CAEN Knowledge Base
CAEN Knowledge Base

What is the difference between "Announcements" and the "Inbox" in Canvas?

Although they might look similar, Announcements differ from messages sent from the Inbox (or "Conversations"):

  • Announcements are limited to users with a Teacher role in a single Canvas course site. They are automatically sent to every member of a Canvas course site, and posted in the Announcements section for future review.
  • Any Canvas user can send a Conversation message from their Inbox regardless of their role. These messages can be sent to an entire course, a course section, a student/sub-group, or an individual. These messages will only be sent to the recipients, and are not posted (publicly or otherwise) on any Canvas site.

As a general rule, we recommend using Announcements to share time-sensitive, urgent information that does not necessarily require a response (e.g. a class cancellation, or a new Assignment posting), but should be received by every student/member of the Canvas course site. Conversation messages, however, can be used for lengthier, sustained exchanges between instructors and their students (e.g. questions about a class discussion, or something that should only be shared individually). Messages sent from either of these options are delivered to the recipients U-M email account.

For a description of further difference between these features, including a comparison to MCommunity/Google Course Groups, refer to our Canvas at Michigan document.