Improve the user experience with discussions to provide for more meaningful discourse among course participants

Theme Overview

Improved interactions and flexibility in settings for discussions encourage deeper discourse, leading to more meaningful exchanges and opportunities to learn with and from other class participants.

What value could this provide to users?

  • Provide for more flexibility in viewing preferences
  • Update workflows to be more efficient and limit clicks
  • Improve the interface to include clear calls to action and improved usability
  • Improve student interaction and timelines for participation through added capability of multiple due dates or checkpoints
  • Improved grading and feedback workflows
  • Additional reporting options to understand user activity and edit history
  • More granular settings and role permissions within discussions
  • Better default controls and actions
Why was this theme chosen to open for voting?

April 2023 • We know there is room for improvement with the Discussions Redesign, and through deeper discovery, we would like to better understand users’ needs when it comes to more meaningful discourse.

Why was this theme chosen for prioritization?

June 2023 • Improving the user experience with discussions continues to be one of the top requests among our users as well as a major UX/UI pain point. In addition to being ranked within the top 3 themes in this round of voting, internal team members report that questions about the redesign and missing functionality that requires users to partner with 3rd party vendors are topics on nearly every client call with clients in HE and International regions. While we won’t be able to address every idea in this theme, we believe we can deliver value to enable more meaningful discourse.

Referenced Ideas (45)

Community Participant

I know Instructure is looking for some quick fixes to boost satisfaction.

It seems like adding the Word Count to Speedgrader for discussions would be a quick fix since the word count is already available for students. Our Humanities Division is asking for this feature, as well as TurnItIn integration. I know the integration would take some additional programming, but the Word Count seems much easier to accomplish.

I sure wish we could see a timeline for enhancements on the Discussions like we can for New Quizzes. 



Hi @dlindon1, thank you for the suggestion. If you haven't already submitted an idea to the community please do. As for the timeline for the redesign, I posted here information on upcoming changes and when the redesign will be enforced which won't be until July 2024. 



I'm glad I could share and am also excited about checkpoints! Discussion Entry Version History/Edit History will only be available in the redesign.

Community Coach
Community Coach


Thank you for sharing.  That is understandable that it will only be available with the redesign since it is getting ready to be enforced as the only option next summer.


Dear instructors, checking students' replies in Discussions and Quizzes for plagiarism and AI in Canvas now become available!

PlagiarismCheck’s team noticed numerous requests to enable plagiarism detection in Discussions and Quizzes. So we created an Integrito Extension that allows checking texts right from Canvas without cumbersome downloading or using files.

Just select the text student’s text you want to check and get the result in no time.

Install Integrito Extension:

- for Chrome browser

- for Mozilla Firefox

You can use this extension even if your institution is subscribed to another plagiarism checker.

Contact us to get a special trial account for instructors

We also would appreciate your feedback 🙂

Community Participant

RE: More granular settings and role permissions within discussions - 

I cannot find that there has been any movement on the addition of more granualr permissions for Discussions. Specifically, I'm looking for the Delete and Edit permission for students to be separated. Our instructors have expressed frustration at the fact that in order for a student to edit their post for spelling, content, etc, they have also the ability to delete a post. Of course and instructor would have to alsways retain the permission to delete a discussion post, but the students should be able to only edit and not delete. 

I hope this is still on dev's radar. 

These comments are for questions and general discussion. Feedback and detailed discussion will take place after an idea is prioritized.