This site requires JavaScript to be enabled

Notifications

Getting Started with bCourses: Communicating

104 views

There are a variety of communication tools and options in bCourses, and they are available in different locations throughout a course site for your convenience.

This article provides a summary of each tool to help you choose which one use, when they are best used, and where you can find them.

 

Announcements

Screenshot showing the Announcements tool

Key features:

Where to find it: 
  • Course Navigation menu

Use “Announcements” for:

  • Sending messages to everyone in your site, and linking them to your course materials or external resources
  • Sending weekly updates and/or reminders to students
  • Starting an online discussion forum with students (By default, students can comment on an announcement. To disable this option, see this Canvas Guide: How do I disable comments in Announcements for an entire course?)

More information:


bCourses Mailing List

Key features:

  • List allows instructors to send messages directly from their email programs, rather than using the Inbox in bCourses
  • Membership is updated daily according to enrollments in the People tool

Where to find it:

Use “bCourses Mailing List” for:

  • Sending mail to your class using your email program 

More information:


Chat

Screenshot of the Chat tool showing messages and participants

Key features:

  • Chat allows real-time and immediate communication between course site members who are in the site at the same time
  • Chat conversations are saved and viewable by everyone

Where to find it:

  • Course Navigation menu

Use “Chat” for:

  • Real-time interaction and discussion
  • Asking and addressing FAQs (for longer, more in-depth meetings online, use the Conferences tool)

More information:


Conferences

Key features:

  • Real-time, online, audio and video conferencing
  • Screensharing
  • Chat
  • Sessions can be recorded

Where to find it:

  • Course Navigation menu

Use “Conferences” for:

  • Conducting virtual office hours
  • Real-time team collaboration
  • Remote guest speakers

More information:


Conversations/Inbox

Key features:

  • Filter recipients by group, section, or individual members
  • Messages are sent directly to recipients’ emails, as well as saved in the Sent folder within the Inbox
  • Recipients can respond from their email accounts

Where to find it:

  • The Help Corner
  • Grades
  • People

Use “Inbox/Conversations” for:

  • Sending messages to individual students, groups, or sections
More information:

Discussions

Key features:

  • Asynchronous, online communication forum
  • Subscription option notifies subscribers of activity in a discussion
  • “Like” option to give visibility to noteworthy posts/replies
  • Video embeds allow more personalized responses
  • Can be graded

Where to find it:

  • Course Navigation menu

Use “Discussions” for:

  • FAQs - Create a discussion forum where students can post frequently asked questions about the class that their classmates or instructors can respond to
  • Extend a conversation that began during class
  • Brainstorming and debating

More information:


“Message Students Who..”

Key features:

  • Allows instructors to send targeted messages from within the gradebook to students who: have not submitted an assignment; have not received a grade; scored less than [point value]; scored above [point value]
  • The message is sent as a blind copy, which means students do not see who else is receiving the message.

Where to find it:

  • Gradebook

Use “Message Students Who..” for:

  • Contacting at-risk students who may be falling below a passing grade for an assignment
  • Recognizing students who did well on an assignment
  • Alerting students whose submissions have not yet been graded

More information:


These are the tools that help students and instructors communicate from within bCourses. Do you have more specific, detailed questions? First, please search the Canvas Instructor Guide, or our bCourses Knowledge Base. If you find that you are not able to find the help article that you need, submit a Help Request form or sign up for a one-on-one meeting on our Consultation Calendar.

For more on Getting Started with bCourses, see these articles: