[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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Community Explorer

Hi Louise - sorry for the delay! I am attaching a couple of screen grabs here to illustrate what I typically do.

The first is of the discussion rubric I mentioned. This is a simple rubric with only two criteria, but you can see that there is a space to deduct points if the student doesn't complete the follow up response - just simply choose the "did not complete" option when using the rubric in Speedgrader to deduct points for this requirement. I also instruct students how to access discussion rubrics early on in the start here section so they see these requirements and use them when completing their discussion assignment, because accessing the discussion rubric is not as intuitive as including a rubric with a Canvas Assignment - you have to click "show rubric" to view it.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.00.54 AM.png

The second screen grab is of the calendar reminder method I mentioned. I just click on the date in the calendar that the replies are due by, then choose "More options" when the window appears. That opens an expanded text editor, that allows you to use the Canvas Content Selector. I typically include a reminder like this:

Title: Reminder: Week 2 Discussion Follow-up Responses Due!

Description: Please remember to revisit the Week 2 Discussion and complete your follow up responses by midnight tonight.

I then just use the Canvas Content Selector to link the "Week 2 Discussion" text to the actual discussion, to make it super obvious and simple for the students to navigate back to that discussion assignment. See here:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.03.36 AM.png

This is useful because, as I mentioned, it shows up in both their calendar and their Syllabus list!

Hope this helps!

Community Explorer

 @peter_concannon ​ -

Interesting idea, and you are correct that Canvas does not currently offer it, as discussed in these two threads:

 @kona ​ provided some helpful workarounds in that second thread though, so take a look there to see if any of those may fit your particular use case. As she mentioned there, a quick fix is to just use Speedgrader! You can quickly scan Speedgrader to see who has completed the requirement - you get an orange dot/visual indicator in the student drop down menu, and when you click on each student's name, their discussion contributions show up. This does at least save a little time when grading.

Hope that helps!

Community Participant

Thank you. Better than that workaround, though, is to go to gradebook and mark as incomplete any student who doesn't show up as submitting. Then use the dropdown at the top of the gradebook column to set default grade, being sure not to change grade of any student who has been graded already.

I was using the speedgrader method previously, and I was trying to speed that up (rather than going one by one through 75 submissions). The best I have figured out is the one I described above; it is almost as good as setting a rule for submission, though Angel was better on this score.

Peter Concannon

Professor of English

Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL

(352) 395-5117

Community Member


This sounds like a real time saver. Thanks for posting this tip!

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni


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Community Contributor

This would be a great addition. Many faculty have mentioned this type of flexibility needed in discussions.

Community Novice

See also the similar idea of giving automatic scores based on the number of posts made.


Community Novice

@Kathy Chatfield. Great request! An excellent feature to assist in ensuring continuing conversations. 

Community Participant

SPARROWR‌ - this might be perfect for solving multiple posts issues in the education courses!