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sultmichael
Surveyor

Are HTML tags possible when composing a message with Inbox?

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I'm responding to a student's question from the Inbox of my Music class.  I need to provide music graphics to my response but I couldn't find a way to get into HTML mode.  So I responded to the notice of the message I received via my email (it said I could respond to that message or come to Canvas and respond)  Since I can write in HTML mode with my email, I responded there but when I came to Canvas I saw that all of my graphic were missing from the message.  I'm not sure if the student received the version with graphic via regular email (they haven't responded yet to my inquiry regarding that).

My question:  Does the inbox allow HTML tags while composing a message? 

If so how to I enable the HTML mode?

If not, what is my best method for responding privately to students via Canvas with HTML tags enabled?

thanks,

Mike Sult

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1 Solution

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chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @sultmichael ...

You've posted a question that comes up here in the Canvas Community every once in a while.  The short answer is that the Inbox doesn't have HTML editing capabilities (nor does it has tools available similar to those in the RCE when designing course pages in your Canvas course).  What I can tell you, however, is that there are two Feature Ideas currently on Instructure's "Product Radar" that have gotten lots of votes and comments from the Community.  Instructure knows that these two ideas are important to users, but the engineers won't be able to get them implemented right away.  Here are the links:

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1044-add-rich-content-editor-to-conversations 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/4746-attachments-to-inbox-from-external-email 

If you feel that these two ideas warrant a vote from you, please go ahead and vote up on them.  Also, you can post a comment to either or both of those threads letting Instructure know why these features are important to you.

I know this isn't exactly what you were probably hoping to receive for feedback, but it is good to know that Instructure is aware of the need.  I hope this is helpful to you, Michael.

View solution in original post

4 Replies
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @sultmichael ...

You've posted a question that comes up here in the Canvas Community every once in a while.  The short answer is that the Inbox doesn't have HTML editing capabilities (nor does it has tools available similar to those in the RCE when designing course pages in your Canvas course).  What I can tell you, however, is that there are two Feature Ideas currently on Instructure's "Product Radar" that have gotten lots of votes and comments from the Community.  Instructure knows that these two ideas are important to users, but the engineers won't be able to get them implemented right away.  Here are the links:

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1044-add-rich-content-editor-to-conversations 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/4746-attachments-to-inbox-from-external-email 

If you feel that these two ideas warrant a vote from you, please go ahead and vote up on them.  Also, you can post a comment to either or both of those threads letting Instructure know why these features are important to you.

I know this isn't exactly what you were probably hoping to receive for feedback, but it is good to know that Instructure is aware of the need.  I hope this is helpful to you, Michael.

View solution in original post

Thanks Chris for your answer.  Yes it isn't what I was hoping for.  I voted up the feature ideas, and thanks for the links that made it easy.  But unanswered still is my second question, if not the inbox what is my best method for responding privately to students via Canvas with HTML tags enabled? 

I see that the questions regarding inbox started in 2015 and even now Canvas "won't be able to get them implemented right away.".  I read there are many aspects to be considered on this issue.  So....

Has someone figured a way to communicate privately with students and also use RCE capabilities?  So far I've used announcements to send to the entire class, but can I send an announcement to a selected group of one?  I didn't see group options in announcements. 

Alternately I'm looking into assignments which has a group option.  Maybe I can create a group of one and set the assignment type to 'discussion'.  I'll experiment a little to see if that can work.

Or do I need to go outside of Canvas as my best solution to communicate privately with RCE capabilities?  I can communicate that way if that is the best path but I'd like to stay inside of Canvas if possible.

Thanks for any details you can provide about a workaround as I really do need to communicate privately with students and also use music images in the discussion flow.

thanks,

Mike Sult

Thanks  @chofer  for the links to those ideas.  @sultmichael , is it worth it to attach files to the Conversations messages you send to students? For one set of assignments I like to attach images when giving feedback, and I make regular use of the attachments option for those assignments. If you find yourself sending the same music image to multiple students it might be worth it to use Google Drive and use a share link to assets placed there.

Thanks Gregory Beyrer for your comments and advice.  I'm currently using material I host outside of Canvas in a similar manner as you suggest and that works well.  I was just hoping that inside of Canvas I could have private one-on-one communication with a student and also embed images in the flow of the conversation.  I have a library of music images (urls) that I can combine as needed and I can use them in most areas of Canvas.  I'm still looking into a workaround using groups with discussions. (although I've learned that a group must have at least 2 students).  

Thanks again for your comments.