As you keep thinking about next semester, you may be interested in using a Canvas feature that will allow you to save some time across the semester when communicating with your students.
Canvas provides an announcements feature – you can use this to quickly and easily send messages to your entire class. Announcements is an excellent place for you to touch base with your students, notify them of resources, or give updates and reminders.
But did you know that you can schedule announcements? Now this won’t work for every instance (e.g., “No class Tuesday”), but you can look ahead across the semester and identify places where you know you’ll want to send something out (e.g., “Welcome back from Thanksgiving break! You’re so close to finishing; here’s an encouraging gif!). Once you’ve identified those places, you can draft and schedule the announcements. The announcements will automatically release at the set times, giving you one less thing to think about those weeks.
A scheduled announcement is drafted in the same way as any other announcement. But when you’re happy with it, don’t click “save” yet.
- Find the settings under the “Options” heading (it’s directly below the text editor).
- Check the box for “Delay posting” and enter the desired date and time.
- Click the “save” button.
Canvas will confirm that an announcement is scheduled with a “delayed until” note on the announcements page and another note in the announcement itself. Any announcement that does not have a “delayed until” note on it will be visible to students. If you’re prepping announcements at the beginning of the semester, check for that note to make sure the announcements are visible only when you want them to be.
Check out the Canvas document “How do I delay posting an announcement until a specific date in a course?” for more information and screenshots about this process.
Once you’ve set up some of these “standard” announcements, you can easily reuse them from semester to semester. You can import them as part of a whole course, or you can bring over just your announcements (this is helpful for online courses where your announcements will not “stick” from semester to semester). When you choose the import settings, you can have Canvas shift the release dates for you. Before you check this task off your to-do list, I do recommend checking the dates and and text of your announcements — your students may be confused if they see you mentioning a fall break in the spring.