Communication Tools in Canvas

Canvas provides several communication tools for instructors and students. For more information, see the Communication Overview (Video).

There are three primary ways for instructors to communicate with students:

  • Announcements: Announcements are great way to send timely, public information to your entire class. The Announcements feature triggers an email to each student in the course, which passes through the Canvas Inbox and then to the SLCC email on record for that student. On the Announcements Index page, students (and instructors) can view all announcements in the order they were sent. (Log into the course and select the Announcements tab.) For additional information, review the Canvas Guides: Announcements or watch the Announcements Overview video (Instructors).
  • Discussions: Discussions are like forums or message boards, but are only available to the students registered in the course. Discussions can be used as graded or ungraded assignments. Create graded discussions requiring responses to question prompts, readings, videos, or other required materials and allow students to view and comment on each others' writings. Graded discussions can be seen in your Gradebook, Calendar, Syllabus, and the the Discussion and Assignments index pages.  For additional information, review the Canvas Guides: Discussions

In addition to the features mentioned above, Canvas provides these options to help facilitate dialogue and engagement within a course:

  • Chat: The Chat feature in Canvas is similar to phone and computer chat that students may use in outside systems, yet in Canvas it remains private. Chats are only visible to the instructor and other registered students in the course. Chat can be used to answer students' questions, allow students to converse with each other, and to conduct virtual office hours. For additional information, review this Canvas Guide: How do I use Chat in my course?
  • Collaborations: Canvas also leverages collaborative technology to allow multiple users to work together on the same document at the same time. Collaborative documents are saved in real-time, meaning a change made by any of its users will be immediately visible to everyone. For more information, see Canvas Instructor Guide: Collaborations.
  • Notifications: Canvas includes several default notification preferences you can set for your courses (including text, email, and Facebook). Notifications are sent to Canvas contact methods as specified in your account. However, you can change the default settings by setting your own notification preferences. These preferences only apply to you; they are not used to control how course updates are sent to other users. To learn more about each notification, default settings, and notification triggers, view the Canvas Notifications PDF. For additional information, see the Canvas Guide: How do I set my notification preferences.