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gimena_sierra
New Member

Personalized message

Hello, I want to know if you can send a personalized message to each user. Like a mail merge. 

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6 Replies
ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @gimena_sierra and welcome to the Canvas Community!  I am not aware of any way that messages can be created with the same functionality as mail merge, where particular fields of the message are automatically populated with student names or other information.

Through the Inbox, when you choose a course to message there is an option to send an individual message to each participant (see below).  This doesn't however create a message where in a particular location, individual student names, etc. are added.  You can also send individual messages to students.  This document has more information on use of the Inbox, How do I send a message to a user in a course in Conversations as an instructor? 

268905_pastedImage_1.png

If I need to send messages to students individually but want to make it more personalized (Inbox, SpeedGrader, etc.) what I normally do is compose this in Word and then copy/paste it where I am messaging students.  Then I change the name or other data manually before sending.

I hope this helps!

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi there,  @gimena_sierra ...

I have been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I stumbled upon your question.  I wanted to check in with you because I noticed that we have not heard back from you since you first posted this question on February 23, 2018.  It looks like ericwerth provided some good feedback for you later that morning.  Although what you would ultimately like to do is not possible within Canvas, did Eric's response help to answer your question?  Do you have any outstanding questions as it relates to your original question that we can help you with?  If you feel that Eric has helped to answer your question, please feel free to mark his response as "Correct".  However, if you are still looking for some help with your question, please come back to this topic to post a message below so that someone from the Community might be able to help you further.  For now, I am going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" because we've not heard back from you and because there hasn't been any new activity in this thread for quite some time.  However, please know that this won't stop you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Gimena.  Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

rpm
Community Member

The users of this site, including ericwerth, are truly helpful but I wish Instructure were listening when teachers (such as the OP here) ask about perfectly reasonable and easy-to-code features. Just imagine the person-hours lost to copy-and-paste operations as workarounds for Canvas's missing functionality! It's painful.

I absolutely agree. When I want to send a personalized email to each of my, let's say, 25 students, I have to copy and paste into 25 emails, and then copy and paste 25 headers, just so that I can write "Dear Alice" or "Dear John". It's something that I can't even fathom doing in our larger classes of >60, but if we could it would help students to not feel so alienated.

I recall that I was able to do a <name field> in Blackboard about 15 years ago, although that functionality disappeared even from BB somewhere along the way. How difficult would it be to code this type of feature and save us hours of work?

Hi @RoslynRoberts ...

I did a bit of searching here in the Canvas Community, and I found a Feature Idea that was submitted back in May 2018 that might be close to what you are suggesting:

INBOX Replacement Strings

If you feel that this Feature Idea aligns with what you'd like to see in Canvas, you might want to give it a star rating and then post a reply (maybe even just copy/paste your above response into that thread) so that you can let Canvas engineers know why this would be valuable to you in Canvas.  Here is more on the star rating system:

How do idea conversations work in the Instructure Community?

Hope this will help a bit.

Spoiler
Thank you! I responded to the idea message. Fingers crossed that it will eventuate.