Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

R-MC Faculty Teaching Toolkit: Communicating with Students


Communicating with Students


Communicating with Students in Canvas

 Communicating with Students in Canvas

Instructors should communicate regularly and clearly with students about each course. Especially if teaching a hybrid or online class, regular communication is one of the best ways to stay connected with your students and to encourage participation and engagement. Especially in hybrid or online teaching, frequent communication can influence whether a student succeeds or not. Instructors should communicate reminders about:

  • upcoming assignments (it's easier to lose track of time when hybrid or online)
  • any changes made to the course, including due dates or teaching mode
  • expectations of student participation.

Remind students to set their accounts to receive Notifications properly, so that you know students are receiving your communications. (Learn how: video | text)

Consider Welcoming Your Students to your course. This can be a chance to introduce yourself to your students, to share your passion for the course topic, to share some of your strengths and weaknesses if you're teaching in a way that is at the edges of your comfort zone, or to start to set expectations for the class. Also think about Managing Your Online Presence.

There are two important communication tools in Canvas; click the links below for how to use them:

  • Announcements (video | text): allow the Instructor to send announcements to the whole class. Students cannot post new announcements. Students can view announcements when logging into the course site. The default Notifications setting allows the student to receive the announcement in their R-MC email. 
  • Conversations--Canvas Inbox (video | text): Access Conversations by clicking on "Inbox" in the global navigation. Canvas Conversations is essentially email within Canvas. It allows the faculty member and the student to send private messages to another individual in the course, or to send to a group of users within the course as well as across Canvas course sites.