I would like to be able to know if a student read an email that I have sent through conversations in Canvas.
The only way you would know if the student read the message in Canvas itself is if you had a Canvas admin (or Canvas support) act as the student in Canvas to check their Inbox. If you want to know if the student read the notification that is sent to their email address, that would have to be taken up with your local email administrator (assuming messages go to an institutional email address and not a personal one). If you are trying to find this out in order to clear up an academic dispute of some sort, I definitely recommend you talk to your local Canvas admin.
Hi Lori Peterson! Whether it's email or Canvas messaging, making sure communication is happening is not easy.
Even if eyeballs gaze upon the screen, which is all that the computer record can show you, that does not mean the students process the information (and so too in the classroom: in one ear, out the other as the saying goes).
As always, I think it's really on us to make a difference rather than looking for a technology fix:
* make the message as BRIEF as possible
* make the message as CLEAR as possible
* use an excellent SUBJECT LINE
* define the ACTION that you want/need student(s) to take after reading the email
* include a LINK to a page at the course where they will find more information
It's hard, and sometimes impossible, to try to change students' behaviors.
But we can change our behaviors! Improving communication with students is a perpetual challenge. But a good one.
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