Likes, Helpfuls, and Stars in Canvas?

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Community Coach
Community Coach

In the feature request there was an interesting discussion started on the difference between likes, helpful, and stars, and pedagogically how you might use them differently in your course.

 @scottdennis ​ asked the question, "Just out of curiosity; if people had both likes and star ratings, how would you use them differently.  In yesterday's CanvasLIVE session, I though Jordan Dayton did a great job of explaining how he uses the 'like' and 'mark helpful' features in the community differently.  Curious to hear what others think?"

He also pondered, "I wonder if it would be more useful if we had a discussion tool in the LMS that had both 'likes' and star ratings and, maybe just the teacher, or maybe everyone, could see an aggregate rating based on the stars.  Maybe if there were up to five stars and anyone could use them to rate a given post and you could see an aggregate 'score' for the post based on all the ratings given?"

So, what does everyone think?

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Community Coach
Community Coach

My thought for the differences between like,helpful, and stars is:

  • like is a way to literally indicate that I like this, it was funny, but doesn't necessarily need to be helpful or add to the discussion
  • helpful is a way to indicate that this was information that I find useful, something I didn't know, or somehow adds value/quality to the discussion or my understanding of topic OR this was not helpful and didn't add to the discussion (for unhelpful)
  • star ratings is a way to indicate how useful something was, so a step up from helpful in that you can actually rate how useful the information was to the discussion. This is the feature I think would be to have the choice to incorporate into the student's actual grade. Kind of like a way for students to provide "peer feedback" on other student's posts.

I'm also really interested in having the option to include these things into the discussion grade somehow. I know external motivation doesn't work on everyone, but if it's used right I think it will work for a lot of students! Since we should have the *like* feature in Canvas by summer I'm planning on incorporating it into the gamification aspects of the online course I'm teaching. I haven't figured out all the details, but I'm thinking about a weekly award (badge) to the person whose post gets the most likes.

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