Messaging Tools and Replace Strings in Brightspace

Keep students up to date on course materials and activities by sending them personalized emails utilizing the Replace Strings feature, or povide links to course materials, external resources, update the class and add assignments through the Activity Feed.

On this page:

Messaging Tools

You can message your students by sending an email or by using your course's Activity Feed. Using either method allows you to update your students on the class materials or course progress, provide quick access to links and important materials, and encourage communication between you and your students. Follow SUNY OSCQR standards on Interacting with your class, specifically, standards 38, 39, 40, 42 and 43, to ensure your communications are as clear and inclusive as possible.  

Additionally, Brightspace has an integrated Course Schedule which can be used to remind students to log in and interact with their courses.

Activity Feed

Activity Feed is a course homepage widget that provides a central location for learners and instructors to post messages that are visible to the entire class. You can add attachments by copying and pasting a web link or embed code, or using the attachment icons. For a rich and immersive experience, most attachments can be previewed, viewed, or interacted with directly in the feed. This feature gives your students the ability to quickly access links to important materials, comment on messages made by instructors and classmates, and upload files to assignment posts. Instructors can use simple HTML markup to format message posts and assignment instructions. 


The Email tool allows you to send email from within Brightspace. You can also organize received mail using folders and store email addresses using the Address Book. From the minibar, click the Message alerts icon and then click Email to get started. 

Personalizing Your Messages With Replace Strings

You can personalize all of your messaging through Replace Strings. Replace strings incorporate your student’s personalized information, such as their name, automatically. This feature can help instructors build better relationships with learners, increase engagement levels and improve the overall learning experience. 

Replace strings are particularly useful within the following:

  • Course Homepage Widgets
  • Custom Navigation Bar Links
  • Navigation Bars
  • Mail Templates
  • Grades when adding bulk feedback

Additional Resources