[Discussions] Download discussion board posts

We would like to be able to download all of the discussion board posts from our course this semester for faculty analysis. We would also like students to be able to download and/or view all of their posts to review at the end of the semester in one place. This would create a type of e-portfolio for each student based on their work during the semester.


Added to Theme

Community Champion


This is a great idea, and a similar idea was posted last year, and is now archived. It included many great comments related to use cases that you may want to review, including some responses by Instructure technical staff. You may want to add this link from that idea to your idea: @

I will recommend that this idea be moved forward for voting, but we will wait and see what the Communit managers have to say.

Agent K

Community Team
Community Team

Julia, thank you for the feature idea.  I see the difference between your idea and the idea that Kelley provided, even though they are closely related (and could potentially be resolved with the same solution?).  Your idea will move forward for voting in the May cohort!

Community Participant

It is common for the accreditation teams for academic accreditation of programs to ask for full copies of things like this.  Being able to get them out of the system and into portable files is valuable for this and other purposes.

Community Explorer

Yes we have several faculty that would like to be able to download discussion board posts as well. I can also appreciate what Scott said about accrediting bodies wanting or needing this information as well. I am hopeful that Canvas can come up with an easy way for us to download the content within the discussion board.

Karen Matson

University of Oregon

Community Contributor

This would be great! I just finished downloading a whole bunch of assignments and discussion boards for our accreditation team. Right now I have to copy and paste the discussion boards into a Word document, then save as a PDF. It works, but is time consuming.

Community Coach
Community Coach

I have an example that is completely not what most people are thinking of on this thread, but I'll share it.  At my education system I periodically conduct an eLearning Attitudes survey, where I ask all students about their use of technology, preferences, and expectations regarding online learning and ed tech.  Last year I used the data to identify trends and talking points, which helped me to create discussion topics for focus groups.  I tried a new thing (for me/us), which consisted of running asynchronous focus groups in Canvas.  (I plan on writing a blog post to discuss our tactics, challenges, and successes).

Anyway, transcribing the focus groups was much easier in this asynchronous setting, as it was just copy/paste.  But, it would have been great if we could have downloaded all of the discussions.  We ran several focus groups and each had a series of discussions.  I'm all about simplifying processes and decreasing likelihood of error.

I know that Canvas is very rarely/never used the way I am describing, but in this case the proposed idea/feature would have been incredibly valuable to us.  And who knows, maybe I'll publish my blog post write up of our process and more people will consider running asynchronous focus groups within Canvas.  :smileygrin:

Anyway, you have my upvote.

Community Participant

It is not uncommon at our institution for the instructor and/or students to want to download a discussion for just thank kind of analysis... to identify themes or topics for further discussion.

Community Champion

Being able to download discussion posts would also be helpful to check for plagiarism. It would be great to bulk download posts from a topic in a zip file as we can do for assignments. That way, faculty could then upload to a plagiarism checker such as the Quick Submit at Turtnitin. Perhaps this would also provide a satisfactory response to this feature request:

Community Novice

I agree with this. Many faculty I know make discussion post requirements more demanding (requiring citations, etc.) and it would be a great way for students to easily keep copies of their writing.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

You can currently get this data through Canvas Data. I know it's a bit of a workaround, but unfortunately due to the team's commitments we don't have bandwidth to implement a more elegant solution for this use case at this time.