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Add more distinction between discussion forum posts to distinguish them from each other.

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In the Canvas Community Ideas space, you can share, converse, and rate idea conversations related to software improvements to Canvas products.

Add more distinction between discussion forum posts to distinguish them from each other.

It would be very helpful if discussion forum posts could be darker around the edges to show a distinction of the post as well as the reply to a post being more indented.  It would also be helpful if there was more space between the replies, because it can be difficult for users to separate the discussions in their mind to know which post they are in fact responding to.  A student mentioned having a hard time separating out which post is separated, and I can see how it could be hard for someone with eye problems as well.  If students could "name" their reply to the original post that would be great, as a way to mimic the thread style forums.

 

Thanks for your consideration!

(1)
82 Comments
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This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. November 4, 2015 - Wed. February, 3, 2015.

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Community Member

I strongly agree that students being able to name their replies would greatly increase the usability of discussion forums.  For example, I use a General discussion forum for students to post questions akin to those they would raise their hand to ask in a traditional classroom setting.  With the current formatting of discussion forums in Canvas, it's very difficult for students to look at a glance and see if the question has already been addressed.  The ability to create a reply for the names (like the subject line of an email) would really help this and likely reduce redundancy in repeat questions asked as well as enhance the utility of the forum to students as a living resource.

Community Member

from one of my colleagues - A lot of discussion board assignments require a reply to someone else's posts. It can be hard to distinguish a "reply" from a "reply to a reply" in this context. More distinction between levels would make grading and posting either.

Community Member

Along the same lines, we need to distinguish between the "reply" link at the top of the discussion which starts a new thread within that discussion and the "reply" link at the bottom of each posted message for applying to that particular message. Use a different name for each application because currently it is very confusing for new users.

Perhaps use "start a new thread" at the top of the message list and "reply to this posting" to reply to an existing message. There is no reason that we can't be more clear here.

Community Member

This is the opening week of the Franklin Pierce roll out.  One constant refrain in the feedback that I am getting is the difficulty in differentiating the threads and the replies.  In a format where the threads are acting as class discussions, being able to follow a conversation is very important.  Thank you for considering this idea.

Community Member

BTW...We posted a facebook question to our online students through Penn State World Campus.  The number one complaint was the discussion forums.  You can see the feedback at Penn State World Campus.

Surveyor II

Thanks for the votes!

Community Member

I agree that the discussion feature could use help!!

Community Member

Basically, I find that the discussion board is missing a "layer".  There are essentially no "forums" only threads, making it difficult to return to a discussion and find a particular sub-topic within a topic.  We use the discussion board very heavily in our distance graduate level program and our students have expressed their frustration with this.

Community Member

EXACTLY what I was replying to Elizabeth (below) about!  This is a missing piece indeed!!