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How do I send a message to students from the Gradebook?

How do I send a message to students from the Gradebook?

You can use the Gradebook to send messages to your students. This lesson describes how to message students using the Message Students Who option. You can also message students individually in the Gradebook by using the student context card.

Message subjects are filtered based on specific assignment categories:

  • Haven't submitted yet—students who haven't submitted the assignment, even if they have been manually awarded a grade.
  • Haven't been graded—students whose assignments have not yet been graded (submitted or unsubmitted).
  • Scored less than [point value]—students who earned a grade on their assignment less than X number of points.
  • Scored more than [point value]—students who earned a grade on their assignment more than X number of points.  

Although one message most likely will be sent to multiple students at the same time, each student will receive an individual message.

Open Gradebook

Open Gradebook

In Course Navigation, click the Grades link.

Open Assignment Menu

Open Assignment

Hover over the assignment column header and click the Options icon.

Message Students

Message Students

Click the Message Students Who link.

Select Message Category

Select Message Category

By default, Canvas will show names from the Haven't submitted yet category.

In the drop-down menu [1], select the category of students you want to message. Based on real-time data, Canvas will show the names of the students who fall in the category you selected [2]. You can also remove students from the message by clicking the Remove icon.

Canvas will also generate a subject line based on the category [3], but you can edit the subject line if needed.

Send Message

Send Message

Type a message to the students in the message field [1]. Click the Send Message button [2].

Note: Although one message most likely will be sent to multiple students at the same time, each student will receive an individual message.


I didn't know this feature existed until now.

@dan18 glad you discovered it and hope you find great use for it!

Does this respect any section filters that are applied in the gradebook? For instance, if I want to send a message to Section 1 students who haven't submitted, but not Section 2, is that possible?


I don't think the feature works within the gradebook filters, but sounds like it would be worth testing. 

Great feature we are using this year. Question - besides the student, will the message go to their Observer (their parent/guardian)? Thanks!

How can I link the assignment with the message? 

Hi @moro,

Great question. Currently, it's not possible to include observers when using the Message Students Who feature. However, there is a feature idea which suggests adding this functionality to Canvas: "Message OBSERVERS of Students Who..." in Grade books! If you'd like to promote the idea, you can kudo the idea and/or add comments to the idea. 


Hi @Darroyos1,

As you've probably seen the Message Students Who feature includes the name of the assignment, but doesn't include a link to the assignment. As a workaround, you could navigate to the assignment, copy the URL, and include it when using the Message Students Who feature. We do have a feature idea that suggests adding links to the Message Students Who feature: Link to assignment in Message Students Who. If you'd like to add your voice to the idea, you can kudo it and/or comment on it. 


Easy way to communicate with several students privately...kind of like a BCC on an email.

I love messaging when students have not completed or to remind them to retake an assessment if their score is below standards. I have voted to include Observers in these messages as well.

Is there a way to message Students or Observers about Low Overall Grades? Let's say you want to message everyone with a grade below 65 and prompt them to check their grade, double-check for missing work, submissions that can still be done, etc.

Hi @TampaNative,

Does your course have New Analytics? This is something you can do with this tool: 



@CanvasDocTeam Thank you. I tried it yesterday and it back fired on me sadly. I selected Course Grade on the left tab and then narrowed it down to students between 0 and 59%, constructed my message and sent. It sent the message to students who have grades like 86%. Two of my kids contacted me upset and confused. Thankfully they understood but I wonder how many will not and parents will complain. 

What did I miss or do wrong so this does not happen again because I love this idea? Since it did not tell me there course grade next to their names I did not know I should have excluded anyone while previewing ... like we see while messaging about assignments.


Thank you.

Hi @TampaNative,

If the New Analytics option is sending messages to students outside the score range you have designated, this should be reported. Please use the Help menu or whatever option provided by your school to let our support agents know that this didn't work the way it should.


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Version history
Revision #:
6 of 6
Last update:
‎09-10-2020 08:28 AM
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