Person rowing a small boat on calm waters

Re-Engaging Students Mid-Semester

Are you having a hard time reaching all of your students through your usual communication channels or are you unsure of ways to re-engage students who haven’t been turning in work? In our blog post last week, we collected resources about how to get feedback from your students at mid-semester to figure out what’s working and what might need to shift. This week, we want to give you some strategies for engaging with your students when they may be difficult to reach mid-semester. 

Here are our strategies for leveraging technology and tools to re-engage students: 

  1. Use transparent and consistent messaging strategies. Letting students know how you’re going to contact them early in the semester can help set this expectation, but if what you decided to use isn’t working as expected, try reaching out to the whole class with a duplicate message either:
  2. Use the “Message Students Who” tool built into the Canvas Gradebook. This feature allows you to just message students who haven’t submitted to an assignment or based on some other criteria. 
  3. Record short, just-in-time-videos to help direct students to the things they should focus on for the week and in the upcoming weeks. You can create videos using Kaltura My Media.
    • Consider also creating a page or schedule where students can see with all due dates listed for the course if you don’t have one already.
  4. Add due dates to assignments, discussions, and quizzes so that students are reminded via the “student todo list on the course homepage. 
  5. If you use conferences or ask your students to meet with you during the semester, use the Canvas Scheduler to create appointment groups.
    • You can give students these instructions on how to sign up for an appointment time slot.
  6. Regardless of whether you used Navigate to create progress reports for your students around week 5, you can still create “ad hoc alerts” to help students who may need some additional assistance connect with their advisors.
    • Here’s a YouTube video that covers how to issue alerts in Navigate.

What other scalable tips and tricks you can share to reach students? Let us know either by commenting here or emailing us at 

One thought on “Re-Engaging Students Mid-Semester

  1. Here’s a tip that may be helpful: The Canvas Syllabus page automatically creates and updates a listing of course dates based off the course’s published assignments’ due dates and course events under the “Course Summary” header. If you’re ahead of the game and have all your assignments created in Canvas (whether they are fully realized or simple placeholders to be fleshed out later), you could utilize this feature of the Syllabus page by either directing students to the Syllabus page to view the course summary, or you could copy the information from the Syllabus page and paste it into a dedicated schedule page that you created and shared with your students in a module. If you do point your students to the Syllabus page in your Canvas course, I recommend that you make sure it also contains your actual course syllabus or a link to the page or file that contains your course syllabus.

    The Syllabus page can also be helpful while preparing courses for future terms. You can use this page to verify that all of your assignment due dates and events are correct and that you’ve updated any old dates that came over with course content imports sourced from a previous semester’s Canvas course. It’s a great way to make sure you’ve got a course’s important dates set properly before publishing the course for your students!

    Read more about the Canvas Syllabus page in the Canvas Guide at .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *