Contact Students through Canvas

Table of Contents


Canvas offers a variety of ways to contact students, including announcements and emails. This page is a guide to using these tools to effectively communicate with students, as well as setting notifications to ensure that these communications are received.

Notifications Tutorial Video

Notification Preferences


Announcements are a simple and effective way to contact your entire course through Canvas. Announcements display on most course home page options and under the announcements tab and are a good way to notify students of changes to a Canvas course as well as office hours, finals schedules, and other occurrences. Default notification preferences are such that students will get an email when a new announcement is made and those who have the Canvas app will get a push notification as well. A more detailed guide about creating announcements can be found here.


Canvas allows for easy email communication between members of a course. Emails sent through Canvas to users with institutional emails will also be sent through Outlook.

  1. In the inbox tab of your global navigation, select "Compose a New Message".
    Compose New Message icon
  2. Select the course you would like to email.
    pop-up window in which to type up your new message
  3. Select the members of the course you want to email. If none are selected, the whole course will receive the email.
  4. Compose and send your message.


To view your notification settings:

  1. In the Canvas global navigation sidebar, select "Account"→ Notifications.
  2. Your notification settings will be displayed. Select different icons to change the frequency with which you are notified.

    Mobile Push Notifications

    If you have a Canvas app, you can change your push notification preferences from your desktop or from the app itself. To change them within the app, select you profile picture→ Settings→ Notification Preferences→ For All Devices.

    right away, daily notification, weekly notification, remove

  3. Some notifications in Canvas are set as default, but all are able to be changed. The default notification settings in Canvas' SPU accounts are as follows:
    a list of the default notification preferencesa list of default notification preferences continued