[Discussions] Multiple Due Dates (checkpoints) for Discussions

With the way that many schools set up forum discussions and require "check-ins" to the forum throughout the week, it would be great if we could include multiple due dates in the discussion activities. For instance, I have classes that require everyone respond to the prompt by Thursday night and respond to at least 2 peers by the following Sunday. Being able to remind students that they have responses due, especially if we could scatter responses over multiple days, would likely increase participation.


<Sorry if this is a repeated idea. I couldn't find it elsewhere and I'm a newbie>

Community Novice

We really need this!  Students would really benefit from seeing on their to-do list that a first post is due in a discussion automatically with us having to continually edit due dates.  Also agree it could just be an option in the settings for a discussion. 

Community Champion

Definitely needed, this is a missing piece that causes a lot of confusion and frustration here on our campus. I will be voting this up - so glad to see it is gaining some traction!

Community Novice

It is silly that this has to be up for voting since thousands of faculty members across the United States have asked for it for years.

Community Novice

I would love this option. I have students complaining about that. I even go in and change the due date after their initial post is due, so the calendar has the new due date for replying to peers, but it shows they completed the assignment, so some still miss it. Thanks, Amy

Community Novice

Same situation here: I always have first post by Thursday and responses by Sunday. Though I have a way of handling that myself, I am also faculty Instructor for the whole university and colleagues often ask that question. Many are more distressed than I am by the inability to set two or more due dates, and I have really nothing to say to them...

Community Novice

It is also helpful when you have graduates with earlier due dates than the rest of class.

Community Member

Could a checkbox be added that says...

"After initial due date, only allow reply to postings (or peer postings)"?

The functionality would apply "close for comments" to the main prompt after the due date. And only allow students to reply to each other's posts. The reply entry box under the prompt would no longer be available. But the reply buttons under the posts would be available.


Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi Susan!

Thanks for starting to kick around ideas for formatting the options. This got me thinking about how I might use it when grading.

In many cases students have to "post once and comment twice" so should there be count option? I wonder if this info would be displayed in the Graded Discussion details alongside the due date and Rubric. Ie:

  • Students are required to create [count] new post(s)
  • Students are required to reply to [count] other post(s)

What are your thoughts on grading

- do you envision a separate grade for the replies vs the original post?

- if separate, how might you expect it to be calculated in the Gradebook column?

When I was teaching I created Rubric line items to grade the original work and the replies. Using the Rubric allowed me to specify what was required (post or reply led peers to further discussion) and grade on a criteria scale (met all, met some, met none). I could grade the original post and the replies in SpeedGrader and the grade calc'd into one Gradebook column.


Coach Emeritus

I think a count option would be ok, but only as an option. For me it seems slightly limiting because students would ONLY reply X number of times. Yet, I can see some faculty liking this ability and it making things more clear to students.

For grading, my preference is to make it one grade in the gradebook. Why? Some Instructors might want to use two due dates, but might not want to grade the initial post separately from the replies or follow-up posts. They might see the two due dates more as an alert thing (in the calendar, on the to-do list, syllabus list, etc) and not as much as a grade thing. Basically I don't want to create a problem when adding a new feature.

For me the rubric is the best way to specify what is required and to grade each of the required parts (ex: initial post, X number of replies to peers, response back to anyone who replied to your initial post, etc). I like this because students can see where their discussion grade is coming from, but it doesn't extend out the gradebook and make it unmanageable. If I had two grades in my gradebook for each discussion it would be even crazier than it is!

Community Novice

Having a better way to do this with more options would be fantastic!

The work-around I use now is to create the discussion as a graded discussion and require peer reviews. I then check the box to automatically assign peer reviews. BUT! Because no one has posted yet, they don't actually get assigned to review a particular peer - this allows them to reply to postings of their choice once they start posting. Doing this DOES allow me to set a due date for the initial post and a second due date for the replies (peer reviews).