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Discussion forums: creating different threads

My college has just moved to Canvas, and there's one feature I really miss from our previous platform. In my discussions, I'm used to posting a general prompt--and then having each student "add a new discussion topic" in reply to that prompt, with each topic appearing as a separate thread with its own unique title. Then the other students can go through and read each initial post in the thread and decide which threads they would like to respond to. Some threads thrive and others wither, but that's fine. 

I've tried several ways to make it work with Canvas, including giving students the power to create their own Discussion topics--but then those topics are not included as essential parts of the posted Discussion. For now I'm having students highlight their initial posts, but it's not a good solution. Students still have to scroll through long, long discussions rather than keying in one a couple shorter discussion threads.

Anyone had any luck with this? Thanks in advance!


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Hello @LairdChristense 

I believe I understand what you are talking about here. 

For discussions in Canvas, currently it will allow the students to reply to the main discussion thread and they can create threaded replies beneath it. 

One possible work around I thought of was having the students create their own discussions in your course ahead of time, and then you can link those items in the main discussion details from the edit screen. This will make it so that when the students go to the main discussion thread, they will see the links for the other discussions that their peer created and they can click on the links to access and reply to them. 

Unfortunately, there is not a way to pin things such as discussion threads or replies on the discussion you are working with. I think this would make a great feature request for future releases in Canvas. If you haven't already submitted this idea, HERE is a link where you can do so.