Start by making sure your communication preferences in your Profile are current. Your profile lets you designate multiple email addresses as well as a cell phone number, Facebook account, and other web services through which you can choose to receive contacts and notifications from your class.

Communication Stream

Every time you login to Canvas you'll see a list of recent activity in the course. This is called the communication stream. This stream lists direct and general communication from your teacher and classmates, and you can respond to certain items by clicking add a comment right in the stream.


The internal messaging feature in Canvas is now called Conversations. This tool provides a quick and easy way to engage in private dialogue between teachers and students, and supports intuitive management of past conversations.

The Inbox in the top right corner of Canvas opens the Conversations tool, where you can compose, view, or reply to messages.

See the Conversations page for detailed information on composing and managing your conversations.


Each course has an Announcements stream which allows the instructor to post news that is seen both in the communication stream, in the Announcements tool, and sent to users depending on their notification preferences.

Announcements tool.jpg

Creating Announcements

Instructors may click Create Announcement to add a new message to the stream. Like most other messaging in Canvas, an announcement can contain text, links to other Canvas pages or activities, images, or embedded media.

Announcements' RSS Feed

Announcements provides a RSS feed that can be subscribed to via a feed reader (in your web browser, on your desktop, or through your mobile device). To access the feed for your course, click Announcements Feed. Announcements feeds.jpg

Adding an External Web Site's Feed to Announcements

You can also add another web site's RSS feed into your Announcements--that site's latest headlines and content will be added to your Announcements in the communication stream. This could include a blog, a news site, a calendar of events, etc.

To do so, click Add External Feed and paste in the URL of the RSS feed you want to add.


Discussions may be graded Assignments, or simply open forums on a given topic. See Discussions or Assignments for more details.

Assignment Comments & Feedback

Known Issues

  • Messaging can send notifications to your e-mail account (see Profile for details), however you can not reply directly via e-mail.
  • There is currently no way to organize messages in the Inbox.
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