Del Helms

Tuesday Teaching Tip #2

Blog Post created by Del Helms on Nov 3, 2017

Today’s teaching tip is for instructors who are using Discussions in their courses. 

Unbeknownst to me, when I was replying to my students’ posts within the Discussions area in Canvas I was being automatically subscribed to every discussion area in which I was posting.  Subsequently, based upon my notification settings I was receiving an email notification every time a student posted to the discussions in which I was subscribed.  This included the discussions in which I didn’t subscribe, but included discussions in which I posted and was automatically subscribed.   Aaaaarrrrggghhhh!!!


The simple remedy is to unsubscribe from any/all discussions in which you do not wish to receive notifications or set your notifications to ‘(X) Do Not Send me Anything’ for both Discussion and Discussion Post.

However, if you wish to subscribe to specific discussion(s), then you can choose to do so.  For example, I subscribe to the Troubleshooting Forum in the courses I teach so I get notified when a post is made to that discussion area.  You can set when you get notified by selecting from the following choices:

  • Notify me right away
  • Send daily summary
  • Send weekly summary
  • Do not send me anything

You can subscribe to all Discussions (*not recommended) or you can subcribe to specific discussion posts (*recommended).  For example, if you subscribe to ‘Discussion’, then each time ANY new discussion topic is posted, you will get notified based upon your Notification settings.  If you subscribe to ‘Discussion Post’, you will only get notified when there is a new discussion topic posted to only the specific topics you are subscribed to.
* Recommendations are based upon satisfaction or lack of satisfaction one gets from receiving email.  My recommendations are based upon my preference for less emails.  However, if you love email subscribe away, “You’ve got mail!”


Watch the Discussions Overview video (8:44) to learn more about using the Discussion tool in Canvas