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"Message OBSERVERS of Students Who..." in Grade books!

"Message OBSERVERS of Students Who..." in Grade books!

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas


K12 teachers MUST have the ability to "Message The Observers of Students Who...directly from the grade book. To maintain contact with Parents.


As a K-12 teacher, communication with parents (Observers) was one of the biggest challenges that almost turned our school away from using Canvas. Being able to communicate with the Parent/Observer in conjunction with, or at least as much as the Student, is incredibly important. For example, if a student is missing an assignment or needs to make revisions, as a teacher, I can send a message to the Student directly from the grade book. However, in order for me to contact the parent/Observer, I need to write myself a paper note and then go the Messages/Inbox (a more manual strategy). It would be better if communication between teacher and student were more transparent to the parent and to have an easier, more direct line of communication to the parent. I don't know if the new/in-progress parent app does more than allow parents to easier check grades. I think that for the teacher, improving the ways in which we can communicate with an Observer/Parent would greatly improve the functionality and ease of use of the Canvas platform.


Therefore, I propose that teachers have the ability to "Message The Observers of Students Who..." in addition to the current/only "Message Students Who" directly from the grade book.


NOTE: This is a resubmission of a feature originally proposed by by Amber De Petro on May 19, 2016.

New Member

Currently in the gradebook there is an option to "Message students who".   Would it be possible to have an option that says something like "Message Observers who" ?   A teacher brought up a great point with me yesterday.   She said it's nice that she can message students who haven't submitted yet, however many of those students are ones who aren't participating or logging on in the first place.  It would be nice if there was an option to message their parents as well.      Please consider this as I imagine it would be a very useful tool to many teachers! 

Community Member

Yes! Like! Support! Whatever is needed to make this upgrade. 

Community Member

Yes, this is very important! Observers of the students need to be made aware when we are alerting them of situations because they might assist. The student has already blown it off so parent assist might be the help they need.

Community Member

PLEASE integrate this feature into Canvas!!!  Our K-6 teachers REALLY REALLY REALLY need this feature to communicate better with parents.  Adding it would be ONE MORE INCENTIVE for elementary teachers to WANT to use Canvas!!  

New Member

This would be a tremendous time-saver for teachers!

New Member

YES PLEASE, this would truly be appreciated... I'd consider this my "Secret Sauce" for connecting with families in CONTEXT, rather than using a third party app/service like "" or worse yet, Email. Connecting from within CANVAS would truly make a difference. 

New Member

I would like to have a check box that allows me to chose if the observers are contacted.

New Member

For teachers of K-12 students it would be very, very helpful for teachers to be able to message students a list of every missing assignment in the course, from which they could click directly to each missing assignment. Ideally, this would be as simple as the great messaging that currently exists for missing individual assignments.

It would also be helpful to be able to message the student's observer this information at the same time without having to look up the name of the observer in a separate window. I realize that students can find this information themselves, but they cannot always be trusted to do so.  


New Member

Emailing observers would be so helpful with keeping parents updated.

Community Participant

I love this idea and it would be helpful for K-12 institutions!

Community Member

Yes please! Vote this up!

This should be considered core functionality. In addition to being able to do this from the main grade book screen on an assignment by assignment basis, I'd like teachers to have the option of communicating with observers from the New Analytics area as well.

eg, "message observers of students with an overall class grade below 60%" etc. 


Community Member

We need a way to be able to email students (and copy observers) based on the Current Grade column in the Canvas Gradebook.  This should be similar to the "Message Students Who" feature that is currently available.

New Member

Yes, I wish teachers could select to message observers, based on the student's grade, so I could send a quick positive message to all guardians of students who are passing, for example. Thanks

Community Member

I don't use Canvas to communicate for this very reason - I can't copy specific observers, nor can I "message student's who..." are below a certain grade in the class.  But, that's another topic for debate I suppose.

Community Member

Where is Canvas on this? This seems like a relatively simple thing to incorporate. If Canvas truly wants to make this software more appealing to the K12 market, this change should be made immediately.

New Member

I do not understand why this is not an option yet! This has been discussed for FOUR YEARS and no action has been taken? With online learning being so prevalent right now and the desire to make the LMS a "one-stop-shop" for families, why can't this be implemented? Parents aren't engaged because they are bombarded by messages from 3-4 different sources. There should be no reason to have to use Remind/text, an SIS, an LMS, and email to *cross our fingers* get in touch with a parent.

New Member


Please make this available ASAP! Thanks! 🙂

New Member

Also, why can't I vote for this? I can't find anything that would allow me to vote for this feature.

New Member

This would be a fabulous feature and it is ridiculous that it has been in conversation for four years!  Canvas needs to get this rolling.  I would love to vote this up, but I can't find a vote option. 

New Member

Being able to copy/message the parents with a Message Students Who would be very beneficial.  It would save time and be much more efficient than our current process.  PLEAS IMPLEMENT!!!!