Communicating with Students in Canvas

Canvas has a number of ways you can communicate with students, including Announcements, Discussions, Conversations, Gradebook, and SpeedGrader. Explore the Canvas Guides linked to below to see how to utilize these features in your course.

Communication Methods

NOTE: Announcements, Discussions, Notifications and In Box Conversations are covered in our "Canvas Communication Tools" training. Gradebook and Speedgrader are covered in our "Canvas Gradebook" training.


Broadcast an informative message to the entire class with Announcements. Note that for those cross-listing their sections, Announcements will go to all sections you have cross-listed. See the Conversations information below to send messages to separate sections.

See the Canvas Instructor guides on Announcements


Discussions allow interactive communication between you and your students, much like Message Lists in CATE, or Forums in Moodle.

See the Canvas Instructor guides on Discussions


Another important element of the communication process within Canvas is the Notifications function. You can determine when you’ll be notified of events, activities and other actions within your course.

Read a description of each Notification category on the What are the default Canvas Notification Preferences Canvas guide.

Conversations through the Inbox

The Inbox is a messaging tool that can be uses instead of email to communicate with students in a course, a specific section of a cross-listed course, a group or with an individual student.

See the Canvas Instructor guides on Conversations


The Gradebook is designed to allow you to easily input and distribute grades for students as well as notify students when an assignment has been graded.

See the Canvas Instructor guides on Grades


Speedgrader allows you to view, grade and provide feedback on student submissions.

See the Canvas Instructor guides on SpeedGrader

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