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blgartland
Community Member

Email students in one section only, without sending to instructors as well

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I am a TA and want to email students only in my lab section. There is a feature which allows me to compose an email to just my lab section, however my email is sent ALSO to all the instructors and teachers on record for lecture and lab (even though they are NOT within the list of those I am sending to-- only the student's names were listed).

I did not see a way to see a list within the section to de-select instructors on record, as this was an option (annoyingly time consuming, but at least an option) found in SmartSite. Thus, the instructor's names are not within the list but are hidden- as they are getting my email along with the students that are listed.

How might one send an email to a section of students but not to instructors as well?

Thank you!

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
jbrady2
Community Champion

 @blgartland ​ and stefaniesanders​ This is what I have been able to discover so far:

I had a volunteer added as a student in a sub-section of a sandbox course and then also added another volunteer as a TA in the same sub-section.  I had the TA email the student directly through Canvas, and, as of one hour after the email was sent, nothing has shown up in my Inbox in Canvas.  From this, I can only assume that the ability to have TA-student conversations also sent to the instructor might be an Admin controlled option.

I can see where this might be useful in order to have a third-party witness to a conversation who might also need to step-in and diffuse a situation without the need for the TA or student to ask for the intervention to occur.

However, I do see how this could become annoying for instructors if they do not wish to see every email conversation that occurs in their courses.  I would recommend escalating this to your institution's Canvas Admins to see if there is something they can switch-off, if they are allowed to by the institution, or so they can ask if it is possible if they are not sure how.

View solution in original post

12 Replies
abunag
Community Champion

Just to confirm some basics - are you trying to contact your section through Canvas Conversations (the inbox in canvas)?  If so, you should be able to select just your section, or individuals in your section.  I'm going to point to a guide as it has some screenshots of this action.  If this wasn't how you tried to communicate, can you provide a bit more detail?

How do I compose and send a message?

jbrady2
Community Champion

 @blgartland   Unless there is a default setting that is different for TA's, you should be able to click on th Add Recipients button, select the Students roster, and there you should find a listing for "Course Title: Students," which should add all students as recipients but not instructors. Again, if there is a default setting that automatically adds the instructors, then you may not be able to avoid sending them the email, but having never been enrolled in a course as a TA, I have no direct experience as to whether this might be the case.

Additional Information: I added two accounts to a course in the Free for Teachers account, one as a TA and one as a student to test my theory, since as I stated above I have no prior experience being enrolled as a TA. When I logged into the TA account below is a capture of what I found in Conversations.

TA.png

This should appear at the top of the list in Add Recipients once you click on Students.  Selecting this should only send messages to students.  When I tried this in my test course, the message was delivered to the students but not to my teacher account.  Hope this helps.

blgartland
Community Member

Thanks Everyone,
To clarify for some responders:

I hit "Compose a new message"

-->Select Course (then chose the course wanted)
Then in the recipient section the options are: Teachers, Teaching Assistants, Students, Observers, and Course Sections
From this list I chose --> "Course Sections"
Then I select my Course Section (my lab section A06) from the list of all different lab sections (A01-A06) that each TA has

Then from this is one last option: Teachers, Teaching Assistants, and Students
From this list I choose "Students"
This list shows all 24 students that are in JUST my lab section

Thus, it appears as though I am able to email JUST the students in my ONE lab section 24 students instead of 300 students (which IS exactly what I wanted to do).
HOWEVER, even though the instructors and lead TA are NOT on this list that I chose from they are ALSO getting my emails, in addition to the 24 students. (I hope this explanation is clearer to everyone?)

--So even though the instructors and lead TA are not contained within the list that I see under the "course Section" and then "Students" under the recipient list, they are getting my email as well. So it appears that Jeffrey Brady might be correct in that  there must be some sort of default setting that automatically includes the instructors.
Thanks, Jeffrey Brady!

Thus, could anyone instruct on how to change a "Default Setting"? Is this even possible? Perhaps it is built into the CANVAS platform? Or perhaps it is set up by whoever setup this course with CANVAS?
Any further suggestions?

Thank you so much for everyone's input and time!

Best,

Brandi

Thanks Anthony,

Yes, I am able to contact my section via Canvas Conversations (inbox). And I am able to select the section with all my students. But it appears as though the there is some sort of default setting in place that causes my message to be sent to the instructors as well, even though they are hidden from the list of individuals in my section. --See my detailed comment below--

--I could painstakingly select all the students from the student list, but I'm not willing to sift for 20/300 students to do that!

Thus, I would like to avoid spamming the instructors, and need to see if there is a way to change this hidden Default setting, if possible.

Thanks for your input!

Brandi

jbrady2
Community Champion

 @blgartland  Based on what you have described above and my experience in the Free for Teachers account, I would think that there is either 1) a setting in Canvas that allows the monitoring of e-mails between TA's and students that is off in the FFT instance of Canvas but is switched on in your institution's instance, or 2) an admin at your institution created something in Canvas to allow for this.

I could see how this might be desirable if there were ever any question concerning the communication taking place between TA's and students, but I also understand your point about not wanting to constantly involve the instructor(s) when not needed.

Meanwhile, I have posted a question in the Canvas Admins group with a link to this page to see if any admins can answer your question.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @blgartland ​,  @abunag ​,  @jbrady2 ​: Has anyone been able to figure out the discrepancy between expected behavior and what Brandi is seeing as to how a TA can message students in a section, so that the message is sent only to those students and not to the associated instructors and TAs?

jbrady2
Community Champion

I have not had a chance to test this further, but i have now made a note to remind myself, and I will look into it when I return to my office on Tuesday.

jbrady2
Community Champion

 @blgartland ​ and stefaniesanders​ This is what I have been able to discover so far:

I had a volunteer added as a student in a sub-section of a sandbox course and then also added another volunteer as a TA in the same sub-section.  I had the TA email the student directly through Canvas, and, as of one hour after the email was sent, nothing has shown up in my Inbox in Canvas.  From this, I can only assume that the ability to have TA-student conversations also sent to the instructor might be an Admin controlled option.

I can see where this might be useful in order to have a third-party witness to a conversation who might also need to step-in and diffuse a situation without the need for the TA or student to ask for the intervention to occur.

However, I do see how this could become annoying for instructors if they do not wish to see every email conversation that occurs in their courses.  I would recommend escalating this to your institution's Canvas Admins to see if there is something they can switch-off, if they are allowed to by the institution, or so they can ask if it is possible if they are not sure how.

View solution in original post

 @jbrady2 , thanks for going the extra mile...and I'm about to ask you to go one more. Smiley Happy I think the original issue had to do with the TA messaging all of the students in her section. In your testing, did you try that as well to see if not only the students in the section but also the associated instructor(s) and TA(s) received that message?