Many students leave assigned discussions to the last minute, resulting in a quiet discussion board for several days followed by a sudden list of individual posts in the hour before it is due. That is not a discussion. As a solution, many instructors require that students reply to each other in threaded replies. Many students fail to read those instructions, and instead believe they are done, because the assignment is marked complete in their to-do list. Currently assigned discussions are "complete" as soon as students post a single reply to the instructor's initial prompt, and so we need a method of assigning students to reply to each other in a way that they will see as a clear requirement within canvas.
I propose a new assignment type: "Reply to Discussion"
The assignment would work like this:
1. Create a Discussion, "Canvas Talk," select allow threaded replies, and assign as normal.
2. Create a "Reply to Discussion" assignment, selecting the Discussion "Canvas Talk" for replies (both "Canvas Talk" and "Reply to Canvas Talk" assignments will point to the same discussion)
- use options to indicate how many threaded replies are required for the "Reply to Canvas Talk" to be complete
- include the normal discussion grading options - if replies are graded as part of "Canvas Talk" select not graded
- include the normal due dates options - if replies are due later than the due date of the "Canvas Talk," then once "Canvas Talk" closes, students clicking on "Reply to Canvas Talk" will still have access to create threaded replies to each other, but will not have access to buttons for replying to the instructor's initial prompt
3. Students reply to "Canvas Talk" and that discussion is marked complete
4. Students add threaded replies to each other. After the required number of replies "Reply to Canvas Talk" is also marked complete.
This is specifically intended as a way to jump start an idea that has been in radar for 3 years: Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions I know it wouldn't go all the way to what Chris suggested, but it would provide the functionality that is needed. Perhaps this will require less problem solving before it is ready to use.