Make the Inbox an optional feature (faculty already have emails!)


We already have university emails that we're tuned into - please consider making the Inbox communication tool optional.  I'm constantly having to tell students that I often don't see these emails for quite some time.  

Community Champion

@rolloff , ask your institution's Canvas administrators to look into "Conversations Inbox Opt-Out", one of several "Hidden" Feature Options which can be arranged through Canvas Customer Success.  In brief, this option ensures each student message is sent to you ASAP to the email.

To learn more about it, here's a discussion from a few years ago with anecdotes and considerations about how it changes the standard messaging workflow:

Turn off inbox messaging or get it forwarded 

Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Open
Community Novice

Each individual should have the ability to disable the inbox. this makes my job and communication double work all the time. I hate that you do this and we have no control and we are required to use your program

Community Novice

Hello, I co-teach my course and have about 500 students each semester. My colleague and I have great difficulty keeping track of emails and who has answered what because Canvas messages do not appear with the thread. We would like to disallow messages from students through Canvas since we already have an email system that works so much more efficiently for us. However, we are told that there is no way to disable this function. 😞 It's making email management quite difficult for us. Help!

Community Explorer

I second this!  I've been asking for the same thing (for the same reason) for years!  Thanks

Community Novice

I third this. With large class sizes, it's almost impossible to track our student's responses, and we do not have the flexibility to organize emails in the same way as our Gmail or Outlook accounts. In addition, it makes for an inefficient system of replying when we have to click extra buttons to follow the thread constantly. 

Also, if you co-instruct, it's impossible to see who responded to which student accurately. 

Community Member

I would be very interested in being able to turn off the Inbox at an account level. Right now, we have a problem with users (students and faculty) relying primarily on the Canvas inbox, which has resulted in institutional emails sent to official accounts being missed or ignored. Enabling a user choice wouldn't solve the problem. Instructors use it because the students use it, and students use it because instructors use it, creating a feedback loop which results in non-Canvas messages (enrollment services, event notifications, advising, etc) being missed.

Community Member

Im very interested too in dosable this function. We have a Mess getting this active and our academic Mail. Someone know how to disable?

Community Explorer

Would very much like to have the option to disable this at the course level by class, similar to what was possible in Blackboard Learn. I work in instructional design and am also a part-time instructor at a University, and it becomes a particularly complex problem to try to keep eyes on the inbox for classes I'm teaching (even if I ask students not to use Canvas Inbox to reach out regarding our course), classes where I'm accidentally being messaged in because students see my role as TA, and other courses I'm facilitating where the Canvas Inbox is used. I imagine this isn't unique to me either if you are teaching more than one class and prefer students reach out via a college/university email as opposed to reaching out through Canvas.

Very much appreciate the comment above as well regarding high enrollment classes because of the lack of ability to organize messages in the Canvas Inbox.

Edit: I am aware of the Opt-Out of Canvas Inbox option that is available as a feature at the institutional level; however, there are courses where it is still beneficial to be able to access to using the Course Inbox as opposed to turning this off entirely.

Community Participant

All of the above for me, too.  Please.

Community Explorer

Ditto, we have this request from our instructors too.

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.