Canvas: Set Expectations for Student Course Notifications

Challenge

There are multiple ways in Canvas to notify your student of course expectations, due dates, discussions, or disruptions that impact them. But are students getting the message? Recent changes to Canvas give students more control over the frequency and channel of course notifications. 

  • SMS Notifications
    The feature allows students to set their cell phone number to receive notifications as text messages. As of May 2020, that feature is limited to Announcement and Grading notifications only. Notifications about discussion posts or schedule changes will not be sent as text messages. As an alternative way to receive the full breadth of notifications on a mobile device, Canvas encourages students to download the Student App.

Because students control their notifications and have the option of turning them off altogether, they run the risk of missing important and timely information from you.

Solution

At the beginning of the semester, Instructors should set expectations for students as to how they should set up their notifications in order to be successful in the course.

Tips for Setting Expectations for Student Course Notifications

  • Inform students they can tailor their notification preferences for your course.
  • Use your course syllabus to establish expectations and messaging processes.
  • Inform students they are responsible for knowing the information that you pass on to them in a timely manner (indicate to them what you mean by timely, at least XX (daily, weekly).
  • Create a video that shows students how to set up their notifications settings. Add it to a course announcement. 
  • Set aside 5 minutes at the beginning of the semester to provide students with a tour of the Canvas course site and discuss how communication will take place during the semester.