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Save Time and Connect with Students

It is important to connect with students, to check-in if we think they might be struggling, and to give a “pat on the back” when they are doing well. There are only so many hours in the day and sometimes it is difficult to find the time to call a student or write them a personal email. I lean heavily on a tool in Canvas called “Message Students Who…” to help me connect with students when I don’t have the time to write individual emails.

The “Message Students Who…” function is available in the gradebook. Click on the down arrow in any assignment and you will see the option.

There are four options in the “Message Students Who…” function. You can message students who haven’t submitted yet, who haven’t had their assignment graded, who scored less than a certain score, or who scored more than a certain score. When you select a category, it will pull up the names of all students who fit into this category.

Now it is time to write and send a quick email. It autofills the subject line, but you can adjust it. Once you write your message, it will send it to all of the students in that category. Students don’t know it was sent to more than one person.

How can you use it? The day after a major assignment is due, you can remind students who haven’t turned anything in about their options for late work. If something comes up and you are delayed grading an assignment, you can notify those students. You can send resources and “hang in there” notes to students who did poorly on an assignment. You can send accolades and congratulations to students who did well.

This simple tool is a great way to tell students they have done well or send out a few resources to students who are struggling. It will save you time and help you better connect and help your students.

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