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Anonymous Discussion Post

Anonymous Discussion Post

This idea has been developed and deployed to Canvas

For a large university that has technical assistants and instructional designers creating content for others, it would be beneficial to be able to post anonymously and not have our name associated with the discussion forum.

Community Team
Community Team

 @christie_kittle , thanks for sharing this idea; it is moving forward as a request to allow specific users or roles to create individual posts in existing discussions anonymously. If that's not the intent of the request, would be the appropriate existing idea to support?

We also see this as distinct from 


New Member


Thanks for the prompt response. I think the ability to post AS someone or ability to be anonymous could both work. Not sure if they need to be separate or together.

Christie Kittle, M.S. (she/her<>)

Instructional Designer - Supervisor

Academic Outreach & Innovation (AOI)<> │ Global Campus<> │ Learning Innovations<>

Office Number: 509-335-9261

Please note I am working from home and don’t have access to my office phone (only voicemails).

Email or Microsoft Teams will be the best way to contact me.


New Member

I am also keen to have anonymous discussions. We want students to ask questions and I think they would be more forthcoming if their names weren't associated with the question. I think some students would worry their question is stupid and then not use the discussion board otherwise.

Community Champion

I totally agree. As the instructional designer for the school and support for several administrative staff who support courses, this feature would be invaluable for us. In some instances, our names are more recognizable than the faculty's at least at the beginning of the term after initial course setup. 

New Member

Yes, please for anonymous discussion posts.  

New Member

On the topic of posting anonymously, I'm not sure I agree; but, I do think Canvas should provide an option for teachers to assign students with an alias for posting and replying to discussions. In middle school, students are shy about sharing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions for fear of ridicule by others, either in the discussion, on social media, or in person. We found, using a different older LMS, when students used their alias, they were more apt to not only post a more authentic set of idea, they were far more comfortable expanding upon the ideas they presented. The conversations were more transparent and heartfelt than reserved and short. I would surmise this would be something they could set in account settings and would involve maybe a color and an animal or object - such as Red Blaze, Turquois Duck, Feathered Flame, or something like this. It could be first assigned by Canvas, but editable by the student until they make their first post within your domain (to preserve their unique alias within your county/university).  Only a student and their teacher would know who is actually making the post and Canvas should allow aliases to be turned on or off per discussion (in settings).

New Member

Pedagogically speaking, I understand that anonymous posting could be problematic in some situations but valuable in others. The option should exist for instructors to use when appropriate.

Example: I'm currently conducting virtual workshops and using a Canvas course to share resources and encourage discussion about the topic. Since the discussion can be very personal in nature, our 'live' sessions use Jamboard where participants are able to anonymously post 'stickies' with comments/thoughts on the topic if discussion. We can carry this into asynchronous discussion in Canvas, and forums have been created for that purpose ... however, given the workshop topic, I believe participation would be greater if participants could post anonymously. 

New Member

I would like this functionality as well. The instructor could turn anonymity on/off depending on the nature of the discussion board (although it would always been available to the teacher in Speedgrader for assessment when necessary).



New Member

I agree. First-year college students are terrified of looking foolish. I've seen increased willingness to ask questions when I put up, e.g., an anonymous PollEverywhere poll. An anonymous discussion forum on Canvas would be helpful.

I'm somewhat surprised this doesn't already exist, as it's the key feature of competing platform Piazza.

New Member

Agreed that a feature of allowing students to comment anonymously (even if it is just to their other classmates) is a needed feature in Canvas.  Students are requesting it and moving to different platforms to be able to do so.  

Community Member

I agree this feature would be helpful to have as my pharmacy students do not seem willing to post clarification questions in the discussion board because they are identified. 

New Member

I think you are underestimating the need for this.  As a humanities' instructor, I LOVE THIS FEATURE!

Obviously, many discussions are tied to school work and therefore need to be identifiable.

However, there are LOTS of reasons to want to be completely anonymous.  You might think, "Well, if they don't want their classmates to know, then they can email you." Yes - but often they want to be anonymous to ME as well.  This is a feature that Blackboard had, and I really like it.

It is best practice as an instructor to have a pinned post where students can ask questions about a concept or the course in general (often to the benefit of other students!)  I have found these posts are often anonymous - which is great.  Sometimes this is where the BEST comments about the content are!

Please don't underestimate the need for this feature.  It may seem like nothing to you, but if a student feels more comfortable engaging in the course by posting anonymously - I'm all for it!

Community Team
Community Team
Status changed to: Completed
Comments from Instructure


For more information, please read through the  Discussions/Announcements Redesign: Release Change Log.