You can communicate with students through Canvas channels and non-Canvas channels (usually regular email). If your message is something all students should see and might want to refer to later on, we recommend you make a Canvas Announcement, which will persist in your Canvas site unless you delete it.
You can also use Canvas Conversations (Inbox) or regular email. If you prefer to communicate with students via email, bear in mind that Canvas messages from students will come to you as an email notification. It's possible to reply to the email notification directly in your email client, without having to log in to Canvas. You can be sure your reply will only reach the student who sent you the message, even if it the message is part of a "Group Conversation."
Students will receive a notice about new announcements based on their customizable Notification Preferences; the default is that they are sent an email right away. As the poster of the announcement, you may customize how soon you receive a notification about announcements you post by using the "Announcement Created By You" notification preference.
If you ever want to find out what a student has received for Notifications, contact the Courseware Team.
Conversations with the Canvas Inbox
Canvas contains an internal messaging system called Conversations (Inbox). It is NOT the same thing as a full-featured email client, so trying to use it as one will likely lead to frustration. However, if you want to keep all course communications in one place, you can converse with single students, specific sections, student groups, or the entire class using Conversations.
- Check "Send individual messages" if you want any recipients' replies to be sent only to you. Otherwise, a "Group Conversation" will be sent, with any reply also sent to the same addressees.
- The timing of Notifications about Conversations is subject to individual Notification preferences. We do recommend that students elect to receive ASAP Notifications about Conversation activity.
If you want to send an email to your class outside of Canvas, use the the Email feature in Instruction Center.