Every time you login to Canvas you'll see a list of recent activity in the course. This is called the communication stream. This stream lists direct and general communication from your teacher and classmates, and you can respond to certain items by clicking add a comment right in the stream.
Inside of Canvas you'll notice an Inbox in the top right corner. This opens the Canvas Conversations system, which allows you to send and receive messages with your teacher or classmates. All messages from all of your courses go to same inbox in Canvas.
On the left is your list of messages. Blue dots next to unread messages. On the right side of the message is the number of replies to that message and the date. Click on a specific message to view it. The message will appear on the right side of the mailbox.
Responding to a Message
Respond to a message by first clicking on the desired message. You will see a list of messages in that thread.
Type the message in the box above and click Send. Once the message is sent it will appear at the bottom of the messages. IMPORTANT: The list of recipients is above the message box. Be careful not to send a message to the entire class when you only wanted to send a message to the Professor.
Sending a New Message
To send a new message, click the write a new message button
Type the name of the recipients in the To: line of the message. If you are not sure of the name, click the address book icon on the right.
You can select who the message goes to from your list of courses.
Place checkmark next to the people who should receive the message. Once you've selected the recipients, type the message. If you need to attach a file to the message, click "Attach". Click "Send" when you are ready to send the message.
In Canvas, each user has a Profile associated with your account which includes contact and other information. Users can add a profile picture, maintain a portfolio, and add communication services through which teachers and students can communicate, such as text messaging (SMS), Facebook, or alternative email accounts. If you aren't sure what notification settings you want, don't make any changes. You can always change them later.
To adjust how Canvas notifies you of new messages, discussions, assignments, etc:
- Click Profile on the top right
- From the Profile page click Communication Preferences on the left.
- For each of different course notifications, choose a type of communication (e.g. email, Facebook, SMS)
- Then select how frequently you want to be notified (e.g. Daily)
- Click Save Preferences at the bottom
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