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agb16a
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Group Discussion Questions-Instructor Notified?

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Is there anyway for an instructor to be notified when a student posts to a group discussion question? From what I can tell when a discussion questions is a "group" question the ability to subscribe is removed. We currently set up our courses as one large class with several sections of students running within one shell so all of our DQ's are set up as group discussion questions so students only interact with their sections. Suggestions? Ideas? Any help would be great! 

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kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @agb16a ‌ - I just now tested this out.  I'm a Canvas administrator and just so happen to have access to a second faculty email account with that separate account enrolled as the instructor of a course site to see what emailed notifications I would receive.  I then had my "instructor" create groups and logged in as students to post within those group discussions.  Your suspicion, unfortunately, is quite correct:  the only notifications the instructor will receive are those that, essentially, verify that he posted a new group discussion (but no notifications for any student replies therein, even for a graded group discussion) and definitely NO notification whatsoever for a student-created group discussion.  This is pretty much what the notifications PDF specifies, which, if you have not seen it, is linked from here:  How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as an instructor? 

While it is too late to change anything for this term, have you considered creating a course site and then creating various sections?  I think (but have not tested) that a discussion that is created as a graded discussion limited to a specific section (covered here:  How do I assign a graded discussion to a course section? ) will generate the notifications that the instructors may be more used to and therefore similar to the more general, course-wide discussions.

I assume that you are an administrator (I noticed that you're in the admins group), and if you have not played around with sections yet, now may be a good time to try things out in your test environment to give them a try, though unfortunately notifications will not work within test.  But perhaps, as an administrator, you can create a phony class or two (even on your production instance) and then see how the notifications go if you have a spare email or two to check things out with.

Hope this helps a bit, Amanda!

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4 Replies
kblack
Community Champion

Hi  @agb16a ‌ - I just now tested this out.  I'm a Canvas administrator and just so happen to have access to a second faculty email account with that separate account enrolled as the instructor of a course site to see what emailed notifications I would receive.  I then had my "instructor" create groups and logged in as students to post within those group discussions.  Your suspicion, unfortunately, is quite correct:  the only notifications the instructor will receive are those that, essentially, verify that he posted a new group discussion (but no notifications for any student replies therein, even for a graded group discussion) and definitely NO notification whatsoever for a student-created group discussion.  This is pretty much what the notifications PDF specifies, which, if you have not seen it, is linked from here:  How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as an instructor? 

While it is too late to change anything for this term, have you considered creating a course site and then creating various sections?  I think (but have not tested) that a discussion that is created as a graded discussion limited to a specific section (covered here:  How do I assign a graded discussion to a course section? ) will generate the notifications that the instructors may be more used to and therefore similar to the more general, course-wide discussions.

I assume that you are an administrator (I noticed that you're in the admins group), and if you have not played around with sections yet, now may be a good time to try things out in your test environment to give them a try, though unfortunately notifications will not work within test.  But perhaps, as an administrator, you can create a phony class or two (even on your production instance) and then see how the notifications go if you have a spare email or two to check things out with.

Hope this helps a bit, Amanda!

Hi Ken,

Thank you so much for the insight here- I really appreciate it. Currently we just mark all discussion questions as a group discussion, and group set as "section group". I am going to try the next term to actually assign the discussion to specific sections (rather than everyone) to see if that improve the functionally.  Thank you! 

tross
Community Champion

 @kblack ‌ is correct.  We do exactly what he described.  We have discussions that are assigned to specific sections in a course and our teachers do get notifications if they want them for student posts.

kblack
Community Champion

Great!  Thanks for verifying this, tross!