Conversations is the messaging tool within Canvas. Instructors and students may use this feature to send messages to other members of their courses.

The conversations tool can be accessed through your user inbox. To go to your inbox, click on the inbox tab from the personal menu on the left side of Canvas.

Canvas navigation side bar with inbox highlighted


On the conversations page, you will see the screen divided into two sections: your inbox and a template to send a new message.


Sending a Message

The following video tutorial will explain the steps involved in sending a message using the conversations feature in Canvas.

Sending Messages to Multiple Users in Canvas from UWB Learning Tech on Vimeo.

 In short:

  • To send a message, go to the message template on the right side of the inbox screen.
  • Fill out the To: field. You may either type in individuals' names and select them, or click the address book on the right side of the box and browse groups (courses) and individuals. 
  • Now, type the body of your message. Note that through conversations, you do not have access to the Rich Text editor.
  • You may, however, record video/audio and attach a file to your message.
  • If you wish your message to be an open conversation (where replies are automatically reply-all), check the box that says This is a group conversation...
  • When you are ready to send your message, click the Send button.

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Organizing Your Inbox

  • Messages that are sent to you will appear in your inbox, on the left side of the conversations page.
  • There are several ways to organize your inbox. One is by clicking the Inbox button at the top. This will bring up a menu that will allow you to view several different types of messages only (unread, starred, sent, etc.)

image of inbox drop down menu

  • You may take action with individual messages as well. Go to the message and hover over the date/time. This should make a settings button in the right corner appear.
  • Clicking on the settings button will make a drop-down menu appear. From this menu, you can mark the message as unread, star/unstar it, archive it or delete it.

image of delete button

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