[Discussions] Sort discussion posts by likes

Problem statement:

It should be possible (and is in other systems, and was with a Canvas work-around that was mysteriously removed some months back) to sort posts within a discussion in such a way as to have a desired instructor authored post remain at the top of the discussion so every student would see it first when going to that discussion. This functionality in invaluable: this allows the instructor to write a summary post at the end of a discussion period and then have that post remain at the top of the discussion, so though written last would be seen first and clearly, not buried at the bottom of the discussion threads.

Proposed solution:

There was a Canvas work-around that allowed for this functionality that was taken away. It was possible when editing a discussion to click on "allow liking", then "only graders can like" and then "sort by likes." This allowed the instructor to author a post, "like" it, then click sort by likes and that instructor authored post would go to the top, since only the grader could "like" a post. For some mysterious reason, Canvas eliminated the "sort by likes" option, and so this functionality is no longer in Canvas (and other systems had easier ways to do this without such a work-around). The sort by likes option below the "allow liking" should be restored (again it is a mystery as to why it was removed) or some other means of sorting posts that would allow an instructor to put a specific post permanently at the top of a discussion should be available.

User role(s):

instructor

4 Comments
jsailor
Instructure
Instructure
Status changed to: Added to Theme

Hi, @DanielLUnowsky, thank you for sharing this idea and also sharing the workaround that was being used to accomplish this. It seems we could provide a much better process for you to accomplish what you need. After review, we've added this to the theme of "Improve the user experience with discussions to provide for more meaningful discourse among course participants".  

DanielLUnowsky
Community Explorer

Thanks for your response. I am new to this process. Does this mean a better process will be added or just considered at this point or just open to more discussion within the community?

dm200400600
Community Participant
Problem statement:

A nice easy way to add in a poll without breaking the flow of the narrative on a page would've been to set a discussion so that users could sort the post by likes. This was in Canvas but was removed recently, apparently due to lack of use but it may simply have been that it wasn't well known about? I found out about it from a 3rd Party site, although it was also mentioned in some outdated Canvas documentation (since corrected). Aside from polling it is another nice feature to try an encourage engagement with discussions, something that is already difficult to do.

Proposed solution:

Maybe there was an underlying technical reason this was removed, but if there isn't is it easy enough to restore this feature for a future release?

User role(s):

admin

EMILYKLEIN
Community Explorer
Problem statement:

Currently, graded discussion board posts just show up chronologically when posted. As a teacher, sometimes I want the best post examples to float to the top/beginning since pages 2 and 3 of posts are typically hidden unless the students go looking by clicking the other pages.

Proposed solution:

1. Teachers should have the option to organize graded discussion board posts by likes, so the best posts can float to the top of the discussion board on the front page. This would help students see what is probably the best or most interesting at the top/beginning without hunting. As a teacher, I often go through liking certain posts, which would help me control the board a little for the student benefit. This should be a toggle-able option because I wouldn't necessarily want this to always be the case. 2. Teachers should have the option for more posts to show up all on one page so that no posts are hidden. This would really help when I'm spot checking the whole board on very simple assignments just to make sure everything is appropriate. 3. Most importantly, teachers should be able to PIN either their own posts or other posts. Sometimes I think about making an example post a day after it is posted/due and now my post will be hidden on page 2 or 3 because I have 200+ students. Pinning my examples or other students as PRIME examples of good work would be excellent for instructions and modeling.

User role(s):

instructor