Canvas includes a number of tools for instructors to use to communicate and interact with students through a course site. Students control how they receive communication from Canvas via their notification preferences.
Announcements can be used communicate with all students in your course. As soon as you have submitted an Announcement, Canvas takes care of notifying students according to their preferred Notification Preferences, through Facebook, Twitter, text message, or email. Canvas also creates a new Discussion so that students can respond to your Announcement with comments and questions. Announcements post to two areas in Canvas: the Global Activity Stream in the User Dashboard and the "Announcements" area of your site. Users can also enabled notifications for announcements.
Important: Announcements are not automatically emailed to your students. Students must have their "Announcements" notification preferences turned on.
In Canvas, the term "conversations" is used to describe the ongoing message chain between you and other users. Canvas conversation-messaging is not the same as email. Rather, it is an internal messaging system that gives users the option to receive email, text-message, or other notifications when they receive conversation messages in their Canvas inbox or when they are added to a conversation. A notification contains a link to the conversation message. When they click on the link, users are prompted to log in to Canvas to access the message.
Users can choose how often to receive notifications that they have a new message. Therefore, if you plan to use this as your main mode of communication students, you’ll want to let them know this and suggest to them that they keep their notifications set to ASAP or daily.
If you want to use email to contact your students, we recommend that you use your class mailing list. This will distribute email to every student registered in your course.
Canvas provides an integrated system for focused and threaded discussions so that both instructors and students alike can start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired. Discussions are date stamped when created, or replied to, and can be enhanced with any rich media like video, images, wikis, files attachments, and can be created as an assignment for grading purposes (which is then seamlessly integrated with the Canvas gradebook), or simply as a forum for topical and current events.
The Calendar pulls in assignments and events from all of a user's Canvas course sites, allowing students to see everything that is coming up in one place. The Calendar automatically syncs with other features in Canvas, such as Assignments, Syllabus, and Grades, so if you create, change, or delete the due date of an Assignment on the Calendar, it will show up in all the others and vice versa. You can change dates easily by dragging and dropping assignments from one date to another.
|Name of communication tool||When to use the tool|
|Announcements||To communicate information to all the students in a course.|
|Conversations/Inbox||To communicate with an individual students in a course.|
|Discussions||To discuss course topics and content via threaded graded assignments or for informal FAQ or Help.|
|Calendar||To remind students of due dates for activities in the course.|