Information technology tools and resources at the UW
About communicating with students in Canvas
One of the best things about Canvas is the way it can help you stay in touch with your students. Canvas provides multiple avenues of communication, each one useful in a different way. Read on to get an overview of the communication options. Or, to delve deeper into using one method, follow the links below to the online Canvas documentation.
You can communicate with students using:
Announcements help you reach a large number of students at once and are useful when you want to:
- Point students to internal and external resources in the form of written content/attachments or even audio/video comments.
- Remind students about upcoming deadlines.
- Announce important events that may be of interest to your students.
- Feed a custom RSS feed related to the topic of the course to your students.
Discussions within Canvas provide an integrated system for you and your students to start and contribute to discussion topics. Discussions can also be created as an assignment for grading purposes and can be integrated with the Canvas Gradebook.
Use Discussions to:
- Follow-up on a conversation or questions that began in a face-to-face classroom.
- Test student understanding about a discussion/conversation made in class.
- Allow students to debate over ideas presented in class amongst themselves, while still in a supervised setting.
- Use student input on the discussion boards to enhance and improve the effectiveness of class sessions.
Conferences can be used primarily for conducting virtual lectures and virtual office hours. You can use conferences to conduct presentations to a large online audience using webcams, audio, and desktop sharing abilities. Conferences also allow you to conduct a live chat session with the audience present in the conference room. Conference rooms can also be used by students to conduct group study sessions.
Use Conferences to:
- Conduct a live lecture or session to the students that can’t be onsite.
- Connect with your students for online office hours or special study sessions.
- Use the meeting room for one-on-one sessions with students in a virtual environment.
- Invite special guests to your classroom by adding them as a student or observer to your course.