Discussions post visibility and participation not limited to sections

Community Participant

Hey all,

We have had SCORES of problems with this in our institution and I'm wondering if others would use the discussions more in bigger courses if it was fixed.

As it is, for all other gradable assignments (assignments, quizzes) the sections in the course can all take one version of that gradable item, without interacting with sections outside of their own (if "students can only view their section" is toggled on).

With discussions however, if you put one discussion post out to 10 sections of 10 learners each, you're going to have a hot mess of 100 different learners across different sections replying to one another when they have no other visibility to those other learners. They could be at different points of the course or have already concluded the course.

It's really tripping us up that we can have a few different sections running in the same course, limit their enrollments, but then still need to create a new discussion board for each section and link it in the course when with every other gradable item, it limits them out by section automatically.

I would love to see (our old LMS was trash, but it did this right) the discussion prompt live at the course level (like the assignment instructions) but the replies threaded to boards separated by section. If students are not restricted to their sections, they can click through and see what other sections are talking about. If they are restricted, they will just see their section of the discussion.

I feel like all we need for this to work is for discussions to work like every other graded part of Canvas - one learning object distributed to each section, and if enrollments in those sections are closed, to ONLY that section. Because the logic seems inconsistent here, we built several live/large courses assuming all grading objects work that way and then were blindsided and left scrambling with discussions did not.

Anyone else have experiences like this? Or has anyone else used workarounds for this? It's the same teacher with many sections at different start dates, mostly, but there are other teachers as well. Teacher courses would only solve part of the problem and create headaches for our content team to maintain.