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Canvas Release: Discussions Redesign (2021-06-19)

Canvas Release: Discussions Redesign (2021-06-19)

This document provides a summary of New Discussions, which was originally introduced in the Canvas Release Notes (2021-06-19). Please see the change log for details about document updates.

Discussion topics display an updated design with small usability enhancements. These changes ensure page responsiveness and prepare the interface for feature functionality improvements.

Deploy Notes Change Log


Community Resources

Future Enhancements

This document outlines existing functionality included in the initial release of this feature. This feature will continue to receive additional enhancements over future releases as indicated in the change log at the end of this document and the Canvas Release Notes.

Customer Feedback

Community feedback for New Discussions is welcome per Canvas Community Feedback Guidelines, which outlines general feedback, broken functionality, and feature enhancements.

To learn more about this feature, visit the Discussions Redesign User Group + Early Access blog post.

The Discussions Redesign User Group is available in the Beta Features User Groups page.

Feature Documentation

New documentation for this feature will be available on 2021-06-19 in the Canvas Guides.

When lessons are available, comments are welcome for functionality clarification. Lessons will also be updated with all future enhancements as indicated in release notes.

Feature/Integration Setup

Feature Options

The Discussions Redesign project involves the Discussions Redesign course-level feature option. Course-level feature options allow the feature to be viewed on a course-by-course basis, or turned on for all courses across the entire account.

By default, this feature option is set to Off and Unlocked, which means it is visible at the course level but is not turned on. Institutions who prefer that this option not display at the course level should lock the feature option at the account level in Account Settings.

This feature enhances the Canvas experience within Discussions. When this flag is enabled in a course, early access to ongoing improvements will be displayed automatically with every release. Customers who choose to enable this feature in the production environment should follow the Canvas Release Notes and the Discussions Redesign User Group to stay current with upcoming features and their release dates.


Permissions for Discussions are outlined in the Account Permissions PDF and the Course Permissions PDF.

The Discussions Redesign project currently uses the same permissions as classic Discussions. Any changes to permissions and this project will be updated in this document.

Release Schedule

This feature will be available in both the beta environment as of 2021-06-07.

Production availability will be as of 2021-06-19.

Additional enhancements will continue to be made to this feature as announced in future release notes.

An enforcement date of this feature will be based on planned feature development and user feedback. Additional details will be announced in Upcoming Canvas Changes when available.

Course-Level Features

For individual discussion topics, the interface has been expanded for maximum space and ensure responsive views.

The following modifications have been made to the page:

  • The toolbar has been moved to the top of the discussion thread. 
  • Newest replies display at the top of the first page instead of the bottom of the last page.
  • Users can sort replies from newest to oldest, or oldest to newest.
  • Users can also quickly move to the top of the discussion topic at any time. 


Reply posts can be marked as read or unread in the discussion menu for the reply. 

Note: Before the upcoming production release, the Reply button may be renamed to Send or Submit in the Rich Content Editor.




Change Log



Clarified feature option behavior


Updated feature details with link to user group, beta environment availability

2021-05-17 Published Feature Overview 


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