automatic informing of students about due dates

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I've been supporting Canvas at University of Wisconsin-Madison for the past five years.

I think I am missing something, and I can't find the right language to look it up in the Canvas guides. 

My root question is: Are there specific actions within a Canvas course that will be automatically communicated to the student?

Ultimately, if the answer to that question is "yes", I want to know what those items are.

Now... to hopefully avoid the predictable deflection topic, I am not talking about "Notifications".

Meaning, (and maybe I'm wrong here)... my understanding is:

"The 'Notifications' found under Canvas Account only addresses whether messages get pushed out to either 1) an external email address, or 2) 'other devices'."

Respectfully, I don't care about that (right now). I am not curious about if or how messages are pushed outside of Canvas.

Instead, I am just trying to get a clearer picture of what communication automatically happens within Canvas, regarding, say, the creation of new assignments, or the changing of due dates, or giving or changing of grades.

I am assuming (yes, dangerous) that these auto-communications are, indeed, happening, because those communications are the things that may also be "pushed" out via "Notifications".

But... (if that assumption is correct)... what are those things that automatically happen to trigger communications? What form do those communications take? Are they always messages in the student Inbox? Do students always get messages about new Canvas assignments? Or only when they are published? What if those assignments get modified? Are student's Canvas Inboxes really saturated with all that stuff? Does the publishing of the course have any bearing on students being informed about these activities?

Thank you for any info, clarification. Or, please, point me to the appropriate Canvas Guide(s).

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@cliff_cunningha I see what you are getting at but I think Canvas considers Notifications and the Canvas Inbox very different tools.  As currently designed, Notifications are to an email/device outside of Canvas.  I see the reasoning of this that I should not need to log in to the tool to know there is stuff happening inside it that I might be concerned about.  This is the reason we train faculty to use Announcements more and not the Inbox.  While the inbox in most cases is also synced to the same tool the student is using for notifications, it is really a separate tool for communication.  I see the value in this mainly for younger students that do not otherwise have an email for their school.  We mostly ignore it at my institution (Higher Ed as well).

You mentioned some other items in your initial post about events triggering and items being published.  The publish status has everything to do with whether or not students get notified.  If the course is not published then students get nothing.  I always recommend trying to have your course built as much as possible before publishing because changing dates and adding new assignments will notify students.  The second piece to this is the publish status of the actual item.  Making changes to an unpublished item does not notify students for the same reason. I was testing something for Canvas support and accidentally wiped my live course (I teach as well) and had to rebuild it from backups.  My students got like 20 notifications as I brought everything back and fixed dates.  Really wish I could have controlled that but it was my fault for not paying attention to the fact I had click the wrong tab and was wiping a live course.

Not sure that helps but thought I would share.


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