Instant Messaging

Audience: Faculty, Staff, Students, ACCC


UIC offers two options for instant messaging, Blackboard Instant Messenger and Jabber. Below you will find the details of each option as you choose the best communication tool for your needs. 

Blackboard Instant Messenger (formerly known as Pronto) is a free instant messaging and voice chat tool that allows students and instructors to spontaneously meet live, online at any time to discuss their coursework. Blackboard Instant Messenger works with Blackboard Learn to automatically populate students' contact lists with their classmates' names, thereby making it easy for students, faculty and teaching staff to spontaneously collaborate live online. Blackboard Instant Messenger can also be used as a regular modern Instant Messenger, outside of Blackboard on Windows and Mac systems.

Jabber is an open source instant messaging system available to all UIC students, faculty and staff. Jabber client software is available for all the major operating systems, including tablets and smartphones.


Blackboard Instant Messenger

While Blackboard Instant Messenger offers many similar features as other instant messaging tools such as Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Google Hangouts, Yahoo, AIM and Jabber;

  • Blackboard Instant Messenger is unique to education because it integrates seamlessly with Blackboard Learn, thereby automatically populating each student's contact list each semester with the names of every student in their classes (and Blackboard Learn committee/group sites).
  • When one logins to Blackboard Instant Messenger, one instantly sees who's online from their classes and other Blackboard Learn sites (without even logging into Blackboard Learn).
  • Ideal to complement faculty and teaching staff office hours.
  • Provides natural text and/or voice-chat capabilities inside and outside of Blackboard Learn.
  • For Blackboard Learn sites, Blackboard Instant Messenger automagically pre-populates everyone in the class: no need to figure out what Instant Messenger software to use and what everyone's IM logins and handles are.  Blackboard Instant Messenger and Blackboard Learn know and take care of these details. You simply login and start chatting with your fellow students, instructors and other collaborators.
  • Blackboard IM is very easy to use, for both, one-on-one and group text and/or voice-chats (inluding text-chat archives)
  • Use the Blackboard Instant Messenger Contacts to save Blackboard Instant Messenger address book information for past and current students and instructors, for anyone at UIC, and for any other Blackboard Instant Messenger users in the world.


  • clients available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, as well as smartphones and other devices
  • conference rooms
  • file transfer

To take advantage of features like conference rooms and file transfer, please choose a Jabber client that supports them.


Blackboard Instant Messenger

To create a Blackboard IM account, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Log in to the Blackboard Learn site
  • Select Tools (or Student Tools) from the Blackboard Learn course menu (on the left)
  • Scroll down and select Blackboard IM


You will need to install and configure a Jabber client on your personal computer or mobile device.  In addition, a UIC NetID and an ACCC common password are required to authenticate.


Blackboard Instant Messenger

To create a Blackboard IM account, you will need to complete the following steps:

  • Create a Blackboard IM ID:
    • In Blackboard IM, you are identified by your full name, as it appears in UIC’s system. 
    • Your Blackboard IM ID is used for logging in, managing your account, and allowing users who are not in your classes to contact you. 
    • This ID is unique and does not need to match your UIC NetID.
    • If you are associated with two or more institutions that use Blackboard IM, you can use the same Blackboard IM ID for both
  • Email:
    • Each Blackboard IM ID must be associated with a unique email address.
  • Password:
    • Enter a password that is memorable, but difficult to guess.
  • Security question:
    • Choose a security question from the list and provide the answer.
    • In the event that you cannot remember your password, the question will be used for password recovery.
  • Agree to the Terms and Conditions of service and the cookie privacy policy.
  • Click Submit.


Anyone with a UIC NetID and Common password can use Jabber; their Jabber username will be their, and their password will be their Common password.

When you send and IM to someone for the first time (at their, your recipient will have the option to add you to their contact list.  Unless your intended recipient adds you as a contact, you will not be able to send them messages.  In a similar manner, you may accept or refuse invitations from others to be added to your contact list.


There is no charge for either Blackboard Instant Messenger or Jabber.


Phone 312-413-0003


Further Information 

ACCC Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Service Request Fulfillment Time

N/A - Accounts are automatically created for everyone

Incident Resolution Time

Within 1 day

Service Availability 24x7
Maintenance Window(s)


Service Notification Channel(s)

ACCC News and Alerts​, REACH

Reviewed to Ensure SLA Meets Business Requirements

Provisional SLA

Date Reviewed

Provisional SLA