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Community Member

Discussion threads and point values

Hi, I'm trying to set up one forum per week, like on Blackboard, a discussion forum with several threads in it, and then one grade for the whole week. I can't discover if that's even possible, nor can I seem to figure out how to assign a point value to any individual discussion.  Help?


4 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @sacree ​...

You can't really create a single Discussion topic and have multiple threads inside it.  (Well, I guess you could, but it might be a bit messy...especially for grading.)  It is usually recommended that you create a single Discussion topic for each individual discussion topic that you want to have within your course.  Then, you can assign (or not assign) points to those individual topics.  Here a Canvas Guides for you on how to do this:

How do I create a Discussion as an instructor?

When you are creating your new Discussion topic, there will be an option to set it as "Graded"...which should give you some additional options once selected.

As for "one grade for the whole week", you may need to set this up separately as a regular Assignment in Canvas rather than another Discussion topic (as it doesn't sound like they would be posting to this???).

Would this option work for what you need?

Community Coach
Community Coach

 @sacree , right now Canvas really isn't set up to handle multiple threads/topics in one discussion. Two options I see are:

Option 1: Have an individual discussion for each thread/topic and then divide the total points by the number of discussions you have. So for example if you have three threads/topics for Week 1 and it's worth 15 points you could divide them up so you have Discussion 1a worth 5 points, Discussion 1b worth 5 points, and Discussion 5c worth 5 points.

Option 2: Have one discussion for all three threads. In this case you'd put the actual discussion prompts as individual replies to the main discussion and then students would need to reply to your discussion posts. To get an idea of what this could look like see the following discussion - Stringed Discussions Graded as a Group. You could then set up a rubric for the discussion and have a place on the rubric for each thread/string you would like to provide a grade for. This way the students will get one grade, but you can assign the grade by thread (or other criteria). See this post for more information o this - Multiple Grades in One Discussion Post?

Hope one of these options works for you!

Community Team
Community Team

Hi  @sacree , it's about a month since you posted your question. Did either of the solutions above work for you, and if so, would you mark the appropriate one "Correct"? For now, I'm going to mark this question as "Assumed Answered," but it will remain open for additional participation. Thanks!

Community Member

Hi, Sorry I didn't follow up. The reply was helpful, in that it told me I can't do what I wanted to do with Canvas. I did figure out a work-around, so I'm OK for now. However, grading discussion forums does take about twice as much time on Canvas, and I'd love to see that addressed.



Steven Acree

Professor of English Emeritus

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.

-- John W. Gardner