line in this field.
Set the priority for this message as Low, Normal (default setting), or High. This priority setting will appear next to your message in the receiver's Message List.
Enter your message into this area.
Spell Check
Click the Spell Check icon to check your message for misspellings.
Click the Preview icon to have a look at your message before sending it.
Browse for and add attachments to your message. Use the Add button to add multiple attachments.
Click Cancel to cancel the message you are composing. (Not applicable to Send-Only configurations.)
Save as Draft
Click Save as Draft to save the message you are composing (with any attachments) to the Drafts folder without sending it. (Desire2Learn Email only.)
After composing your email and adding any attachments. Click Send to send it. A message will display either confirming that your message has been sent or letting you know the message could not be sent.

Read An Email Message

Unread messages appear in bold. To read a message, click the subject link of the message. The message opens in either a preview pane or new window, depending on your settings.

Mark an email message as read

  1. Select check box next to the message or messages you want to mark as read.
  2. Click Mark as Read at the top of the message list.

Note To mark a message as unread, open the message and click the Mark Unread icon in the Message Preview page.

Reply to or forward an email message

  1. From the Message List page, select the message you want to reply to or forward by clicking on the message’s subject link.
  2. Click Reply, Reply All, or Forward.
  3. Enter the recipient names in the To, CC, and Bcc fields, or use the Address Book. For reply and reply all the recipients are automatically populated, but you can add additional recipients if desired.
  4. Add any additional content, including attachments, to the message.
  5. Click Send.

Search for an email message

Use the Search For field to search and find messages in the Message List. Type the word you are searching for in the Search For field and click Search.

Click the Show Search Options link to search specifically in the From, Subject, or Body fields of messages in the Message List.


Sort email messages

To sort the message list, on the Message List page, click the icon or title representing the type of sort you want to perform.

You can sort the messages in the Message List by their priority, whether they contain attachments, as well as their To/From, Subject, Date, and Size attributes.

Sort byDescription
Sorts messages by shared priorities.
Sorts messages by their inclusion of attachments.
Alphabetically sorts messages by sender/receiver names.
Alphabetically sorts messages by subject lines.
Chronologically sorts messages.
Sorts messages by size.


Delete an email message

  1. Select the check box next to the message or messages you want to delete.
  2. Click Delete.

Note Deleted messages are moved to the Trash folder. Deleting the message from the Trash folder removes it permanently.

Using email folders

Folders help you manage your messages by organizing them into groups. Your folders are listed in the Folder drop-down list and in the Folder List pane to the left of the Message List if the pane is set to display. You have the following folders by default:

  • Inbox
  • Drafts
  • Sent
  • Trash

You can add folders to this list as needed.

Access email folders

From the Message List page, click the folder’s name in the Folder List pane or select the folder from the Folder drop-down list.

Access the folder management area

From the Message List page, click the Folder Management icon at the top of the page.

Move a message to a folder

  1. Select the check box next to the message or messages you want to move.
  2. In the Move To drop-down list, select the folder you want to put the messages in.

Add a folder

  1. From the Address Book page, click the New Folder button.
  2. Type a name for the folder in the Folder Name field.
  3. Assign the folder a Parent Folder, if applicable. Choosing a parent folder means that the folder you add is "nested" within the parent folder. Choose "None" if you do not want the folder to have a parent. You can nest folders as deep as you want.
  4. Click Save.


Edit a folder

The amount of information you can edit depends on the type of folder you are editing. While you can change the name, the parent folder, and delete folders you have created, you can only change the name of system-created folders. You cannot delete system-created folders (Trash, Draft, Inbox, Address Book), nor can you change their parent folder.

  1. From the Folder Management area, click the click Edit from the context menu next to the folder you want to edit.
  2. Update the folder.
  3. Click Save.


Reorder the folder list

  1. Click Reorder on the Folder Management page.
  2. Select the folders you want to move.
  3. Click Up or Down to move the folders through the order.
  4. Once you have the folders ordered the way you want click Save.

Note The Reorder Folders page only lists folders that are organized at the same level (i.e. they are either top-level folders or share a parent folder). To change the nesting structure of folders at different levels (i.e. remove or add a parent association) you must edit the Parent Folder field on the Edit Folder page.


Delete a folder

Click Delete from the context menu next to the folder you want to delete. You cannot delete system-created folders.

Using the Address Book

The Address Book lets you to keep an online list of your contacts and organize personal contacts into groups.

Your Address Book options vary according to your permissions. Contacts in the address book are either system generated in the case of course and internal contacts, or user created in the case of personal and external contacts. Depending on your permissions, you might not be able to create personal contacts.

Access your address book

Click the Address Book button on the Compose New Message page.

Add a contact to your address book

  1. From the Address Book page, click the Add Contact button at the top of the page.
  2. Choose a folder to store the new contact’s information in the Folder drop-down list. By default new contacts are stored in the main Address Book folder.
  3. To create a new folder, click the New Folder link beside the Folder drop-down list.
  4. Enter the new contact’s information in the appropriate fields. (Fields marked with an asterisk are required.)
  5. Click Save.

Edit an address book contact

  1. From the Address Book page, click the First Name or Last Name link of the contact you want to edit from the list of contacts.
  2. Update the contact’s information as required.
  3. Click Save.


Delete an address book contact

  1. From the Address Book page, select the contacts you want to delete.
  2. Click Delete at the top or bottom of the list.

Note You can only delete personal contacts.


Create a contacts group

  1. From the Address Book page, Click the Add Contact button.
  2. Click the New Folder link.
  3. In the Folder Type section, select Contacts Folder.
  4. Enter a Folder Name.
  5. To make the new folder a sub-folder inside an existing folder, choose the existing folder from the Parent Folder drop-down list.
  6. Click Save.


Move personal contacts to a contacts group

  1. From the Address Book page, select the contacts you want to move.
  2. Select a group from the Move To drop-down list.