Notifications enable students to quickly and reliably learn about course changes and assignment dates.

Notifications are automatically-generated bulletins that Canvas sends to students to alert them to additions or changes in course content. Students receive notifications in both their institutional email ( and on their User Dashboard. Each student is able to individually adjust the urgency with which each of the 18 types of notification is delivered to their email. Notifications provide links to the affected part of the course and are sent instantly after the change is made. Instructors cannot create notifications, prevent notifications from being issued, or prevent notifications from being received and read by students.

Information about Canvas assignments is visible to students by due date, assignment group, and module. Assignment due dates are visible to students in the following areas: Syllabus, Assignment, Calendar, Gradebook, and User Dashboard (To Do, Coming Up). If an assignment is published after the course is published, a notification will automatically be sent to students.


Students are well informed automatically about course changes and assignment dates. Instructors save time and the potential for error by not manually duplicating communication to students via announcements, email, or conversations.

Best Practice Recommendations

  • Reserve manually-created communications (e.g., announcements, email) for situations which cannot be planned for and won't be communicated by Canvas’ automatic notifications.
  • Thoroughly plan the course before the term and ensure that it is as complete as possible before publishing it to avoid students receiving unnecessary notifications of changes.

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