Once Chat has been enabled as an LTI tool in your course, the Chat tool can be used for real-time conversation with course users. Any user in the course can participate in a chat conversation and view all chat content. Currently, there is no load limit for a course chat, but larger numbers of course users may affect performance.

A user must be actively viewing the chat tool to appear in the chat list. You may consider posting chat hours in the course calendar to let students know when you are available. Or you can open Chat in a new browser window while viewing other areas in Canvas.

When you open the Chat page, you immediately join the chat. Chat discussion appears in the content window.

To receive alerts for new chat messages, click the New message alerts button. If this option is turned on, you will receive alerts if Chat is open in Canvas but your browser window is minimized or you are viewing another browser tab. Alerts will not send if you leave Chat to view another area in Canvas.


  1. To send a chat message, enter your message in the chat window.
  2. To add an emoji to your message, click the Emoji icon.
  3. Then click the Send button.

Message history for each course is included in the chat. Chat history can be accessed indefinitely by loading more results and scrolling through previous course chats.

You can also access Chat history with the Load more results button. This button is hidden by default and can be viewed by simultaneously pressing the Shift and Tab keys (Option and Tab in Safari) on your keyboard until the button appears and is selected.

533 - Chat Overview from Instructure Community on Vimeo.