Global announcements are an excellent communicative tool.
However, it would be useful for Canvas admins to be able to choose whether or not a global announcement triggers a variety of notifications for users, whether they be email, SMS, push notifications (for users with the mobile applications) – or a combination of the three.
Example use case:
Emergency services attend campus and student safety could be compromised. A global announcement to all students and staff could be made at the account level to warn them to avoid a particular area. Sending notifications that nearly instantly reach a student or staff member's phone or tablet would assist with disseminating this vital information more quickly.
Even if the technical constraints of sending thousands of emails or SMS messages make this request tricky, being able to send global announcement push notifications via the Canvas apps (student and staff) would be a huge improvement.
This idea has been mentioned in the Canvas Community a few times in recent years.
A few considerations (helpfully mentioned inAdding a Notifications option for global announcements) are:
- How would announcements like this handle being edited? Would an edit generate a new (push) notification?
- Particularly in the case of mobile push notifications, I think sending an edited/updated push notification would be best.
- You may only want to send these (push) notifications to currently active users. Inactive students who have completed their studies may not want to receive an SMS notification like above. However, some students may not be currently active (if they have no current course enrolments) but may have deferred their studies, for example, and still could be on campus.
- Perhaps there could be a grace period option: only send notifications to currently active users, and users who have been inactive for less than 12 (?) months.
- In both considerations above, it would be useful to give those options to the Canvas admins making or editing the global announcement.