Meaningful interactions among students and instructors are the hallmark of a successful online class. Canvas supports several types of communication, as described below.
In addition, registered students have Penn State e-mail accounts (<Access Account ID>@psu.edu) that they need to monitor for any official communications that come from the University or from the Penn State World Campus.
A new announcement will be posted each Monday. These are messages from your instructor that contain important information. Announcements may highlight assignment due dates (also published in the course Calendar), lesson recaps, a preview of an upcoming lesson and other essential course information. Current announcements can be accessed through the Announcements link in Canvas.
Conversations are the equivalent of e-mail in Canvas. It's the best option for discussing personal matters with the teaching team. Keep in mind that the text editor is very minimal, and does not have much formatting capability. Please use course conversations for private messages to instructors.
This is a very large enrolling course with multiple TAs. If you want a timely response, it is critical that you email All Teachers and all TAs in every email you send, including new email threads and replies to all emails that come from a teacher or a TA. Watch the following video or read the transcript to learn how to do this in Canvas.
Discussions allow students to interact with the instructor and other classmates. Threaded discussions allow multiple posts and replies. New posts appear in the Course Activity Stream page, so you will know when something has been posted.
- In general, questions and comments about course content should be shared with the entire class via the "General Questions and Comments Discussion Forum". That way, everyone can benefit from the discussion.
Whenever you post a message in a forum or send course mail, please title every message with a descriptive subject line. Subject lines that include the gist of a question or comment increase the chances that students and instructors can retrieve the messages we're looking for. Poor subject lines, such as "Question" or "Lesson 1," are not very useful as search keywords. When replying to a prior message, consider whether or not the subject line should be altered to indicate the content of your reply!