How do I use Chat as an instructor?

Once Chat has been enabled as an LTI tool in your course, the Chat tool can be used for real-time conversation with course users. Any user in the course can participate in a chat conversation and view all chat content. Currently there is no load limit for a course chat, but larger numbers of course users may affect performance.

A user must be actively viewing the chat tool to appear in the chat list. You may consider posting chat hours in the course calendar to let students know when you are available. You can also open Chat in a new browser window while viewing other areas in Canvas.

Learn more about the Chat tool.


  • If you cannot view the Chat tool, Chat has not been enabled for your institution.
  • When Chat is enabled at the account level, it is enabled by default in all courses within the account. To disable chat in your course, you can disable the Chat link in Course Navigation.
  • Safari 13.1 contains an update that may cause issues with chat alerts. You can avoid errors with files and images by disabling cross-site tracking prevention in Safari when using Canvas.

Open Chat

Open Chat

In Course Navigation, click the Chat link.

View Chat

When you open the Chat page, you immediately join the chat. Chat discussion appears in the content window [1].

To receive audio alerts for new chat messages, click the New message alerts button [2]. You will receive audio alerts if Chat is open in Canvas but is not the active browser window. You will not receive alerts if you leave Chat to view another area in Canvas.

Message history for each course is included in the chat. Chat history can be accessed indefinitely by loading more results and scrolling through previous course chats.

Note: Alert capabilities may vary between browsers.

View Online Users

Chat displays the number of users who are in the chat [1]. To view a list of these users [2], hover your cursor over the number.

View Time Stamp

View Time Stamp

When a user sends multiple chat messages without another user sending a message, all messages will appear under the first message's time stamp. To view additional time stamps, hover your cursor over the message.

Send Message

To send a chat message, enter your message in the chat window [1]. To add an emoji to your message, click the Emoji icon [2]. Then click the Send button [3].

Delete Message

You can delete messages in the chat from any user.

To delete a chat message, hover your cursor over the message [1] and click the Delete icon [2].

Note: Deleting messages is permanent. You cannot restore a deleted message.