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Attachments to Inbox from External Email

Attachments to Inbox from External Email

(4)
Did you know that while Canvas Inbox allows you to forward your email to an external account that if you answer the email from the external account and add an attachment, that will not show up in Canvas Inbox?  Seems that file attachments in this situation go into a unknown land never to be seen!  So if Canvas allows you to forward inbox messages to your external account (in my case my official college email account) then why not have access to full features of standard email? What sense does it make to have the forwarding happen if replies can't have full functionality?

 

For an instructor, this adds an unnecessary layer of complexity to what should be a simple activity.  If a student emails me a question via Canvas Inbox and it is forwarded to my standard school email account (we use Outlook Mail) then I should be able to answer that student from my regular school account and attach a file and have the student receive it where ever they are reading their email.  Canvas Inbox or their school email account.

 

Add functionality that allows attachments to come through with an email reply from designated external email accounts or forwarded to their accounts fully intact!

44 Comments
Community Team
Community Team

Hi Tammy,

Thank you for taking the time to come submit this feature idea.  It has been suggested previously but failed to get sufficient community votes in order to advance it to the next stage in the prioritization process.  Your submission will open for vote with the next cohort on the first Wednesday of next month.  For more information, please see How does the voting process work for feature ideas?

Thanks

Scott

Community Team
Community Team

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. March 2, 2016 - Wed. June 1, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works!

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

If this does NOT get enough "votes," I strongly encourage Instructure to add text to the message at the bottom of the emails one receives from Canvas from the current You can reply to this message in Canvas by replying directly to this email to something along the lines of You can reply to this message in Canvas by replying directly to this email, but do not add an attachment .  That would seem to be an easy enough temporary fix until this is resolved.

Community Team
Community Team

Good suggestion, kblack@dom.edu.  No matter what happens, we will pass that along to the product manager over communication tools.

Community Advocate
Community Advocate

Thank you, Scott!

Community Coach
Community Coach

I support this idea, because instructor presence is such a powerful component of online instruction, and has been proven to be a key indicator in student persistence and ultimate success.

When we first migrated to Canvas, one of the features that we appreciated was the strong suite of communication options available to students and faculty, and I favor Canvas continuing to improve those communication options so that teachers can reach students wherever they are are, on whatever device they use, and communicate whatever content needs to be communicated. I similarly support improvement in student/student communication tools to better support collaboration and interaction.

I know many faculty who now use a mashup of external tools to support student/student and student/faculty interaction - Blogs, chat rooms, Wikis, file-sharing sites, external discussion forums that truly support threaded discussions, and tools like our own Community Coach's Slack Channels. I hate mashups because they force students to focus on the technology used to deliver instruction, rather than on the instruction itself. I studiously avoid sending my students outside the Canvas classroom except for the purposes of internet research, but in doing so I deprive my students of some of the great collaboration/communication options available.

By developing these tools within Canvas a more unified learning experience can be developed that employs simpler, more effective, easier navigated  and more accessible communication/collaboration tools. I dropped out of my first MOOC simply because they employed a different external tool for every communicative and collaborative function (multiple blogs, multiple chat rooms, multiple wikis etc.) until I was overwhelmed from traveling all over the internet and could not focus  on the objectives of the course, nor track what I had and had not done, and where I had and had not contributed, nor discern the meaningfulness of my contributions.

Yes, a long-winded response to a new feature idea, and one that goes well beyond the intent of this FI, but I want to support any movement in the right direction.

KLM

Explorer

Yes! At Colorado State University, our users want this functionality as part of their workflow with Canvas!

At the very least, accurate notes should be provided in the interface to let users know if attachments should be added or not.

Melody Brake - CSU

Community Member

I was just working on a support ticket at our institution today where this was an issue. 

The student had not received any of the feedback from his instructors where he had submitted attachments to them ( via the inbox ) and they responded with attachments ( MISSING ) using an external source ( we use exchange ).

Very glad this is being looked at, albeit seems like a fairly big miss.  The UX functionality of calling a feature an "inbox" gives the user an impression that it will function like 'actual' email.

kind regards,

Brent

Community Team
Community Team

Good point about terminology, Brent.

Lamplighter II

This issue has cropped up a few times on our campus. Faculty and students appreciate the convenience of responding via their email client.  At the very least please include a warning note in the notification that if you are responding with email attachments, the message should be created in directly in Canvas inbox.