Canvas Inbox Tool

Inbox (also called Conversations) can be used as an in-Canvas email system. Inbox is a two-way messaging tool used instead of email to communicate with a course, a group, or an individual user. You can communicate with other people in your course at any time. Unlike announcements, the inbox tool allows you to talk back and forth with the people you are communicating with. Although you have one inbox for all your courses, you can filter by course and by section.

Why Use the Canvas Inbox Tool

  • Send important communication to your students either in a group or individual message
  • Allows students to communicate with you privately through Canvas
  • Users receive an email notification that a message has been received

Managing Your Inbox

When you access your Inbox, all your received messages will be listed on the left hand panel. Clicking on the message will display the full message in the right hand panel. Your can filter and sort these messages by course, as well as change the view to unread, starred, sent, archived, or submission comments. Additionally, you can search for a specific user or group using the search bar or looking through your address book. For detailed instructions on how to filter your conversations, please see the vendor guide "How do I filter conversations as an instructor".

Inbox Screencap

Composing a Message

At the top right of the Inbox dashboard, click on the paper and pencil icon to compose a new message. The icon will say "Compose a new message" when you hover over it. Clicking on it will bring up a dialogue box that looks similar to sending an email. Select the course you want to send a message to. On the "To:" line, you can start typing names into the provided field, or use the address book icon to select the whole course, specific groups, or individual users. Fill in the subject and compose the body of your message as you would in an email. Note that conversations can only be done in plain text, as there is no rich content editor or formatting for the body of your message. File attachments, as well as video or audio comments can be included in the message by using the buttons at the bottom left of the dialogue box. Click "Send" when you are ready to send the message. For more detailed steps on how to compose a message, please see the vendor guide "How do I send a message to all course users in conversations as an instructor".

Icon for composing message
Compose Message box