How can I communicate with students?

There are various communication options in Canvas. See information below for each tool to determine which best fit your needs. 


  • Can be created and posted by instructors, TAs, or course admins.
  • Can delay posting so the message goes out at a specific date and time.
  • Email notification are sent automatically at posting or at the Delay Posting time. 
  • All previous course announcements are collected and retained in the tool.
  • Can be sent to entire course or specific sections.
  • Instructors can allow students can respond publicly to announcements but is not a requirement.


How to disable comments in Announcements

How to send an Announcement

More information about the Announcement tool


  • Communicate privately with students. 
  • Can filter recipients by section or specific students.
  • Message notifications are sent to students email addresses while the original message remains in Canvas. 
  • Students can respond to messages directly from their email client.
  • Messages may be created by instructors, TAs and students (students cannot send message to entire course).


How to send a Message

More information about the Conversations Tool


  • Real-time text communicate between all course participants at the same time.
  • Message CANNOT be deleted once sent and can be seen by all.
  • Identical to instant messaging.


How to use Chat in a course

More information about the Chat Tool


  • Acts as a forum to allow discussion among students.
  • Subscription option notifies subscribers of activity within a discussion.
  • Students can "like" each other's posts.
  • Has the rich-text editor to allow for richer content.
  • Can be graded and included in the course grade.


How to create a discussion post

More information on the Discussion tool

Message Students Who...

  • Instructors and TAs can send messages from the Gradebook to students based on a certain criteria (e.g., who have not submitted an assignment, have no received a grade, etc.).
  • Students will receive a message but won't see the other students who also received the message.
  • Good for contacting students who may be falling behind and/or recognizing students who did well on an assignment.


Communication from the Gradebook

Email client outside of Canvas

If you wish to communicate with students outside of Canvas, you can export student email addresses from the Roster Photos. If you choose to go this route, we recommend using the bcc field so fellow class members do not see each other’s email addresses.

Alternatively, you can create a mailing list for your course by submitting a HelpSU ticket to the AS Course Support mailing list team for more information: