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Community Member

Multiple Emails via SIS

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Our IT dept. has asked us to find out if there is a way to send multiple email addresses to Canvas (for students) via SIS. Does anyone know if is this is possible?

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Surveyor II

Looking at the docs for SIS Import I don't think so.

SIS Import Format Documentation - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation

Notice that the users.csv definition only has one field for email.

I don't know what your use case is, why you are wanting to store multiple email addresses, but you might want to look at this API call:  Users - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation - Store Custom Data

Your IT staff could write a custom script to create custom data to store with the user, that would include additional email addresses.​

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Surveyor II

Looking at the docs for SIS Import I don't think so.

SIS Import Format Documentation - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation

Notice that the users.csv definition only has one field for email.

I don't know what your use case is, why you are wanting to store multiple email addresses, but you might want to look at this API call:  Users - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation - Store Custom Data

Your IT staff could write a custom script to create custom data to store with the user, that would include additional email addresses.​

View solution in original post

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Community Member

Thanks for your reply - my understanding of what drove their request deals with faculty getting upset that students aren't reading/paying attention to their standard university issued email.

I played around a bit with our files in our beta instance, and you are absolutely right - the users import will only accept one field, or simply generate errors.

I will pass along the links you posted to our IT staff - see how much time they really want to invest in this.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

...their request deals with faculty getting upset that students aren't reading/paying attention to their standard university issued email.

This sounds more like a policy/procedure/training issue than a Canvas issue. Students can set it up so they can have their Canvas messages and notifications forwarded out to any email address they want. Students can probably set it up to have their university issued email sent to their phone and/or forwarded to another email address that they do check/read. Ultimately all formal contact between an Institution and the student should stay (on the Institution side of things) within the Institutions email - this is related to FERPA and making sure the person you are communicating with and sharing information with is really the student and not someone else.

Sorry to go on and on, but we've had this conversation at our Institution and what we keep circling back to is that it's not a technology problem as much as a student issue. And we have been able to increase the number of students who are using (or forwarding) their Institutional email through a robust educational campaign and training on how to get their information (and Canvas communications/notifications) sent to the email of their choice.

Just my 2 cents. Smiley Wink

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Community Member

I completely agree with you. I feel that it is an overreach on the part of an institution - I let them know (almost verbatim) what you have shared, and while I understand the faculty are wanting to ensure students get the information they need...but there is the reality that email is a dinosaur. It is where I go to ensure my order with Amazon went through...and then abuse the track your package notification as if me checking ten times a day will make a difference.

Any way that I could get the slightest peak at the campaign you deployed?

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I agree with kona@richland.edu​.

We make sure students understand the importance of configuring their notifications, and make sure they understand how to do it.

At that point, it really is up to the student to take advantage of feature.

There is a policy at the institution that all communication with students must go through official email channels, so it seems to me (I am certainly not a lawyer : ) that it really is up to the student to "approve" an alternate channel.

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Community Member

garth@academicplatforms.com​ totally agree - we have the same policy at our school as well, and it really is up to the student...but alleviating concerns from nervous faculty is the challenge.

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Community Coach
Community Coach

Campaign might be overstating it. We added very specific information to our Online Student Orientation to Canvas (with step-by-step directions), it got focused on/emphasized in the face-to-face College Orientation, advisers were asked to specifically talk with students about it, faculty were asked to put the information in their syllabus and talk to students about it, and any student who came to our office was asked if they checked their email and if they knew how to forward it.