Notification Preferences

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Brief Description and Possible Uses

The ability to set and configure Notification Preferences in Canvas is one of the primary differentiators from other LMS products. You can use the Notification Preferences to dictate the frequency and how you’d like to be contacted. For example here, on a new announcement, I have set up my own policy. I would like to be emailed at my email address once a day. I can, in addition to that, say I’d like to stay on top of that and say, “Actually, send this to my cell phone as a text message right away.” And so every user actually gets to decide their own policy. So, when a new announcement happens, we’ll look up all the people effected by it and deliver it according to their policy and according to their preferences. It’s one of the things you can do in here, is a teacher you can see when students submit assignments. Whenever there’s a due date change or a change in the calendar, or even content changes like on an assignment; so if you change homework 5, you don’t have to go and email all the students to let them know that you changed it. We’ll let them know on your behalf. Any new discussion topics or if I’m engaged in a conversation on a discussion board, I don’t have to log in every five minutes to see if it’s going on. There’s a quite a few others that you can do in here. But again, the key point of the Notification preferences is that every user gets to decide how they want to interact with the system. Now, when they get a message from the system, it will usually include a link, like in an email, that they can click on to respond to that activity. And then, for the other people in that discussion, we deliver it according to their preferences. So this allows you to just message students, and you don’t have to friend them on Facebook, even though they can receive it on Facebook as well.

Instructor Tutorials

Setting Notification Preferences

Canvas allows users to receive course notifications through a variety of internet services such as email, SMS/text, Facebook, Twitter, etc.


Start by going to your profile by clicking on the Profile link next to your name in the top right corner.

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Inside the profile page, click on the Notification Preferences button in the menu.

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Now you can customize your notifications on a personal level. For each notification group, the user is able to configure how frequently they'd like to be notified: Immediately, Daily Digest, Weekly, or Never.

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Notification Preferences can be set to notify via either SMS or email in Canvas, or other mechanisms (like Facebook) inside the applications themselves.

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Training Materials

Notification Preferences overview

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Adjusting Notification Preferences

As a new user in Canvas you will first login to a page similar to this.

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If you are already past the first screen, you can access the Notification Preferences any time from your profile under notifications.

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By default the communication preferences are all set to right away to the email address for the account.


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