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murphy_1527
Community Contributor

Discussions - graded for those assigned but viewed by entire class

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Hi all,

How would you build this activity in Canvas? :

There are weekly discussions. Each week 3 students are assigned to post and 3 other students are assigned to reply to the post. The rest of the students who are not assigned are to view the interaction between these 6 but do not get graded.

How would you do this?

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
murphy_1527
Community Contributor

Ken, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It did initially sound convoluted but it provided me with the exact functionality the instructor asked for. I did come up with another solution (with the help of another ID on campus). I created two Graded assignments (no submissions)- one for weekly  articles posters and one for those that had to reply. I used the steps found here How do I assign an assignment to an individual student or course section?    to assign students to a their tasks on the correct weeks.  I then made the assignment due at the end of the semester.

Next, I created NON-graded discussion (for each of the weeks in the semester that this assignment was due) that anyone could see (and technically anyone could post to), but then added a link in the discussion assignment description to a google doc that said which students was assigned which task on which week.  I then put the link to the discussion board index in the two graded assignments above so that they got to the ungraded discussion board via the individually assigned graded assignments.

Crazy town, but I think it will work.

View solution in original post

4 Replies
kblack
Community Champion

Well, this is a tricky one,  @murphy_1527 ​!  Fortunately this Community is filled with inventive minds that may be able to think of some ways around this. (Pity I'm not one of them! Smiley Happy )    I admit my own suggestion is likely going to require a few too many steps, but here goes.  First of all, a group assignment is NOT feasible in this case, as you've likely figured out, because students who are not in a group cannot view that group's interactions.  What I suggest may work if a few compromises can be made:

  • Create a graded discussion as you normally would, but make it a differentiated assignment as outlined here:  How do I assign an assignment to an individual student or course section?   You will then add the students that you want to post and reply as the students to select, and REMOVE the "Everyone Else" box that will get automatically generated when creating one of these.  There is NOT a way to guarantee that only 3 students can post and only 3 students can reply, however.  All 6 students would have the ability to post if they really were so inclined.  But removing the "Everyone Else" will prevent the rest of the class from even seeing it.

That's where the compromise comes in: the other students will NOT be able to see this assignment AT ALL, because that's the good thing with differentiated assignments.  Only those students added to the initial assignment will see it initially.  But keep reading....

  • Once the discussion is over, you can "release" that Discussion to the rest of the class so that the other students could view it.  The way you can do this is CLOSE the Discussion for additional comments by setting an "Until" date (which will move it to the "Closed" group on the Discussions page) and then re-edit the assignment and allow EVERYONE to see it.  Because it is closed for further replies, the rest of the class will see it, but cannot reply to it.

This, of course, opens another, newer can of worms, because by editing it back to "Everyone" it now becomes graded again for everyone in the class.  To solve that--because I assume that eventually everyone in the class is going to be asked to participate and/or sit out the same number of times--you put the entire group of Discussions into its own Assignment Group and then set the rules for that group to drop xx lowest scores, as outlined here:  How do I create rules for an assignment group? That way, assuming everyone (for example) is to participate 6 times and not participate 6 times, you will be dropping the 6 lowest grades (the zeroes) from the calculation.

(You could just simply not grade the non-participating students, as well, using the EX grade, but that will cause the grades to have an "uneven" total for the entire class throughout the term.)

What this does NOT solve at all is figuring out how to grade replies as opposed to posts, but that can perhaps be explained in the grading rubrics.

If you got lost with all that, I can't say that I blame you!  But maybe this idea gives you a few of your own, as well....

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

As convoluted as it is,  @kblack ​ suggestion is probably the best (given what features/tools are available in Canvas) other than the non-technical way of just explaining to students how the discussion will run and put in the assignment directions (1) who is posting and (2) who should be replying each week. <-- Even as much as I've used Canvas and as tech savvy as I am, I'd probably go with this just because it's the most simple, least time involved for the Instructor to mess with settings, and less likely to get messed up.

As for not wanting students to be penalized for not posting, all you need to do for this is either (1) not put in a grade - this will make it so the assignment doesn't count against the students or (2) putting an EX (excused) in for the students - which will excuse them from doing the assignment and not count against them in the gradebook.

murphy_1527
Community Contributor

Ken, thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It did initially sound convoluted but it provided me with the exact functionality the instructor asked for. I did come up with another solution (with the help of another ID on campus). I created two Graded assignments (no submissions)- one for weekly  articles posters and one for those that had to reply. I used the steps found here How do I assign an assignment to an individual student or course section?    to assign students to a their tasks on the correct weeks.  I then made the assignment due at the end of the semester.

Next, I created NON-graded discussion (for each of the weeks in the semester that this assignment was due) that anyone could see (and technically anyone could post to), but then added a link in the discussion assignment description to a google doc that said which students was assigned which task on which week.  I then put the link to the discussion board index in the two graded assignments above so that they got to the ungraded discussion board via the individually assigned graded assignments.

Crazy town, but I think it will work.

View solution in original post

kblack
Community Champion

Interesting idea,  @murphy_1527 ​!  We often have to come up with inventive ways to allow faculty to continue doing it the way "they always do," don't we?  Thanks for posting what you did.