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Notifications

If you want a breakdown of what has happened in your course room for the past week, want to know immediately when students submit their assignments or just want to turn off notifications and the emails you receive from Canvas, then you might need to look at your notification settings. Here we go through what you can change and where you do it.

Personalized notifications

Notifications let you know that something has changed in Canvas and are often sent as an email. Notifications for a course are set based on what is set at account level, with priority of course level over account level settings. This means that settings that are made on your account will automatically be applied to each course room the first time you join it, but changes you make in a course room will be applied for that specific course. There are also some settings at account level that do not exist on course level, those that are about the inbox and calendar.

At E-learning we recommend that you set up your notifications the way you usually want them on your account and then adjust the settings for each course if needed.

Find the notification settings

You can change notification settings at the account level or at the course level. Account level can only be changed through your Canvas account, while settings at course level can be made both through your account and in the course room for the course.

Account level and course level

  1. Click on “Account” found at the top of the Canvas global menu.
  2. Click on “Notifications” in the menu that pops up.

In the drop-down menu above the table with the notification settings, you can choose which settings you want to change: for "Account" (account level) or for one of your active courses (course level).

Screenshot drop-down menu for notification settings. Account is at the top, below is a course list.

Only course level

  1. Go to the home page of your course.
  2. Click the button “View Course Notifications” in the sidebar (usually to the right or at the bottom of the page).

Note: The language of the notification settings depends on the language of your account, not the course, even when you edit them through "course notifications". The notifications are still sent in the course language.

Understanding the notification settings

Notification settings are shown in a table and show the various events that create notifications as well as all ways to contact you that Canvas has saved, i.e. the email and phone number connected to your account.

Events in the table

Similar events that create notifications are grouped together and those groups are then placed under different headings, such as “Course activity” and “Alerts”. If you hover your mouse pointer over the name of a group you will get a more detailed explanation of which events that are part of the group. For example, under “Course activity” you can see the notification setting for “Invitation”, and if you hover the mouse pointer over the group name "Invitation" you get the full description: “Invitation for: Web conference, group, collaboration, peer review and reminder”.

We will not go through the different events here since it would only be a copy of the extended explanations.

If you're unsure if you need notifications for certain things, try activating the notification and see if it affects you. Otherwise, turn it off again.

Notification frequency and notification symbols

If you wish to turn off all notifications you get from a course, you go to the notification settings on the course level and change the toggle called “Enable Notifications for [Course name]” from on to off. You will find the toggle before the table.

To turn off all notifications on account level you have to go through and disable each notification one by one.

There are four different symbols in the columns for your different ways to contact that quickly give you an overview on how often you will receive notifications from them. These are shown below.

Symbol for notification: green bell

Notify immediately

Symbol for notification: a green week calendar

Weekly summary

Symbol for notification: a green day calendar with the number three

Daily summary

Symbol for notification: a non-colored, crossed out bell.

Notifications off

To change notification type, press the symbol and choose in the drop-down menu what kind of notification type you want to have. It will be saved as soon as you make the choice. 

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Last changed: Mar 11, 2022