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The Announcements function in Canvas

Publishing messages using the function “Announcements” is a fast way to communicate important information to all students at once; either to the whole course or to specific sections.

Your digital bulletin board with a search function

The text editor in Canvas (RCE)

Almost all functions in Canvas, except New Quizzes, use the same text editor. It is called Rich Content Editor, RCE for short. If you would like to know more about it you can read about the RCE on Canvas Community.  

“Announcements” are messages that you as a teacher send to your course, not to individual students, much like a bulletin board or a news feed. 

When you have published a message in Announcements it will be placed at the top of the list of previous messages, with a visible date and time for when it was published. On this page you can also sort by unread messages, or use the search function to find a specific announcement.

Video tutorial on Announcements

Canvas has a video on how Announcements are created and edited. Timestamps can be found under the video, and there is a text version of the video (Google docs) available .

Timestamps for information in the video

  • 00:20 - Finding announcements, the search function
  • 00:40 - Deleting announcements, allowing or disallowing comments. 
  • 01:05 - Creating a new announcement, options
  • 01:45 - Change course announcement notifications, show announcements on the home page.

Recommended one way-communication for important course information

Similar functions

If the goal is to collect questions from the student it is better to use “Discussions” ; create a discussion forum and title it “FAQ” or “Ask your questions about the course here”.
Remember that Announcements are not supposed to replace things like “Pages”  and “Assignments” .

Announcements is the alternative that E-learning primarily recommends for one way-communication (when no answer is expected) with students to send messages with extra important information about course activities, course material, interesting course related subjects and logistical information, such as:

  • “Lecture moved”
  • “New grades are available”
  • “Your new lab groups are”
  • “Correction of a mistake made during the lecture”

If comments are allowed it should only be to enable students to ask for clarification that the rest of the class also may need to know.

Extended use of announcements

Control through section based or delayed publishing

You can choose to publish an announcement to the whole course or to individual course sections to make sure that the right people get the information. 

You can also prepare announcements that you know have to be published later by delaying posting. The student will not see your announcement until the date and time you have chosen has passed; they will not be able to see that it was a delayed announcement. 

Show announcements feed on the home page

You as a teacher can choose to show the recent announcements on the top of the home page; between one and ten announcements can be shown here.

If you want to show this feed on the home page, we at E-learning recommend that you show the three most recent announcements in your feed. This is so that you can publish several announcements in a short period of time without worrying about students who only read announcements on the home page missing them. If a student checks the home page and sees two new announcements, they will recognize the third and know that they have not missed any more. Few students see three unread announcements without double-checking that they haven’t missed any more. 

Importing RSS Feeds to Announcements and subscribing to announcements as RSS Feed

Under the button “+ Announcement” is a link called External Feeds. If you click it, a sidebar menu opens where you can get RSS Feeds from announcements and also add external RSS Feeds. 

Read more about adding external RSS feeds at Canvas Community

Read more about subscribing to the Announcements RSS feed at Canvas Community

Note! Think carefully before adding an external RSS feed to your Canvas room. You have no control over what is published in external RSS feeds, and you do not want to fill your announcements page with irrelevant messages.

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Last changed: Sep 09, 2021