[Modules] Allow Number of Discussion Posts Set for Module Requirement to be Complete


Similar to the Module Setting for Quiz objects of "Score at least..." x points before that requirement is met, please add "Submit at least x [number of] forum posts" for Discussion objects. In my courses, I often have a required "initial" post and two or three "reply" posts due for discussions. Unfortunately, if "contribute to the page" is used for discussions, a single post credits that requirement as being fully completed. The student sees a Green check mark by that module item in their view, and they sometimes forgets to go back and submit their required replies. Once the discussion is graded and the student has lost points for missing replies, they sometimes tell me that they completely spaced out going back for those because they saw the green check and weren't alerted that they weren't done. Thanks for your consideration on this!

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This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. November 4, 2015 - Wed. February 3, 2016.

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Community Champion

Every one of our online courses has 8 discussion forums, of which 7 require more than 1 post.  This would be a great feature to have.  Since there's no intuitive way for students to check their number of posts, I frequently get asked by students if they have done the correct number of posts.  This feature would go a long way to helping with that issue as well.  I'm voting up on this one!

Community Contributor

Really, really needed. Right now, I have to create a discussion and an additional Calendar entry or another assignment to remind students to revisit the discussion boards.

I mean, it works, but it would be nice to be able to set this up not just at the module level, but within discussions, e.g., how many postings equals complete?

Community Novice

I love this idea, and I think it would be even better if we could set multiple due dates for the posts within the same discussion. Like Tom, mentioned, it can take several extra steps to ensure that students don't miss deadlines for follow-up response posts.

Community Explorer

Many of our courses use discussion forums and most of them have an initial post and then the discussion follows with 1-3 responses. This is a way for the instructor and peers to interact with each other and build a learning community. As new adopters of Canvas, part of our philosophy is to "not hack the system"....However, as Tom mentioned earlier, we are also creating the discussion forum, in addition to another assignment, so it displays on the calendar to remind students that this is a two-step process.

The other issue is that grading can be an issue with this as well, as some instructors will have one final grade for the discussion forum, but a portion of that goes to the initial post (first activity of the assignment) and then another portion goes to the response(s) (second activity of the assignment). When adding the dummy assignment to the calendar to reflect the two-part process, we are adding this as an ungraded assignment, so that an instructor does not need to grade all students twice for one completed assignment. However in doing it this way, when a student clicks on the assignment, they see that Points are worth "None" and Submitting states "Nothing", making this very confusing for students and takes away from instructional time as instructors need to answer questions.

So, at this time, until an enhancement is made, we are essentially hacking the system.

Community Novice

I have been searching through the help documents for a while now trying to figure out how to set a due date for initial posting and a due date for replies. It is frustrating not to be able to do this since this is such an important communication point in the online classroom. I've seen some great work-arounds but they are just that a work-around and I wanted a more user-friendly option. I was excited that you were able to set real due dates on discussions and they went to the calendar, in our old LMS I had to manually add them all to the calendar, but not being able to have the reply due date visible and having the forum marked complete without a reply is very clunky! I really hope this feature is added soon!

Community Explorer

We use this same strategy of a calendar entry linking back to the discussion post to remind students of the follow up requirement, but I agree that it would be useful if there was something indicating the requirement in the Modules view, since this is where we direct students for all course content and requirements. I also agree that a deadline, as  @kbirnley ​ mentioned below, would add to this feature! That would eliminate the need for that calendar entry workaround entirely.

Community Explorer

Louise, these are probably considered more "hacks," but right now what I typically do is have separate rubric criteria for the follow up reply, so that the students visually see the requirement when reviewing the discussion rubric, and the instructor has a way to easily deduct points if the student doesn't complete the follow up reply requirement without the need for a separate assignment in the gradebook. Let me know if it would help to see an example.

As far as the reminder for follow up responses, as mentioned above, right now I just create a calendar entry that links back to the discussion using the text editor, rather than a separate assignment entirely. This shows up in both the calendar and the Syllabus tools. When the student opens it, it displays the text I include, with a link back to the relevant discussion post. Not sure if this helps at all, but I thought of it after reading your post.

Community Explorer

Hi Rayne,

Thank you for your feedback on this. Sure, if you wouldn't mind sharing an example that would be great. Am always willing to see how others are working through a process.

We went back and forth about adding this as a calendar event or creating a separate assignment and finally decided that since this was really an assignment and not an event, we decided to create it as a separate assignment.

Community Participant

I don't know if Canvas offers this related feature (haven't been able to find it...), but Angel used to allow me to add a grading rule so that students who completed a discussion post could receive automatic credit. It seems that in Canvas, I have to intervene, rather than allowing the system to take over this task. I have many other grading tasks, including extensive paper comments, and since I grade complete/incomplete on discussions, I'd like the system to take care of that routine item.