Faculty members have a few tool choices available when needing to communicate with their class. In Canvas, faculty members can use either the Canvas Announcement tool or the Canvas Inbox tool to send full class messages and can use the Conferences tool to facilitate live sessions. In MVConnect, faculty members can use the Class Roster or Outlook Web App to send messages directly to student email accounts. Additional information about each of these communication methods is provided below.
Canvas Communication Tools
In order to use any Canvas Communication tools, it is important that a course first be published and within the defined course dates. Faculty members can publish a course on the Canvas course Home page. Additionally, course dates can be viewed and edited on the course settings page.
Canvas Announcements allow the instructor to share a message with the entire course. The announcement will appear on the announcements page in the Canvas course. Additionally, students may also receive a Canvas notification in their email or on their personal device, depending on individual student defined preferences.
To create an announcement, open your Canvas course, then click the Announcements link. Click the Add Announcement button, then add a title and type a message. Click the Save button to post the message to the course.
For detailed instructions, please see the How do I add an announcement in a course? Guide.
The Canvas Inbox/Conversations tool allows the instructor to share a message with the entire course or individual students. This communication only appears in the Canvas Inbox and does not appear in the course itself. Students may also receive a Canvas notification in their email or on their personal device, depending on individual student defined preferences.
To use the Canvas Inbox to send a message to the entire course, first click the Inbox tool. Then, click the pencil icon to compose a new message. From the course list, choose the appropriate course. Next, click the address book icon, then select Students, then All in Students. Type a subject line, then check the box to send an individual message to each recipient. Compose the message, then click the Send button.
For detailed instructions, please see the How do I send a message to all course users in Conversations as an instructor? Guide.
Canvas Conferences Using BigBlueButton
BigBlueButton, the built-in Canvas Conferences tool, provides opportunities for real-time sharing through chat, webcams, audio, slide sharing, polling, screen sharing, and a multi-user whiteboard. Conferences can be created with an individual, group, or full class.
To setup a conference, click Conferences on the course menu, click the Add Conference button, enter conference details, and save. Click the conference link when you are ready facilitate the session. If live broadcasting video, we recommend reviewing 7 Tips for Making Webcam Videos Look Good.
Faculty members can use the Class Roster form in MVConnect to send e-mail messages directly to student email accounts on record.
To compose a message, login to MVConnect, then the Faculty and Staff portal page. In self-service, click Faculty, then Faculty Information, then Class Roster. Click the course name to view the roster. When the roster loads, click the “Email these Students” link. Choose the option to e-mail all the students listed, then click Submit. Enter a subject line and e-mail text. It is recommended that instructors CC themselves on the message. When done, click the Submit button.
Faculty members can use the Webmail or Email link in MVConnect to compose a email message to students. Using this method, instructors would need to manually enter student email addresses. If this method is used, it is recommended that the instructor type their own email address in the To field and type all student email addresses in the BCC field. Multiple student addresses can be separated by semicolons. The student address must be the full student username @student.morainevalley.edu.
For detailed instructions, please see the Create and respond to messages in Outlook Web App Guide.
Do you have another tool you use to communicate with your class? If so, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning and we will add it to our list!