You have a class of 30 and there are three Tom's, how can we differentiate who we are talking to?
Yes this is a much needed feature. I am currently taking a Canvas net course and this would be super helpful with a discussion with over 2000 posts!
This would be a great feature inside of Canvas courses, "Dr. Zoidberg"! :-)
+1 for @mentions and notifications. Yes, you can subscribe to discussion threads, but getting notified when you're mentioned would be a great way to pull folks back into the conversation.
Disha Solanki exactly! The subscribe feature is great but you can end up swamped with emails that may or may not pertain to you as a student. Having an @mention with the same functionality as here would be 100% awesome.
Well put, Shaun. I concur.
Totally agree Disha Solanki! This personalizes the conversation a little more and increases participation. There is a reason it is effective in social media applications, and none of them can be taken seriously until this feature exists.
Disha Solanki makes such an important point. It's important to know that our students will see posts we think will be helpful to them. It's ironic that the Canvas Community has @Mention but Canvas discussions in the actual classes that Canvas exists to support do not.
Heh. Because the Community is built in Jive, not an Instructure product. Still your point stands: Instructure recognizes the importance of this feature for an online learning community but hasn't implemented it their own product.
Great idea ! This would be a really nice addition.
This would be a great way to call attention to the standard "I agree/disagree" replies, almost goading the poster to defend their stance.
I'm glad to see the beta environment has "Likes" in the discussion forum. I think it's a great addition and hopefully we can get some traction during this voting period to get @mentions.
Just the other day I had 2 separate instructors come to me to ask if there was an easier way to organize discussions that have multiple threads and replies. Even as a student it can be confusing, and it in a way forces me to troll the forums daily just to be sure I don't miss something.
We just signed a contract this month with Canvas for a district of 10,000 students. All of the teachers who tried the product asked the question, "Where's the +mention or @mention feature?" They are used to Twitter and/or Google+, and they have developed some strategies for organically created sub-conversations within discussions in which this feature supports. I'm glad likes will be coming soon before the rest of the staff are trained. However, I'm a little nervous to go back to them and say, "I'm sorry, but you can't do this in Canvas." Hopefully I can get more of them on this community and get them voting!
This would be great in Canvas for stimulating discussion on the discussion boards as well. If you want to draw a student's attention to a concept in another student's post, you could tag the student in your response. For example, if I am commenting on student A's post and I want to draw student B's attention to it, I would like to be able to tag student B directly in by response to student A's post. Otherwise, I don't have any good way to ensure that student B just happens to see student A's post.
A year and a half later: Yes, absolutely. This is my objective too. So many rich connections among students would be possible to facilitate with this simple functionality. Victoria Green at umich.edu, have you by any chance heard of any more recent workarounds?
Hi, pamela! Some LTI products support @mentions. If you can do an annotation assignment, Perusall works great and hooks into Canvas via an external tool assignment. Here are some details: Canvas and Perusall.
Thanks much, I'll have a look!
I don't have a better workaround, Pamela. I can absolutely see the pedagogical value you describe.
I must confess, I might not have seen the advantage of this feature request if it wasn't a present feature in the new community. It has come in quite handy here and I can now see how it would be handy in a classroom.
Canvas Discussions have a Search feature. In my courses I try to establish a cultural norm of addressing a reply to a person, such as "Professsor Soandso, I liked what you said about...." or "Jimmy, I heard you and Joey got a bag of donuts..." that way people in the forum can search and find posts that mention their names.
When I read this Idea, I wonder is it a Notifications feature more so than a Discussions feature?
There are at least two technical needs - 1) provide a picklist of users when typing in a name and 2) send a Notification to the person mentioned (if enabled by the person mentioned).
Does that sound right? Is there anything missing from this idea?
Yes, that sounds about right. When someone types "@" followed by letters a list of names from the course roster should populate. When someone is mentioned (using the @) then they should receive a notification.
I think this is useful because if the course is large it's easy to miss if someone mentioned you somewhere and it would be nice to immediately know if you were mentioned. I would especially like this as an instructor because a student could immediately get my attention to a specific post or question. While I like the idea of searching for your name (and this is a great workaround), what if someone mentions you about something important, but you've already "searched" for that day and don't do it again until tomorrow (or the next day, etc)?
No that about hits the nail on the head. Essentially how Jive works. In Jive I can hit the @ symbol and start typing a name it will create a link in the text field to the persons profile as well as send them a notification. I'm not sure about the usefulness of that link feature but when dealing with a class with a lot of posts it can get a tad confusing regarding who is talking to whom. I also think it's worth exploring a bit since most social networks and communication platforms include this feature.
From a grading standpoint this can also help a bit when filtering through the forum to find the context of a response. I've also encouraged courses to include the name but it's happened on more than one occasion where I had two students with the same name so it can quickly get confusing.
Thanks for the feedback, everybody!
I've added this item to the Discussions backlog and will post back here when the work is estimated. Marking this thread as "Gathering Info" for now.
Workshopped this last week. Update:
It makes sense to implement this once our messageable user framework is cleaned up in Conversations, as this will use the same search to find users to tag in a discussion, and the messageable user framework isn't nearly as efficient as it should be right now (see: long wait when searching for users to send a message in Conversations).
We are planning on addressing messageable users in 2016, and this can be made a part of that effort, so I will archive this idea now.
If there are any other thoughts on this topic, feel free to keep posting here!
So, it's 2018, which by my math is later than 2016. Any progress updates?
And now, it's 2020! We'd love to have this feature -- it would make discussions so much more efficient.
Most classes at Park use the discussion thread for most of the work in the class. It would be beneficial if the notifications could filter out only the content that relates to an individual students response and not all the responses. In most classes there are at least 4 responses from a student in a thread. With 30 students in a class posting 4 times that is 120 notification emails a week for 1 discussion thread. Most classes have at least 2 discussion threads a week causing 240 email notifications that a student receives for 1 class. If a students is in 3 classes that is three classes then that is about 720 notification emails you have to sort through each week.
Peyton Craighill Admin, any new updates from behind-the-scenes by any chance? In the midst of a course redesign, this would be such an awesome feature for a discussion we're building.
Hmm... perhaps license and rebrand the Jive discussion structure? It seems to do lots of what is being requested: better differentiation between threads, linking between user posts, etc. Sorry if that is a nonsensical.
@ mentions would be so beneficial! Students tend to only look at the replies on their own posts, not those of others, but I frequently mention other students in posts. An @ mention would alert the student that they need to check out this response too.
Also, the ability to link to other posts would be so helpful. That way, if I already answered a question in another post, I can just put the link to refer the student back to my previous post rather than have to type the answer all over again!@
Peyton Craighill - any updates on this? We would love to have this feature!!
Any updates on this since 10/16? A lot of Canvas users at the NERCOMP Annual Conference were just talking about how awesome this would be during a session on ways to keep online learners engaged.
Peyton Craighill, wanted to mention you in case you did not see the previous request.
Thanks to Christohper Gaudreau at a separate discussion (Student Engagement in an Online Course ), I learned about this feature request. I wonder if there has been any progress...? I think this would be a GREAT thing to add to Canvas, and I would hope that it would be the first of many more/better social features.
There was a good discussion about this at a blog post I had written back in 2015 where I posed the question in terms of person-centered streams which I think is a further dimension of this problem (my school was not on Canvas at the time, but I was participating in a cMOOC that used Canvas as a platform). Social sites like Twitter and Google+ use the @ and the @ is a big part of how they work, but more importantly those social networking sites are organized as person-centered streams (blogs, microblogs, whatever you want to call it), as opposed to topic-centered streams (like the venerable discussion board). And of course newer tools like Slack have opened up the landscape even more.
Anyway, here's that blog post, and you'll see comments from Jared Stein there. That's always amazed me about Canvas; even before my school went with Canvas, people from Canvas were out there in social spaces eager to have real convos about teaching and learning, not just about tech and products! :-)
OU Digital Teaching: Thoughts about Choosing, Change, and the 800-Pound LMS Gorilla
Now my school is on Canvas (yay!), and that's how I ended up here at the Community. I'm trying to get a Connected Learning group going, so if anybody is interested in that, I'll shamelessly put in a plug here for that request:
Group Request: Connected Learning
Hmmm...this would have been great during my most recent course. I know it's on the radar, but any update as to whether or not I should hold out hope that this is a Yay or Nay.
I've been using Canvas at the University of Colorado Denver for several years. This feature would be so so useful. In most of my classes, the de facto is for everyone to start a discussion response by listing the names of the students they are responding to. This is such a buggy solution. Sometimes a response references another user's earlier post, but is primarily responding to a different post. In these cases, you end up referencing those users, in the middle of posts, and there is basically no guarantee that those people have any idea you've done this.
This would be a great idea - especially for a forum with multiple moderators - so one moderator can ask another to comment on a specific message or thread
Hi all and Canvas User Engagement. This feature would support our courses and users immensely as we have multiple teacher accounts added to courses, based on our model of delivery. Has there or is there any movement on this at all yet?
This is also a great way to promote instructor presence. Instructors can't always see all mentions (particularly in large enrollment courses), so getting notified would be great.
In some of the courses that I support, we have a technology support discussion, the intent of which is a space where students can directly ask technical questions. The instructor doesn't monitor it--I do. When a student mis-posts to this discussion, I can tell them to ask the instructor directly, but it would certainly create a better student experience/environment of caring if I could @ mention the instructor to call attention to the post. Of course there are other ways I could do this, but @ mention is sort of the standard vernacular these days.
I would've loved this when I used Canvas as a student. There were times it could become hard to follow who you were wanting to talk to directly.
We are attempting to fully utilize Canvas discussions and are now coming up against the limitations of the discussions in the platform. @ mentions would be a useful feature to have.
The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process. You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.
This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities. This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.
How many votes do we need in order to get this feature (as well as #tagging, too)?
Adrienne, prioritization of ideas is not determined by an absolute number of votes. What is the feature development process for Canvas? and How does the feature idea process work in the Canvas Community? provide overviews of how ideas can move from the ideas forum to production.
haha social networks have absolutely damaged us all! LOL
Commenting here to provide additional support and hopefully keep the activity on this thread live enough so other folks can see it and vote on it. Mentions and tagging would be incredibly useful for classroom discussions!
This is not just a "feature request". This is a pedagogical leap forward.
This will help make discussions actual discussions between students (and instructors) and not simply public posts. This will increase student engagement, social presence, and critical thinking.
It's time for @mentions.
If we had @mentions, I would actually use the discussion boards. :-)
I so agree. Without the @mentions, "discussions" are just following the tired old IRE (teacher initiation, student response, and teacher evaluation/feedback) classroom discourse pattern.
I teach online courses for transfer students, and many of them contact me asking how to use @mentions because their prior college's LMS could do it and they want to do it in Canvas. Sadly, I inform them that their new LMS can't yet deliver on that technology. I (and my team of 10 instructors) would LOVE this feature. After all, we have the @mention feature on this Canvas Community site... but not yet in the actual Canvas site? If anyone has a work-around, please let me know. Thank you!
I desperately need this function to encourage discussion engagement in my courses.
When will this functionality (@ mentions in Canvas discussions) be reviewed and potentially implemented?
This feature would be amazing and would really help encourage student interaction!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's time to implement this feature, it is a standard on social media sites for a reason and has multiple pedagogical benefits for teachers and students.
A much needed feature!
I can @someone in the community, so I expect to be able to tag(@) a student in my class, it could be so helpful!
We have a like button, but it makes more sense to me that the @ feature was released first....taggin and likes are standard social media components.
Please vote this up
Harmonize Discussion is an external tool that you can plug in to Canvas and supports @mentions when adding a post or comment.
Edu App Center
This would be a great feature, it’s way overdue, let’s make it happen!
Reposting what I put in my feature idea request-- which included a request for hashtags as well:
"It would be useful if we could tag/"@" other users in the course on discussion board posts and use hashtags/# like users can do on social media platforms--and even in this site (EX:Ideas, Canvas Developers, share discussion feature ideas)
YES! Please, in the visual arts, we need @username mention AND notification functionality when using the Discussion Boards as an asynchronous work-in-progress critique environment. In the studio arts, we try to use the discussion boards to simulate work-in-progress and final critiques that happen regularly in face-to-face classes. In a F2F critique, you have a common space where work is hung/laid out in the studio space and discussed as a group. In the online environment, individual discussion boards can be the “common space” for the class where work gets “hung” (shared visually, by embedding images), then it’s being discussed live via Zoom with those who can attend, then via written post replies for those who cannot attend the live Zoom session. We need to get as close to a live conversation as we can, and student need to know when someone else (including the professor) is commenting about their work, even on when in replies to others’s posts. Then students need automatic notifications that they‘ve been mentioned so that they see the comments that someone took the time to provide.
PLEASE!! We need @mentions. I'm normally a face-to-face instructor using Canvas, and now I'm an online student on Canvas learning about online. What's the point of a discussion board in 2020 if you can't @ someone?????
I'm just adding to the madness here because it apparently takes five years to do something so basic it is literally a feature of this forum (Chris Hofer). I have also raised this repeatedly with my institution.
Why students and instructors need the @ Mention and # Tag function on Canvas Discussion boards:
My students will be in smaller discussion groups, likely 5-7 in a group. In each group, I require (1) a response to the prompt, (2) replies to two classmates, (3) one response to one of the replies. Thus, they do not need to receive the notifications for all of those posts -- and I would strongly prefer them not to get burned out on notifications and ignore them all, which they will -- but they should receive notifications for the replies to them so that they can respond.
In addition, not being able to thread together concepts from multiple classmates is a HUGE hindrance to actual discussion, which should be the whole point of a discussion board. Let's say student A is reading through the six other posts in her group, deciding who to reply to. She sees that student D and student E make similar points in their posts but that they are coming from completely different starting points. She wants to draw them into conversation with each other -- as one might do in a classroom. Why can't she @ mention student D in her reply to student E and vice versa? "Hey @Jane, did you see that @John agrees with you on x and y, but starts with presupposition b instead of a? What do you think is going on there?"
Or, what if the students want to draw ME into the conversation for clarification? I need to be able to prioritize responding to that thread rather than reading through 85 posts before I get to it.
It baffles me that this is not a feature.
This is critically important and would be hugely beneficial - even if it were a feature to enable/disable at course level.
Please make this happen, Canvas! The discussion board is next to useless without it when everyone is so accustomed to social media tagging. This can't possibly be too difficult when it's used in this very discussion forum! Scott Dennis Why is there no discussion board tagging/mentioning ability?
Please, Canvas, you are overdue for this feature. You've been talking about this for FIVE YEARS! With each year that goes by, it becomes increasingly embarrassing, Renee Carney, Peyton Craighill, and Stefanie Sanders, that Canvas still doesn't have this feature in Discussions. This has become an industry standard and, while I am not a programmer and don't understand what is required to implement mentions, it cannot possibly be so difficult to get it done at this late stage in the game. If you need assistance, Basecamp flawlessly integrates this throughout its platform. Maybe if you ask them really nicely they can help you get this done.
As a student, I am required to reply to classmates' posts and respond to replies to my original posts. The lack of mentions makes this unnecessarily difficult, especially across multiple courses.
Please, please, please, with a cherry on top, add a mentions feature to course discussions!
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