Canvas provides an integrated system for class discussions, allowing both instructors and students to start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired. Discussions allows for interactive communication between two or more people; users can participate in a conversation with an entire class or group.
Discussions can also be created as an assignment for grading purposes (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events. Discussions can also be created within student groups.
Discussion topics can be organized as focused or threaded discussions. Focused discussions only allow for two levels of nesting, the original post and subsequent replies. Threaded discussions allow for infinite levels of nesting. Focused discussions are relatively short-lived interactions, while threaded discussions allow replies within replies and may last for a longer period of time.
Focused discussions include one response and one layer of comment nesting. Focused discussions are relatively short-lived interactions that tend to disappear as the course progresses, such as a weekly forum for questions related to that week's activities.
Use a focused discussion for single posts and related comments. One discussion leader typically posts a message and multiple learners comment on it. Participants may leave a side comment to a reply, but cannot develop the conversation beyond two layers of nesting.
focused discussions might also be used to:
Threaded discussions include infinite layers of response nesting, allowing commenters to continue responding on a single nested thread. Threaded discussions lend themselves to the refining of complex ideas. Responses and different lines of inquiry that can be quickly navigated due to its hierarchical structure. Threaded discussions may be long-standing spaces for thoughts that persist throughout an entire course.
Use a threaded discussion for multiple posts and related comments. One or more discussion leaders post a message and multiple learners comment on it with the freedom to create any number of related discussion topics and comments.
Threaded Discussions might also be used to:
Within Discussions you can:
Note: You can also use keyboard shortcuts to navigate individual discussion threads. To view a window with a list of keyboard navigation shortcuts, press Alt+F8 (on a PC keyboard) or Option+Fn+F8 (on a Mac keyboard) simultaneously on your keyboard.
You can control certain settings within Discussions: