[Discussions] See all of a student's posts together

In order to assess and grade a student on participation in the discussion boards, it would be helpful to be able to see all of that student's posts aggregated on a single page.

  • Of course the replies will be out of context, but that would still be helpful, especially if there were a "see in context" button on each response by the student.
  • It would be helpful if each post came with the basic metadata, including the subject of the thread in which it was embedded if it's a response
  • As an option, perhaps one could filter these to see only the top level posts by any particular student. 
Community Novice

I was wondering if there was a way to have all student submissions in a discussion assignment populate together in Speedgrader so that you can check for accountability and give targeted feedback.  The current way of viewing each submission individually is cumbersome and time-consuming.

Community Novice

The requirement in my Discussion Board includes responding to a question and to two different peers.  It would be very helpful if I could see all the student's responses on one page in Speedgrader to grade it and give feedback.

Community Member

I use small group discussion boards in many of my classes, and it's frustrating that I cannot see at a single glance every post or comment that an individual student has made across different weekly discussion boards. I have each weekly discussion set up as a separate discussion question so that it appears separately in the assignments calendar, but I do not have any way to see what a given student has posted except by looking at each discussion individually. What I would like to do is to access from some central place everything that a student has posted in response to any discussion question throughout the whole semester, so that I can make sure that they have posted a sufficient number of times.

Community Participant

I do weekly discussions and at times need to see the students' responses from the week before or two weeks before (So different discussion forums) to see their continuity and progress. 

Community Explorer

I vote for this feature too. Seeing all the responses students have posted to would help out the grading process and provide a visual glance of engagement in the course by the student(s).

Community Explorer

@bec25ka Sadly, I don't think a "vote" here makes any difference whatsoever with regard to Instructure taking any action on this feature. I think we're all shouting into the void on this one (and on any feature request, actually).

Can someone from Canvas/Instructure show me that I'm wrong about that?

Community Member
Dear Canvas Folks,
I appreciate the improvements you have made to the discussion component of your software. Last semester I switched to using it, not, honestly, because I think it is superior to platforms like Piazza: it certainly is not. I switched because you do not charge my students a fee for using it, and Piazza now does. Bless you for that!
I can also give you another bit of praise: your student-side interface is much improved from past years, particularly in the aspect of letting students create their own threads. I am genuinely happy about that. But now, having given you two types of crucial and well-deserved praise, I need to give you some honest critique. My critique is instructor-side.
As far as I can tell, there is no front-end way for an instructor to look at student posts/replies at the end of the semester and evaluate them, aside from looking at them individually (which is impracticable in a large class). The fabulous folks at CETL (The Center for EffectiveTeaching and Learning) at my university managed a back-end way of getting me a record of my students’ contributions, thank goodness! But, that record did not include the dates of those contributions. Those dates would have been very useful in my grading process, as I asked my students to contribute every week, not just at the end of the semester. Of course not all teachers will ask this, but it would be, I think, a trifling thing to include that metadata in a semester report. After all, student participation online in general is already recorded and available to instructors, so it only requires (it seems to me) instructors being able to break that participation down into types and then being able to review it at the end of the course.
To recap: as an instructor I would appreciate a way to cumulatively review and evaluate my students’ discussion participation over the semester, and I would further appreciate that way including a record of the dates on which my students participated. I think at least the second of these requests would be very easy to accommodate. Please consider accommodating both.
All good wishes,
Franz Metcalf
Department of History, CSULA
Community Explorer


Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Moderating

Hi @franz_metcalf - Thank you for taking the time to share your idea! I think what you share would be helpful to many instructors as they look for a full understanding of a student's learning and participation throughout a course.

I found a similar idea, and I wonder if it matches your needs. See all of a student's posts together has been open for conversation for quite some time, but if it is similar enough to your request, I'll combine the two ideas.

Looking forward to collaborating with you! 🐼

Community Member

Hi klundstrum and everyone,

Thank you for your interest in this request. Yes, I believe the the OP older request is very close to mine, certainly enough to combine, though there are, in fact several different requests in the other thread. I'm sorry I didn't find the other request before posting; I think my "all students'" search term must have eliminated that result.

Reading the other thread I noted there is a user-side way, using SpeedGrader, to view all of one student's posts in one discussion at once. This, however, is nothing nearly as overarching as the feature I am requesting, which is to see all students' participations in all discussions at once, preferably in downloadable form. tgrochowski articulates this well on the older thread (which may now be this one). Piazza has this feature. Blackboard has this feature. It is possible.

Grading by discussion is not what I do. Nor is even viewing participation by discussion feasible for me, as my class discussion is student-led and asks for several per student, per week. My courses end up with 100 or even 200 discussions per semester, most of them quite short—exactly the opposite of the sort of discussion Canvas encourages. (As I said in my first post, I only returned to Canvas discussion when Piazza changed its business model and began charging students money. [If you know anything about the demographics of Cal State Los Angeles students, you will not be surprised that I have already given Piazza my strong views on that.])

Thus, I really want a user-side feature that allows me to see every single post and reply from the entire course, at once, together with its metadata (or at least the dates). As I mentioned, all but the dates came through via the back-side work done by my university gurus, so the simplest fulfillment of my request is just to add the participation dates, though this still burdens others with work I believe the Canvas software would be easily capable of accomplishing.

Thanks again for responding to this thread and for reviving the older one,