When a student sends a private message from outside of Canvas (hotmail, gmail, etc.), faculty often prefer to respond from inside of Canvas. Canvas is FERPA compliant, it's more efficient to have all course-related communication in the same place, etc.
However, if the student fails to identify what section he is in, responding from inside of Canvas can be difficult. We have to look through all the sections of every course to locate the student's name in order to compose a message. Although the inbox has a search feature, that feature only finds previous messages--it does not help you compose a new message.
I would like to be able to search for a student in the inbox, then click "compose" and send a message to that student. Or, click "compose" and search for that student in the "To" field, without having to specify a course/section first.