Canvas: Communicating with Students

Communicating with Students

Canvas provides two simple ways to communicate with your students: the Announcements tool and the Inbox/Conversations tool.


Announcements allow you to send messages to students in your course. You can specify the announcements by section, or send them to your entire class.

Learn how to create an announcement for your class. 

We recommend that you remind your students to check their notification settings and ensure the settings are set to receive your announcements.


For instructors who prefer back-and-forth messages within Canvas, the Inbox tool serves as an internal form of email communication. Although each faculty member has one inbox, the tools allow you to filter by course and by section.

Learn how to use the Inbox tool in Canvas.

Sample message for a Canvas Announcement

“Together, we will navigate this transition! Our class time will look like this (Insert your details here), which is (SIMILAR/DIFFERENT) from our previous routine in these ways (Insert your details here). I’ll communicate with you through (insert your mode of communication: Email, Canvas, Zoom Chat, etc.), and you can expect a response within (Insert your timeline for responses). My office hours are (insert your hours here) and you can sign up through (insert your details here - we recommend using Canvas). Lastly, keep in mind that Zoom class may be recorded and posted in Canvas for the class to review and/or for folks who were unable to attend. Please do not share these links beyond students in this course for our privacy and protection.”

Adapted from a sample by Ekaterina Ginzburg, Director, Academic Support Unit, Yale School of Nursing