What are the differences between an announcement and an Inbox conversation?

Announcements are sent to the entire course and can not be restricted to a section or particular student. A message can sent to a course member, set of course members, section, group or the entire course. See the chart below for a quick comparison. 

  Announcements Inbox Conversations
Recipient Options
  • All course participants
  • Specific Sections 
  • All course participants
  • Specific sections
  • Specific groups
  • Individuals
  • Role based
Message Location Within Canvas course shell Within Canvas; Outside of course shell
Notifications ASAP, by default ASAP, by default
Can the whole class see the message?  Yes    No, only intended recipients
Can be deleted?   Yes (can't retract email notification)   Only from your view 
 Rich Text Editor  Yes No 
Can students respond?  Yes/No - instructor can restrict students from responding Yes 
 Multiple Attachments  No, but can embed multiple downloadable files  Yes
Draft mode Yes - delay posting (can edit up until the post date and time) No 

To create an announcement, follow the steps in Canvas's How do I make an Announcement in a course? guide.

To send a message to your students, please see How do I send a message in Conversations? for step-by-step instructions and screenshots.