What communication tools are available in Canvas?

Quick Links: | Announcements | Inbox | Discussions | Pronto | Email |

Canvas offers a variety of communication tools to help instructors effectively engage with their students. These tools cater to different communication needs, allowing instructors to convey important information, interact with individual students or teams, facilitate class-wide discussions, and even utilize third-party apps for real-time mobile chat. This article will provide an overview of the available communication options in Canvas and how instructors can leverage them effectively.

Announcementscanvas announcement icon

Announcements serve as a powerful means for instructors to communicate with the entire class collectively.

  • The rich text editor in Canvas allows instructors to craft visually appealing announcements by incorporating various formatting options, images, and videos.
  • Instructors have the flexibility to delay the postings, allow liking, and attach files for further information.
  • Learn more: How do I add an announcement in a course?

Inbox (Conversations) canvas inbox icon

The Canvas Inbox functions like traditional email within the platform, enabling instructors to send messages directly to individual students or groups.

  • The text editor in Inbox is relatively minimal and lacks advanced formatting options compared to Announcements.
  • Instructors can use the Inbox for quick and private communication with students.
  • Learn more: How do I use the Inbox as an instructor?.

Discussion canvas discussion icon

Discussions allow students to interact with the instructor and other classmates.

  • Threaded discussions allow multiple posts and replies.
  • New posts appear in the Course Activity Stream page, so students will know when something has been posted.
  • Many instructors create a Q&A or Peer Support discussion for students! Just be sure to tell students whether or not you will be monitoring the thread so they know what to expect.
  • Learn more: How do I use Discussions as an instructor?.

Pronto canvas pronto icon

Pronto is a third-party real-time mobile chat app that seamlessly integrates with Canvas.

    Offers features similar to popular chat platforms like Slack, Discord, or Microsoft Teams.
  • Instructors can communicate with students via text, photos, audio, and video messages without sharing personal contact information.
  • Pronto is already enabled in all classes and your students have access to your class Pronto whether or not you will use it. It's important to let students know if and how you will use Pronto. Examples:
    • For regular use, check out this instructor's extensive information page about Pronto and its use in her class: Sample Class Pronto Information (note that you may be prompted to log in to your Chico State account)
    • For no use, consider adding to the Pronto information page included in the Chico State template a statement: As a student, you will have access to Pronto in all of your courses. You may use Pronto for this course to communicate with classmates. While I have access to our class Pronto, please know that you will not be able to contact me through Pronto as I so not regularly monitor it. Instead, please use... 
    • Or craft your own statement communicating use somewhere between regular and no use.
  • Learn more: Getting Started with Pronto

Email email icon

While most communication can be effectively managed within Canvas, there may be instances where instructors need to access students' university email addresses.

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Article ID: 113604
Thu 7/27/23 3:35 PM
Fri 1/12/24 10:37 AM