Peter Hess

Canvas Conversations / Inbox

Discussion created by Peter Hess on Feb 9, 2017
Latest reply on Jul 20, 2017 by Nancy Webb

I don't expect anyone to find, much less read, this. It's a message in a bottle to let me to blow off a little steam as I watch the snow fall.  I could submit this essay as a feature request, but my suggestions invariably end up in the archive with 0-to-5 votes, and this one seems more obscure that most, so I'm not much inclined to do that either. And besides it's far too long.


Here goes:


I find Conversations very frustrating because they could be very useful, but when instructors ask us about the feature, we recommend against using it.


What makes them potentially useful is the ability to direct communication to sub-units within a class - sections, groups,   teachers, TAs.  The ability to use the Inbox to see all of your Canvas messages in one place, and to isolate them by Course could be very convenient also.


The reason we recommend against using them is that, because students are free to set their notifications any way they please, we can't tell a teacher whether the student will receive an email notifying her of the message almost immediately, in a day, a week, a month, or never.


But, we say, students can log into Canvas, go to their inbox, and read the message there.  That makes a certain amount of sense to me, but email is the baseline messaging system on campus and suggesting an alternative is seen as suggesting an inferior alternative.  "Forget it, I'll just send an email."


It would actually be better for us if Conversations sent no messages, which was a feature request someone made that was none too popular.  Then at least there would be consistency.  Even better would be if the Teacher could use Conversations to elect to push out an email that would go to all addressees primary email address immediately.  Yeah like that's ever going to happen.  And while there at it, they can do the same for announcements too.


In the unlikely event that anyone reads this and has had similar feelings, brother, sister, I'd like to hear from you:


OK.  I feel a little better now.#