You finish grading an assignment from class and realize there are 15 students who really missed the concepts. You don’t want to delay the lecture for this small percentage of students, but you also don’t want to leave them floundering. In the past you’ve made an announcement in class stating that anyone that scored less than 50% should come to office hours to spend some more time with these concepts; only to have no one show. Does this mean they didn’t want to come? Or that they had a conflict with office hours? Or perhaps they just didn’t realize they scored so low because they haven’t looked at their grades yet?
Has this ever happened to you? There is actually a tool in the Canvas gradebook to help you with this, and other similar, situations. The tool is called, “Message Students Who…” and can be found by hovering over the down arrow on any assignment in the gradebook view. (See image below). Once selected, you have the option to send a message to students who…
- …haven’t submitted yet
- …haven’t been graded
- …scored less than __
- …scored more than __
Each of these options have their own use and purpose. For example, messaging students who haven’t submitted yet might be to remind them there isn’t much time left for a submission and that you would like to see what they have produced. Messaging students who scored more than a particular score may be sent to encourage those students that have really been working hard and to let them know you are noticing their efforts.
Thinking back to the beginning scenario, sending a message to students who “scored less than __” , enables you to send an office hours invite to each student individually. If other students show up to office hours, no one will know if it’s because they also scored low or they just happened to come this time. In other words, students can attend without the stigmatism of others knowing they aren’t doing well. This also provides you an opportunity to ask them to schedule a time with you if office hours do not work for them. Because the conversation has already started, students are more likely to respond than to start a message on their own.
All messages sent through this tool are formatted in the same way. Once you have chosen the message format, a list will auto-populate with the appropriate students. You have the opportunity to remove anyone from the list at this time, if for example, there was a student that hadn’t submitted yet, but you had already granted them an extension. A sample message title will be populated, however is entirely editable. Then you are able to write what you wish in the message field. It is important to keep the content of the message generic and not identify students in any way. Once you have composed a message you like, you can select to “send message.” The message will be sent to all recipients individually, without any knowledge of who else received the message. In other words, it is very much like sending a message and putting all recipients in the bcc line of an email.
Students will get this information in their Canvas Inbox as well as any other location they have indicated in their notifications. (i.e. text message, personal email account, etc.) To see more about setting notification preferences, read the Students, Can You Hear Me? blog post from March. The CITL will be hosting several Canvas sessions in December for those looking to wrap up grades for the fall, those new to using Canvas this coming spring, as well as the Canvas One2One Sessions for those with specific needs/concerns. Questions before December? CITL is available to help year round, just contact us!