Communication and collaboration

 Promote student engagement in your course

 

On this page:

Announcements
Discussions

Chat
Conversations/inbox
Conferences
Collaborations
Groups

Announcements

Communicate with your entire class

Features and options

  • Make announcements to all users (both students and staff).
  • Canvas sends students an email notification when an announcement is made, according to their set notification preferences.
  • Change the default course settings to disallow student replies to announcements. Note: Any student replies will be visible to all users.
  • Schedule an announcement ahead of time.

See also:

Guides

On Canvas Community:

Discussions

Create interactive forums for a class or group

Features and options

  • View all the discussions within a course.
  • Create discussions and modify discussion settings.
  • Discussions can be graded or ungraded.
  • Discussion topics can be a focused or threaded discussion. Focused discussions are relatively short-lived interactions, while threaded discussions allow replies within replies and may last for a longer period of time.
  • Require that students reply to a discussion before they see any of the other students’ replies.
  • Edit your discussion settings to allow your students to create new discussion topics.
  • In addition to Canvas discussions, the University of Auckland uses Piazza. Piazza is an LTI tool that integrates with Canvas. It allows anonymous group discussions and student-edited questions and answers.

Guides

On Canvas Community:

Chat

Interact with your students in real time

Features and options

  • Chat content is visible to all enrolled students.
  • Any user enrolled in the course can participate.
  • A Canvas user must be actively viewing the chat tool to appear in the chat list. Consider posting chat hours in the course calendar to let students know when you are available.
  • Chat comments cannot be deleted.
  • Currently there is no upper limit for the number of users in a course chat. However, a large number of users may affect chat performance.

See also:

Guides

On Canvas Community:

Conversations/inbox

Use a Canvas-native alternative to email

Features and options

  • Communicate with a course, a group, an individual student or a group of students.
  • View and reply to conversations and sort them by course or inbox type.
  • The conversations feature does not have any file size limits, but attachments added to a conversation are included in the sender’s personal files.

Guides

On Canvas Community:

Conferences

Run virtual lectures, office hours and student groups

Features and options

  • Create new conferences, start conferences and manage concluded conferences.
  • Create course events in the calendar to indicate an upcoming conference. Note: You can’t send out invitations to the conference until it begins.
  • Currently, Canvas integrates with BigBlueButton. BigBlueButton can accommodate up to 50 users in a conference at one time.
  • A conference will remain active on BigBlueButton as long as one person is part of the conference room. When the last person leaves, the conference will conclude and all files and chat messages will be removed.
  • Share your screen with other participants in a conference using desktop sharing. Moderators can allow any participant to be a presenter at any time.

Guides

On Canvas Community:

Collaborations

Allow students to work together using Google Docs

Features and options

  • Create new collaborations and edit or delete existing collaborations.
  • View any collaboration created by students in the course. However, students can only view collaborations that have been shared with them.
  • Google Docs allows you to add up to 50 users per collaboration.
  • Users can all view and edit a Google Docs document at the same time.

Guides

On Canvas Community:

Groups

Allow students to work together on group projects and assignments

Features and options

  • View all created groups within the course.
  • View all activity within all the groups within your course, including groups created by students.
  • Create a new group set and create subgroups automatically or manually.
  • Assign students to subgroups automatically or manually.
  • Assign group leaders to each group.
  • Allow students to sign up for their own groups.
  • Expand and collapse subgroups.
  • Move students into different subgroups.
  • Create group collaborations.

Your students can:

  • View the groups list.
  • View the groups they are enrolled in.
  • Join a student group.
  • Create a student group.
  • Store and share files.
  • Start a discussion.
  • Send a message.
  • Create group collaborations.

Guides

On Canvas Community: