Anonymous Discussion Forums

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas


Instructors can create discussions that allow for posts to be made anonymously


Use Cases:

As an instructor, I want to create discussions in which participation is anonymous. This would free my students to share their thoughts without worrying about judgement / criticism by their peers or me. They'd take risks they might not otherwise.

transferred from the old Community

Originally posted by: Lynn McCarty
Thank you especially for contributions by: Rob Ditto, Allison Pyle, Renee Carney, Robert Jones

Community Novice

Is there any update to this at all?

Community Champion

Looking for an update, too.

Community Novice

I teach a class of 216 in a pit. No one asks questions in class, likely out of embarrassment, so Discussions online are the only way.  I found with our old DLE that when anonymous posts are allowed, use of online Discussions SKYROCKETS. My institution is just adopting Canvas, would REALLY like to see this added. 

Community Novice

The ability to ask questions anonymously is an ESSENTIAL part of teaching a large class.  With anonymous questions, students actually ask questions, and then other students can learn from them and are then motivated to help out and ask more themselves.  I REALLY want this feature.

Community Member

I teach a postgraduate course for doctors are they often have a professional relationship with other students and tutors and worry about sounding argumentative or ignorant. Please make it possible to post to the online discussion board anonymously.

Community Member

I had the same experience as Dana except with 66 students. At that time I was grateful our DLE enabled anonymous posts, and I'm disappointed Canvas hasn't gotten the clue yet after at least 4 years' requests. It also helps students to anonymously vent their frustrations and criticisms.

Community Member

I could see some value in the instructor knowing, but I'd much rather give that up in order to assure students that I definitely do not know who's posting. If they want to contact me confidentially that's called e-mail.

Community Participant

It would be useful to know the timeline on these ideas.  For example, I see that this feature was suggested back on 13 April 2015.  But at the bottom of the idea it says that it was "Last modified on May 8, 2018 9:18 AM."  The first comment was made on 15 April 2015, and the last comment before me appears to be 18 July 2018.

The item states "Idea is currently in Product Radar," and according to one of the items in the comments that happened on 20 October 2017.  So that was almost 22 months ago.  I know they have the link to what the product radar means, but that tells the average person little.  For example, what percent of features that have been placed on the radar have gotten developed?  How long is the average time from radar to development for those that have been developed?  What is the longest time something has spent on the radar thus far and still been developed?  What is the longest times something has spent on the radar that has yet to be developed?  I know this kind of information would help a lot of us who are wondering if these kinds of suggestions will happen and what to say to faculty and students when they ask about some of these features.  Right now I'm limited to saying that someone at Instructure thinks this is a good idea and has recommended it, but that was almost two years ago and there is no guarantee any recommendation will every be developed.

Community Novice

Anonymous discussion boards are an essential feature in education for the reasons listed by others previously. It also helps continuously improve group learning activities with students. Please, make it happen! Thanks.

Community Novice

Please add this feature ASAP. Piazza has this feature and it works great. Some students don't want to raise questions for fear of criticism. The ability to make them anonymous (to their peers only) would be tremendously useful in mitigating those fears.