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Email (message) multiple classes at one time

Email (message) multiple classes at one time

(64)
Instructors often want, or are asked, to share news and information of importance to all our classes.  Currently, that means copying and pasting that information into anywhere from 2-5 different classes.  Given that there is a drop down box for choosing a class to message currently, adding the ability to select multiple classes seems like it would be an easy "fix".  Please add this capability ASAP.
136 Comments
aleverton
Community Participant

Bernard,

Definitely talk to your rep or admin about cross-listing. We cross-list through our SIS most of the time but occasionally we have the need to do it outside of our normal circumstances and we use the Canvas option. It's easy, once you understand all of the pieces.

Best of luck,

Audra

asli_tasci
Community Member

Love your idea Elizabeth, I always felt that need too. By the way, please consider voting for my idea too

People think it is possible to do this right now, but it is not. it would help a lot. Thanks in advance!!! Smiley Happy

emalates
Community Participant

Done.  And thank you!

emg15
Community Member

Just yesterday, I received Canvas feedback with this exact request.  Will be sharing this within my university.  Thank you!

asli_tasci
Community Member

Thank you!!!

emalates
Community Participant

Thank YOU!

peterakers
Community Participant

This would save both admin staff and academics at our institution a great deal of hassle. Additionally, it would be good to have the possibility to create custom lists, i.e. to group certain courses together so that messages could be easily sent to, for example, all first year courses or to all courses at a certain campus. Don't wait until June 1, do it now!

gschultz
Community Contributor

In the same manner, it would be helpful to message any sub-account.  That way an entire department can be notified at one time.

cwhite3
Community Member

In the system we were using at SRJC, we had rosters of all our classes and were able to email all classes, or a single class or just certain students within a roster.  This saved a lot of time, but I'm new to CANVAS and still building my classes, so I've not explored all the possible aps it has.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @cwhite3 ​, in the Canvas Inbox you can email your entire course, a specific section within your course, a group of students (if you use groups), or a specific student/students.

Here are a few guides that might help:

britta_burton
Community Member

I have requested this feature several times, and one time it was archived and once rejected. Ironically, our trainer at the last Canvas training had this feature available to her, and she did not know why we regular users did not. It should be a no-brainer.

dlyons
Instructure
Instructure

Disclaimer: I agree with this feature idea and the stated use cases. This comment is tangential. Smiley Happy

I just want to caution people from treating the Inbox in Canvas as an email client because it is not an email client. Canvas can send email notifications and does so by default, but users can turn the frequency down, send the notification to something other than email (like SMS or a mobile Push notification), or even turn the notification off.

Personally I think this method of delivering notifications is superior to "just sending an email" for most cases but if your goal is specifically to send an email (as opposed to communicating information and you don't care about the channel it goes out over) then you want to use an email client, not the Canvas Inbox.

cwhite3
Community Member

Hi Kona,

I'm new to Canvas--our school is in the midst of conversion, so I was just responding to the survey questions, e.g. sharing my experience on the benefits of choice in sending emails to all classes, one class, or select students.

So thanks for the links in Canvas.

Cheryl

Cheryl White

Art History Instructor

Santa Rosa Junior College

cwhite@santarosa.edu<mailto:cwhite@santarosa.edu>

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Great points, David!

We try to stress this to our faculty, and some just don't get it and others are angry that it is not an email client.

I think part of the problem is that faculty have been warned so much about the use of email to send FERPA protected information, and then told that the Canvas Inbox is a permissible alternative, and so expect the functionality to be equivalent. not only isn't it equivalent, but the Inbox is still susceptible to FERPA violations for many of the reasons you listed above - the notifications can go to any or all of several channels - thus the disclaimer and affirmation dialog box that pops up when students set their notification preferences for the Inbox.

Another part of the problem results from how faculty are trained in Canvas -  they are often told, "Now this is the Inbox, and it is the Canvas version of email". Instead, training should clearly state that the Inbox is an in-Canvas communication tool, not email; and that inbox messages can be forwarded out through Notifications, but you should be cautious of this functionality, and it has the following limits..................!

As for this feature request, it would be an excellent use of the Inbox, because it would still be within it's intended functionality as an in-Canvas communication tool.

KLM

dlyons
Instructure
Instructure

I used to train faculty and I'd spend time clarifying that it isn't email to try and cull those seeds before they sprouted. 😄

As for FERPA, I'm fairly sure Canvas notifications pose no FERPA violation risk because they are all user opt-in other than the campus provided email (which is set by default.) FERPA protects students from other people sending their info around without their consent, so that same student electing another communication channel is them giving consent. It's the same reason it's okay for them to forward their school email to an external address.

mmcauley
Community Member

If this Idea goes through, I'd be the happiest Instructor on the planet!!!  What a pain, copying and pasting messages five times!!!

allison
Instructure
Instructure

This feature idea gets to the heart of how we architected messaging in Canvas. Right now, there are some limitations in place that prevent teachers from sending messages to multiple courses. It's not quite as simple as it looks, since we have to also be checking messaging permissions by user to determine whether a teacher (or TA) should be able to message more than one course or section. This is a piece of functionality that we have in line for a healthy refactor, meaning we have plans to rebuild the framework in a more flexible way that will support additional messaging scenarios. I will reach back out to the community when that project is on deck for additional feedback.

mbarnett
Community Participant

I asked how to email to all students in multiple sections at the same time, assuming I just couldn't figure out how to do so.  I didn't imagine Canvas doesn't already have this ability.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @mbarnett ​

But, as the great Deactivated user​ so kindly pointed out, changes are in the works!

This is a functionality I would also make use of, because I often have information I would like to go to all my courses - even just a simple message about being out sick, or  or a school emergency closure.

KLM

tsamoff
Community Participant

Just wondering if this is going to happen soon… As someone who teaches multiple sections of the same class, it would be very helpful.

Thanks!

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