The canvas discussion board is lacking function. It's hard to track conversations and see message threads. There are also no details of who the author is. Or not that you can see easily. If the person replying doesn't type their name, you have no idea who wrote a message. Blackboard for discussion was much better. If canvas can look at replicating how that discussion board looked and worked it would be more user-friendly.
And if they do type their name for example "Jo", it is not always clear which Jo in particular as there could be 5 of us.
Honestly, it is so unfriendly that I don't really want to use it as I don't have the time or the inclination to try and decipher where my thread is and who said what and where. It really needs huge improvement to not just be a mass wall of text. Especially when there are well over 100 posts to sift through.
I am a bit confused by your comments about discussion threads/topics. In my own Canvas course(s), I can always see who posted the topic and replies. Check out this short video tutorial:
In addition, instructors have the option to toggle on/off "threaded" replies...so that replies appear indented and conversations are a bit easier to follow. It's quite possible that your instructor has not enabled this toggle in your discussion topics. That would be a question to ask your instructor, however.
Hope this helps a bit. If you have other questions about this, please let Community members know...thanks!