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Welcome your Students

 There are some simple Canvas strategies you can implement to make your students feel welcome in your course with minimal effort on your end. Remember, students can call 1 (855) 691-6198 for customer service with Canvas 24/7.

1. Course Thumbnail in Canvas

In case you didn’t know, many students do not know the course number until it is time to complete the student evaluations. Canvas shows the course number as a default, which makes it a bit difficult for students to find which class is the one they need. You can make this easier for the student by changing the course name in the settings of the course.

  • Click the three vertical dots on your course square on your Canvas Dashboard. Change the nickname to the course title, or an abbreviated version. The course number and the semester will remain underneath.
  • In that same place, change the color of your course. All of your course activities in the calendar will be color-coded to your course to help students stay organized among all of their courses.
  • In the course settings, you can add an image into the thumbnail that relates to your course to make it even easier to find for the students.


2. Reach out to Students Early

Personalized messages to your students toward the beginning of the semester is always a great way to show them you care about their success. Here are some ways to send custom emails to your students.

  • Through the Canvas Inbox, there is a way to email the entire student enrollment as though you sent it to them individually. It’s a small checkbox that says “Send an individual message to each recipient”. The result is an email that appears like it was sent only to the recipient.
  • Go to an assignment with low completion within the grades tab. If you click the three vertical dots icon on the assignment, you have the option to “message students who…”. Select the criteria that concerns you most and message the students who meet that criteria, such as hasn’t completed the assignment or received a low grade.


3. Have a Welcoming Home Page

One of the ways you can make your course welcoming for students is to have a custom home page. This is a great place to provide weekly updates or share resources for student success. Here are some recommendations for creating a custom home page.

  • Canvas has a tab called Pages, which is a blank slate to create content. In Pages, you can type anything you want as the content and set it as the course home page. Insert a weekly video, type news updates, provide studying tips or whatever you want!
  • You can also make the course Announcements the home page so students see the latest news from you when they first get into the course. Students are automatically notified when Announcements are created, so they can login right away and see what’s new in the course.
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