Sign Up List Building Block – Important information

The Sign Up List tool in Blackboard is a building block provided by a third party. Since well before beginning our upgrade process in the summer to Blackboard 9.1 we have been expecting the release of the new building block – as the developer institution also upgraded to Blackboard 9.1 over the summer. We have left the Sign Up tool as available in Blackboard as we did not want to stop access to any information contained in current courses.

While the current version of the sign up list is still available for use there are some important considerations as it is not fully functioning. If you do wish to use this please read the notes below prior to adding to your course.

What works –

  • Adding a sign up list to content area
  • Students adding themselves to lists
  • Students removing themselves from lists when the list is not full
  • Notification that the list is full
  • Adding students to reserve list
  • Export to excel (does not show reserve list)
  • Export to CSV file (does show reserve list)

What does not work –

  • Instructors manually adding users
  • Instructors manually removing users
  • Students removing themselves when list is full
  • Moving students from reserve list to main list
  • Printing directly from Blackboard

We will post further information as soon as the updated tool becomes available from the the third party, in the mean time another option is to use the sign up functionality in the Groups tool. This has the advantage of linking directly to the Group tools such as email. If you would like some guidance on using this please contact

UPDATE 07/11/2011 – We have now received the alpha version of the building block for 9.1 and this is being added to our test environment so we can fully test functionality.



Announcement emails do not work when a course has : in the name.

If you receive a message stating that emails have not been sent when posting an announcement, please check your course name. If the name has a colon (:) in the title the email tool in Blackboard will not work. This is a known issue with the software and is due to be fixed in an upcoming Service Pack.


  • Create the announcement as normal
  • Copy the message text
  • Post the announcement
  • Go to course tools and click send email
  • Select the group of users you wish to send the email to e.g. All student users
  • Paste the text from the announcement in to the message box
  • Click Submit


Setting up Forum subscription so users can choose to receive email notifications

You can allow subscription to a discussion forum or thread. This means that users can choose to subscribe. If they subscribe they will receive emails when new posts are added.

To allow subscription in an existing forum:
1. Go into the relevant Blackboard course
2. Click on Course tools in the Control Panel, then click on Discussion Board
3. Click on the link to the Discussion Board and find the relevant forum
4. Next to the forum name click on the dropdown arrow, and choose Edit
5. In section 3 “Forum settings” select either Allow members to subscribe to threads or Allow members to subscribe to forum, as appropriate, then click Submit.
6. Users will then see a subscribe button in the forum or in each thread, which they should click on if they wish to receive emails.

You will have the same option to allow subscription if setting up a new forum.