Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

View Notification Settings As Instructor

View Notification Settings As Instructor


I would like to be able to see the notification settings of my students.  Instructors rely on assumptions about students receiving information from a course electronically.  It would be helpful for instructors to know for certain what the notification settings are and identify students that do not have certain ones turned on. 

If I know most of the class is not using a certain notification I am relying on, I can make sure I address it with them or find an alternative way to communicate information to them.

Knowing whether a student is receiving notifications can assist in assessing whether a student is having trouble with content or just simply not engaged with the course.

I don't think there is anything sensitive about seeing the notification settings.

Ideally, there would be a screen that shows a break down of course roster with each of the notification types.  Perhaps something similar to the gradebook fromat.  I should be able to search by student or filter by a specific notification setting (eg. Conversation Message - ASAP)

Admins should have access to the same screen when in the course.


The only concern I'd have with this is if a student has notifications going to a personal email address or phone number. They might not want their teachers seeing that information. However, I'm sure Canvas could hide that information when adding this feature.

Surveyor II

I think this idea has a lot of potential, Ryan. In fact, I think there are certain notification settings that should just be locked by institutions, such as announcement notifications sent to institutionally added email addresses. Additionally, I don't think that users should be able to change their default email - there is no utility to it and it simply messes up some LTIs.

Surveyor II

I agree there is a lot of potential here. I usually get one or two requests for this information every term.  There is an api to pull this info so it shouldn't be too difficult to build it.

Notification Preferences - Canvas LMS REST API Documentation 

Community Coach
Community Coach

I'm currently not in favor of this idea, and so I am going to use one of my very rarely used down-votes.  Here's why...  notifications are up to the end user.  Also, notifications are currently for *all* courses...not just one single course.  So, it's absolutely possible that you may want your students to get an e-mail or text notification from you for your course, but another instructor may not care one way or the other how a student gets long as they are getting notified in some way (via course announcements, inbox messages, e-mail, text, Twitter, etc.)  When people have accounts on other websites, they typically have an account details page of some kind, and often that includes some type of personal settings that nobody else (except maybe the site owner) can access.  I think the same applies here.  And I agree with that things like personal e-mail and/or phone number would be concerning to me, too.

Learner II

Ryan will harass me at the next meeting we are at but...I am voting down too. Here's why:

  1. False assurance:  We get requests like this a couple of times a year.  "Did my students receive my announcement?"  These usually come a week or two or a month after an announcement occurred.  I can masquerade as the user and see that at this moment the notifications are on. When the instructor sent the announcement/email, the notification could have been off. I do not have the data to say that it was on when the announcement was sent to trigger a notification.  What the instructor wants to know is "Did the student read my announcement and disregard it?" This cannot be determined by Canvas or me.
  2. Overt Syllabus statements regarding personal responsibility and timeliness:  It is the responsibility of the student to check the course site.  A syllabus statement to this effect is usually included by many instructors.  The instructor can also covenant with the students to state that announcements will be made X days in advance of stated changes except for cases of weather, illness, etc. but all timely announcements will be posted.  The student can be instructed to please enable notifications to receive immediate notification for announcements. Being engaged with course is not something we can mandate or expect or monitor.  Personal responsibility is required.
  3. Just because you sent it, doesn't mean it was (immediately) read: Experiences with my inbox have shown me that because the sender has sent an email, they expect that it was immediately read.  This is really not the case. It is a notification/email, not a phone call.  Sending the notification does not mean the student has read the content.  I have received emails for a same-day meeting while I am in a different meeting.  I then go to a second meeting without checking email.  The sender gets annoyed at me because I am not in their meeting.  
  4. Require active confirmation: If an instructor really wants assurances that something was read, then send it via Inbox and require a reply.
Learner II

I agree with these reservations.  As admins, we can see when we impersonate a student, so if an instructor wants to know if they are receiving notifications at their official email, or push notifications to their phone, the instructor can ask us and we can confirm if they are or not, without revealing any additional information. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

I came to chime in and vote no, then state my reasons. All of my reasons have been covered quite nicely by , , and .

There is very little a user can control on most websites and especially on Canvas beyond their user settings. And, there is very little of their information that is private beyond what is housed in their settings. I do not want that changed.


Learner II

I agree about the actual addresses notifications are going to.  I don't think those should be shown to instructors, but they should be visible to administrators. 

My short reply, what if this was a toggle for administrators?  Would you change your votes to yes?  : ) 

You raise good points, but to counter for Canvas employees reading through ...

I don't like having to masquerade as an account to view settings like this.  I would like some of our other support roles to be able to look into these issues and I'm not going to give them impersonation permissions.  We do get a number of calls with an instructor claiming a student says they didn't receive X.  Students aren't always accurate in their statements and it would be helpful for instructors to be able to report that a student account is set to receive the specific notification.  

re:Require active confirmation - Email/Notification receipts would be welcomed by our faculty.  Canvas is already doing that within SpeedGrader.  Adding it for inbox messages, feedback and announcements would be great.  Anything that can remove a step in the troubleshooting process is welcomed by our support staff.  I'll make a note to possibly put this in as another feature request.    

While I agree completely with personal responsibility, at TCNJ we encourage faculty to keep an eye on students who may be struggling or tuning out for whatever the reason.  Students have complex lives and often don't prioritize their academic careers.  Being able to see notification settings provides another tool for gauging whether a student is in trouble and can allow for intervention at a critical moment.  A student who has notifications disabled and isn't logging into a course is concern for everyone.  In our previous home grown system, our faculty could view course activity logs for any student enrolled in their course.    

Community Coach
Community Coach

I don't think my vote would change...even if it was an option for administrators. gives a great example in point #1 above.  Even if you (or an admin) could see the notification settings of students, those settings are at that moment.  How would you be able to tell if a student had changed those settings 5 or 10 minutes ago...or even 30 seconds ago?  And then in her #3 point, she's describing when students look at those notifications.  As you know, notifications can be set to be delivered right away, daily, weekly, or not at all.  Those are all personal preferences that are made by the end user.  The responsibility of looking at those notifications is up to them.

Re: your last paragraph...  have you investigated Dropout Detective from AspireEDU?  Their LTI integration lets you see this kind of information (if students are struggling and/or are in trouble with course work).  We have purchased it at our school, and we have it connected to our Academic Advisory that instructors can send alerts right from DD in Canvas, and then our AAs can step in.  I'll tag and in this post, and they can help you more if you're interested in their product.

Explorer II

Thanks,‌ -- Hi, Ryan...always good to connect with someone from my home state.  Our Dropout Detective doesn't look at actions like notifications but we do look at academic and engagement factors of a student's performance across multiple courses and give certain school users a more student-centric (rather than course-centric) view of a student's overall risk profile.  If you'd like to know more, you can find us here:  AspirEDU - Member | Instructure Partner Directory