cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
weaver_852
Community Participant

Am I able to see the total number of comments within a discussion group post?

I recently created a discussion assignment and created multiple groups for the discussion. I would like to give bonus points if over 80% of the class comments within their discussion board on other students' posts. Is there a way to see the total comments for the discussion board without going through to each individual students' profile?

8 Replies
awilliams
Community Champion

Hey  @weaver_852 ‌,

Since you need to know who posted, not just how many posts, I think you will want to step a bit outside of the native functionality of Canvas and have a look at  @James ‌ work on How to Count Student Discussion Posts‌. This could also be possible utilizing Canvas Data‌ but that would be quite an undertaking for a relatively small task.

Let us know how this works for you and if you have any issues along the way. 

James
Community Champion

 @weaver_852 ,

Here's a a little extra information that might help (or it might not be necessary).

In one spot, you say "class comments within their discussion board on other students' posts" and in another you ask "see the total comments for the discussion board".

I'm unsure whether you're talking about only replies to other students or if the discussion is set to post first? The https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/canvas-developers/blog/2016/01/02/how-to-count-student-discus...‌ that awilliams pointed at will give a count of all of the posts, but it doesn't discern between posts to the original question and replies to other students, it just counts the total number of messages left in the discussion.

If the discussion is set up to be post first, then you could get close by subtracting one from everyone's count (in my experience few people post more than once to the original question, although it sometimes happens so I won't rule it out).

An alternative approach that doesn't require subtracting one is to use the COUNTIF() function of a spreadsheet. It counts the number of cells that match a certain criteria. Let's say that the results for this discussion are in cells D2:D45.  Go somewhere outside the table and enter a formula =COUNTIF(D2:D45,">1") to count the number of cells that have more than one post.

If your not requiring post first, then determining whether they responded to your question or they responded to other students is going to be more difficult, but if your instructions were to write your own answer and respond, you're probably okay -- still looking for those students with more than one post. If you didn't indicate they needed to write their own message, just reply to others, then telling who responded to others and who responded to yours is going to be more difficult.

If you're just using it as a way to incentivize the students or encourage them to participate, I wouldn't get overly worried about it and the spreadsheet should be good enough.

weaver_852
Community Participant

Thanks, James! The posts are set up to be post first. I am referring specifically to the replies to other students, so it would be pretty simple to use the subtract one method or your suggestion! Your instructions are very clear, however, I am having trouble locating my course hostname? I tried copying and pasting from the Carmen homepage and inputting my name like the example, but neither could be found. Are you able to provide me a bit more guidance on this? I was able to generate the token just fine. 

James
Community Champion

I don't know what Carmen is, but you should be able to copy/paste the URL from your main course page into both the box where it asks for your Canvas Instance and where it asks for your course ID.

226061_pastedImage_1.png

If that doesn't work, the Canvas instance is the part before /courses and the course ID is the part after courses/

weaver_852
Community Participant

Apologies -- we use Carmen/Canvas interchangeably. That worked thanks! I am all set up. One last question -- will this only show those students within the course that have previously posted in one of the discussion boards within my course? There are approximately 550 students in the course, however, only about 350 generate on the excel sheet (my discussion in question is not due until next week so not all have posted to it yet). 

James
Community Champion

It only lists students who have participated in at least one of the discussions in the course. If they did not participate, it doesn't show up.

If this is your first discussion, it could be that they just haven't participated yet.

If this is your third or fourth discussion and you've got 550 students, there could be something else going on. Google Sheets has an execution time limit of 5 minutes for any script. That is, the script will stop running after 5 minutes and that might happen in the middle of processing a discussion.

If that happens, then you'll want to go to the Data sheet (second tab at the bottom) and delete all information AFTER the last discussion that was fully processed.

226063_pastedImage_2.png

Let's say I want to Discussion 6 processed, but the stuff after it didn't. I highlight the rows (the numbers on the left) after Discussion 6, then right click and say Delete Row.

226073_pastedImage_3.png

Then, choose Append instead of Refresh.

226062_pastedImage_1.png

In the future, wait until the discussion is over before you run the script, then choose Append New Discussions each time so that it can skip the information already in the spreadsheet and get to the new stuff.

weaver_852
Community Participant

James -- thank you for all of this information. Unfortunately I discovered that Google/Google Drive are not supported by my University. Is there any way to run this data in Box or another platform?

James
Community Champion

You don't need Google Docs or Google Drive to be supported from the university unless there are rules regulating the storage of information in places. You can sign up with a personal account and then use a token.

But no, my version is only available as a Google Sheet. A programmer could probably take the code I've written and make it work somewhere else, but it's not in Excel.