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halseyltaylor
Community Member

Difference between Message through Inbox and Announcement

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What is the difference between sending all students a message through the inbox or sending an announcement? I am trying to decide which method is better for things I want to send to students/parents. For example - "Grades have been updated. Please check the online grade book to verify your grades."

Would that be better sent as a mass message through Canvas or an Announcement?

Thanks!

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @halseyltaylor and welcome to the Canvas Community!  You ask a good question and it is one that I get asked at my institution from time to time, although being in higher ed we don't have parent observers.  The answer may depend a bit on how your instance of Canvas is set up, what guidance is given to users as far a notification settings, and perhaps which you feel is better received by the students/parents.  In our instance of Canvas, for example, by default both Conversation messages and announcements are automatically also sent to our institutional email account.  So, if a teacher uses either of these contact options, the student will also be sent an email as well.  While not something we can dictate, I do suggest to students and teachers they consider whether they would like to add their cell texting service as a notification option and consider receiving a text if either announcements or messages are made within their classes.  I have had some of the faculty here indicate that students (in their estimation) don't read announcements as much as direct messages, although this does seem a bit strange as either option will generate an email the way we have Canvas and our email system connected.

The benefits I see of an announcement is that someone can always go to the Announcements tab of a course to get a list of announcements that were sent.  You as the teacher can time-delay the release of an announcement, link to content within the course directly, enable an RSS feed, and permit users to leave comments if you choose.  Of course, you wouldn't want someone to comment on their grade specifically in a forum open to others.  Announcements are also copied from one class to another which is nice if they are long or detailed.  I will normally copy a course, set the announcements to post some time in the future, then as the class progresses edit these and post them at that time.  If you haven't seen the guide page for announcements, here is a link that may be helpful, https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460#jive_content_id_Announcements.

Messages can be nice in that an option is to send an individual response to each recipient.  Any responses then are more private.  I like that from the global navigation pane I can see if there are unready messages as well. 

I'm not sure if this is helpful! I don't think there is a right or wrong answer but there are ups/downs to the different choices.  Another consideration may be what other teachers at your school do.  I would imagine that students and parents will get accustomed to what a teacher does and then assume the next teacher will communicate similarly. 

Best wishes, and I look forward to reading what others have found most effective in these instances!

View solution in original post

2 Replies
ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @halseyltaylor and welcome to the Canvas Community!  You ask a good question and it is one that I get asked at my institution from time to time, although being in higher ed we don't have parent observers.  The answer may depend a bit on how your instance of Canvas is set up, what guidance is given to users as far a notification settings, and perhaps which you feel is better received by the students/parents.  In our instance of Canvas, for example, by default both Conversation messages and announcements are automatically also sent to our institutional email account.  So, if a teacher uses either of these contact options, the student will also be sent an email as well.  While not something we can dictate, I do suggest to students and teachers they consider whether they would like to add their cell texting service as a notification option and consider receiving a text if either announcements or messages are made within their classes.  I have had some of the faculty here indicate that students (in their estimation) don't read announcements as much as direct messages, although this does seem a bit strange as either option will generate an email the way we have Canvas and our email system connected.

The benefits I see of an announcement is that someone can always go to the Announcements tab of a course to get a list of announcements that were sent.  You as the teacher can time-delay the release of an announcement, link to content within the course directly, enable an RSS feed, and permit users to leave comments if you choose.  Of course, you wouldn't want someone to comment on their grade specifically in a forum open to others.  Announcements are also copied from one class to another which is nice if they are long or detailed.  I will normally copy a course, set the announcements to post some time in the future, then as the class progresses edit these and post them at that time.  If you haven't seen the guide page for announcements, here is a link that may be helpful, https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460#jive_content_id_Announcements.

Messages can be nice in that an option is to send an individual response to each recipient.  Any responses then are more private.  I like that from the global navigation pane I can see if there are unready messages as well. 

I'm not sure if this is helpful! I don't think there is a right or wrong answer but there are ups/downs to the different choices.  Another consideration may be what other teachers at your school do.  I would imagine that students and parents will get accustomed to what a teacher does and then assume the next teacher will communicate similarly. 

Best wishes, and I look forward to reading what others have found most effective in these instances!

View solution in original post

halseyltaylor
Community Member

Wonderful response! Thank you for taking the time to write this. Helps me a lot!