E3Q
New Member

How to avoid bothering teachers with student group communication

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When students communicate in their group site, teachers automatically also get notified, because they are by default also part of the group, as teachers. Teachers cannot be removed from groups and apparently, they also cannot shut off group communication (https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Canvas-Question-Forum/Is-it-possible-to-turn-off-the-teacher-noti...). Furthermore, the group sites or their communication functionality cannot be disabled. This makes the group site communication functions very bothersome for us, as we may get spammed by the intra-group student communication of 50-odd groups. Because we need groups, we cannot avoid this issue. So please implement functionality to make usage of group communication possible without endangering teacher sanity.

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ColtonSwapp
Instructure
Instructure

Hello @E3Q 

Thanks for posting this in the global Canvas Community! 

I understand your frustration with not being able to turn off notifications for communication occurring within student groups. 

This sounds like it would make a great feature request. I searched around on this and found some related ideas that had been submitted HERE and HERE. 

I agree that it would be nice to be able to configure what notifications are being sent to the instructors for things happening within groups in Canvas.  I know that some schools and institutions have the ability to filter different types of emails that come through to users from Canvas. This can sometimes alleviate issues where users are receiving a large amount of unwanted notifications for things in Canvas. You might be able to explore this option with your IT team. 

If you would like to submit this as a feature request, you could that HERE. 

Hopefully this helps! 

-Colton 

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ColtonSwapp
Instructure
Instructure

Hello @E3Q 

Thanks for posting this in the global Canvas Community! 

I understand your frustration with not being able to turn off notifications for communication occurring within student groups. 

This sounds like it would make a great feature request. I searched around on this and found some related ideas that had been submitted HERE and HERE. 

I agree that it would be nice to be able to configure what notifications are being sent to the instructors for things happening within groups in Canvas.  I know that some schools and institutions have the ability to filter different types of emails that come through to users from Canvas. This can sometimes alleviate issues where users are receiving a large amount of unwanted notifications for things in Canvas. You might be able to explore this option with your IT team. 

If you would like to submit this as a feature request, you could that HERE. 

Hopefully this helps! 

-Colton 

I do not have the forum rank yet to propose feature requests. Please do so for me,@ColtonSwapp.

The proposal(s) would be (this is not all-or-nothing):

  1. Make sure group members are made aware in the interface when their group site activities are visible/sent to teachers, before they create announcements or start discussions
  2. Make it possible to create group sets without group sites (avoids the issue that prompted my post entirely)
  3. Make it possible to create group sets with private group sites, i.e., those that cannot be accessed by teachers, so they are safe spaces for group members and help avoid all kinds privacy issues (Me and my fellow teachers now see students post their phone number and login ids for all kinds of communication services; I really shouldn't)
  4. Make it possible to have specific notification settings for what happens in group sites of a group set can be determined at the group set level (this would not preclude having group sites that teachers can visit, but they can control whether or not to get notifications)
  5. Make it possible to have specific notification settings for what happens in any group site individually (this would allow, e.g., to have no notifications from group sites by default, but to enable it for some select groups for some reason)
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@E3Q ...

I am not sure that Instructure employees post Feature Ideas on behalf of Canvas end-users like us. Although you are still a New Member, you just need to participate a bit more in the Community in order to "rank up". Then, you'll be able to submit Feature Ideas. @ColtonSwapp did give you a couple links to existing Feature Ideas which you can already participate in (leave comments and give a star rating to):

Do you think either of these would meet your needs? If so, leave a comment on either or both with real-world examples.

This blog post, Welcome New Members, goes into detail about the New Member role and how you can "rank up" here in the Community by participating more. Also, you'll want to take a look at these three documents:

Keep in mind that Feature Idea creation will be turned off for everyone temporarily on November 30th. See the info in the pink box at the top of some of the documents I've linked above.

I hope this will help a bit!

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@Chris_Hofer: Sorry, but AFAIK my institute pays Instructure a fair price for their product and it is only reasonable that they take seriously feedback from us. My institute does not pay me to spend time ‘ranking up’ in some forum. I hope the support here does not make me lose time by having to go through my institute's contact person, leading to inefficient, indirect communication. I think my feature request is reasonable, clearly formulated, constructive, and goes beyond the linked requests. Therefore, by participating in those requests, I feel I would just be making noise and jumping through hoops of some well-intentioned system whose constraints are however silly to generally impose. If it really must be me who posts the feature request, then the easiest solution is for a forum admin to rank me up to remove that roadblock.

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Hello @E3Q ...

While I do understand your concerns, there really isn't all that much you'd have to do to "rank up" (or what might be called "leveling up" in video games). One of the links that was in the Welcome New Members blog was a link to How do I rank up in the Instructure Community?. Did you see that document (in particular the section on "Rank Up to Community Member"? I bet that you are already well on your way to this goal. I've pasted the section below...highlighting one of the reasons why Canvas Community Members have recently made the decision that folks with the New Member role cannot submit Feature Ideas right away...

All new Community members start off with the New Member rank. The New Member rank restricts where users can participate and what users can do. This helps keep the community free from spam content and ensures a safe and productive environment for all members. Ranking up to the Community Member rank allows members to participate in more areas, create different types of content, and greater permissions. To rank up from New Member to Community Member, a user must complete all of these requirements:

  • Post at least 1 time (a post can be a new question or a reply to an existing question)
  • View at least 12 pages
  • Give or receive at least 2 kudos
  • Log in at least 2 times
  • Spend at least 30 minutes online viewing Community content
  • Have an active account for 2 days
  • Have an active and verified email address

For example, I bet you have done most of these already...but maybe have not yet give anyone "kudos" (essentially "liking" their posts). If you click on your panda avatar image at the top right corner of any page here in the Community, you'll see a small menu of options. Choose "My profile". You should then be taken to your profile page where you can see details about how many page views you have, how many minutes you've been signed into the Community (listed as "Total Minutes Online", etc. If you've not done so already, try giving some people some "kudos" (essentially a "thumbs up") for their postings. That may be what you need to do to complete your "ranking up" to the next level.

As someone who has been an active participant in the Community since around 2015...and as a Canvas Community Coach, I can tell you that Instructure (the people that make Canvas) absolutely values our feedback. You wouldn't be "making noise" by posting your feedback to those two Feature Ideas. Again, if either of those Feature Ideas aligns with something you'd like to see implemented in Canvas, I would encourage you to add your feedback because Instructure does read our comments. And, just so you know, the Community forums aren't the only source of how Instructure gathers feedback from end users on what we would like to see developed in Canvas. That is why I had given you a link to What is the feature development process for Instructure products? which gives examples under the "Discover" heading of where and how they gather feedback.

I re-read your proposal that you posted this morning. Although much of your proposal relates to group functionality, it seems to me that each of your five requests would need to be a separate Feature Idea request. Why do I say this? As an example, someone may agree with you on your first item, but they may not agree with you on your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th items. So, if you were to post all of these items as one Feature Idea, how would folks know which one they were giving a star rating for? More details about creating Feature Ideas are provided in How do I create a new idea conversation in the Instructure Community?. Also, there may be other related Feature Ideas that have already submitted which haven't been mentioned in this thread. So, if you go here, Idea Conversations - Instructure Community (canvaslms.com), you can use the top search bar to search for existing ideas based on keywords that you put in the search bar.

I know I have given you a lot of information here. However, I wanted to be sure I included some information for you and also share some things from my own experiences here in the Community. I know it can seem frustrating when our ideas don't seem to get much attention from Instructure. Been there...done that. But, like I said, I do know that Instructure listens to our feedback. So, I would encourage you to keep the conversation moving. My $0.02 ... for what it's worth.

Take care...and be well.

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