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Learner II

Is it possible to use Canvas to communicate to all people in a sub-account?

Hi All, 

I received a question from a department chair. They'd like to know if it would be possible to use Canvas to message all of the people who are in a particular sub-account.

I was thinking about using groups however it looks like you when you draft up an email to a sub-account level group you need to select recipients one at a time rather than an all group members category. 

Any ideas?



19 Replies
Adventurer II

It wouldn't send a notification/email, but you could post a global announcement at the sub-account level and it would be visible on each user's dashboard (depending on the roles you choose to release it to) when they log in to Canvas.

How do I create a global announcement in an account? 

Thanks, Todd!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @benjamin_rodrig .  It might be worth looking into global announcements.  There are some differences between course and global announcements that are discussed in the following document, but we plan to use this option in the future as a way to enhance communication on campus.

How do I create a global announcement in an account? 

I don't anticipate this would be our only method of getting information out, but it does provide a way to message everyone in an account or subaccount.

Thanks, Eric. 

This is useful. I'll suggest this method to the department chair. I'll also pull a provisioning report for users, so at least he'll have a list of all those email addresses if he wants to do an email blast outside of Canvas.

That sounds like a great idea  @benjamin_rodrig .  We are considering how to best communicate with students in general as well.  Global announcements are one piece of this, but they may not reach all students the way other methods could. 

As the document indicates, global announcements are visible on the dashboard and do not currently appear in the iOS app.  It looks like just about once a year an idea is proposed to have notification options for global announcements, so that students can be notified by email or text when the announcement is created.  The most recent idea is still open for vote," ....  I would like to see this added so that we could have greater student reach when global announcements are made.  For the same reason it would be good to have global announcements appear for those using the iOS app.  This feature is current on the product radar," modifiedt..., so maybe it will be implemented in the future. 

We could email students directly but many students do not check their email as often as we believe they should.  If they have an alternate email added or text functionality enabled in notifications, we could (hypothetically) reach more students.  I do have classes with all students enrolled or all faculty/staff enrolled for training or discussion purposes.  We are considering the advantages/disadvantages of using course-level announcements for some messaging purposes but it would come from a particular "class" which may not always make sense considering the content of the message and focus of the course shell.  Emergencies can be sent via an alert system, but often we have reason to get messages out to students that are important but not emergencies.

There is a lot to consider and many tools!  I am looking forward to where global announcements go in the future as it may simplify our process a bit.

Good luck!

Thanks for the help ericwerth. I agree with you on all cylinders. 

I voted for this feature. 

Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there,  @benjamin_rodrig ...

I've been reviewing older questions here in the Canvas Community, and I came across this question.  I wanted to check in with you because there hasn't been any new activity in this thread since January 22, 2018.  It looks like vanzandt and ericwerth have both suggested using Global Announcements as a solution to get information out to people in a sub-account.  Is this what you ended up doing?  We don't use sub-accounts at our Tech College, but we do use Global Announcements all the time to provide our instructors and students with important information.  If you feel that one of the above replies has helped to answer your question, please go ahead and mark that response as "Correct".  However, if you are still looking for some help with this question, please let us know by posting a message below so that someone from the Community might be able to assist you.  I'm going to mark your question as "Assumed Answered" because there hasn't been any new activity in this thread for almost four months.  However, that won't prevent you or others from posting additional questions and/or comments below that are related to this topic.  I hope that's alright with you, Benjamin.  Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

Hi Chris,

All the responses were great. Assumed answered is fine. Another option that I realized we have is to run a provisioning report for users in a particular sub-account and use that info for a mass mailer.

the Global announcement is also a great way to get the word out.

Best regards, 



I've just had a question along these lines, where some of the targeted students aren't logging in to canvas (we're transitioning to it, and for political/awarding body reasons we weren't able to just shift all students in our HE provision to it).

My answer WAS going to be that you could message them all, so they would get an email (and they should all be using their college email address, where their notifications would be received) - but to say you have to use announcements which doesn't generate a notification, to me is poor. I'm off hunting for an Idea to get it done...