Communicating to members of advanced degree programs has historically been problematic - primarily because many such students work full time and are pursuing their post-baccalaureate degrees in off hours and potentially only online. Email can be unreliable and important communications can get lost in user inboxes or filtered into junk mail. The distribution of paper forms, brochures, newsletters, posters, bulletins, etc is costly both from a production and a delivery standpoint.
To facilitate communication and mitigate these difficulties, several programs have begun using Canvas courses as their source for communication, storage, and distribution of information. Students are already accessing Canvas on a regular basis for their academic courses, so they will see when there is new information posted in these additional courses. Course shells are manually created each school year, with department-designated teacher(s) who manages the content and invites the students to join the course.
Important information, forms, documents are then posted electronically rather than printed and mailed or handed out. Students can view materials online, or print if they so choose. Distance learners are not at a disadvantage having to wait for hard copy materials to be delivered.
We expect this usage to expand as our departments, instructors, and staff become more comfortable and familiar with Canvas and aware of its potential!