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Discussion Notification: Activity that involves you

Discussion Notification: Activity that involves you

(17)
Similar to how Facebook notifies you when someone replies to your specific post, I would like this feature in Canvas.

In nearly all of my classes, we are required to make postings and answer student replies. However, there is not a notification feature that indicates when a student has commented on your specific post. We only receive general notifications that a student in your class has commented or posted something. On Facebook, this is called: "Activity that involves you" : You'll always get notifications about activity that involves you, like when someone tags you in a photo or comments on your post.

Essentially, I want to know when someone has replied to my specific post so I can address them back.

Currently, the notification options for Discussions are far to general (attached below)
41 Comments
jmk649
Community Member

This would seem like an essential feature and I am surprised that it is not.  Similarly, having a the ability to collapse students posts into their own threads, so it is not one long reply that a student has to scroll through to find their posts seems intuitive, but absent as well.  

Makes me really wonder if any of the developers at Canvas have ever taken online courses? 

matthew_lebel
Community Member

This is something that is surprisingly lacking form Canvas. My school recently switched from another platform and the old one automatically notified you when someone posted something that stemmed directly from one of your posts on the discussion board. We used to have much more engaging and meaningful discussions but after switching to Canvas, they have fizzled out noticeably. 

The only way to see if someone replied to me is to scroll down the discussion and find my name which takes a long time. Then if I take the time to reply to them, they don't see my reply unless they do the same. The only other option for notifications is every single post; I did that for a week and ended up with an inbox full of individual emails, so that didn't work either. I'd really like to see this happen, it would really improve the student experience in discussions.

kate_daversa
Community Member

I agree with everything that's been said so far.  For anyone who wants their students to engage with each other and have a real conversation about course materials, "replies to your post" notifications are ESSENTIAL.  There is no way around this.  Several instructors and students that I interact with through the professional development courses that I run on Canvas have expressed their annoyance/concern/surprise over this not being a core feature.  Please, if we can make this happen, students' learning experiences would be enriched tenfold.  

denisjd
Community Member

This is a really important suggestion, and one I was also very surprised to find out Canvas didn't already have. As noted, discussions fizzle out and lead to nothing more than obligatory assignments, even when discussions are full of potential.

It is very disappointing to be assigned an interesting discussion topic, or have a chance to make new connections (especially helpful in enclosed online environments), only to remember that no one is going to bother searching for their specific topic response every day to see if someone replied to them. I definitely won't.

Until this feature is implemented, EVERY SINGLE discussion assignment boils down to meeting the minimum requirements to get full points, with disingenuous replies just to fulfill said requirements. It's an absolute squander of potential engagement.

markchen
Community Member

For a few years, this is basically why my classes have been using Slack and not Canvas for online discussions.

d00386959
Community Member

There is a collapse button in discussions that will allow you to collapse threads.  It is next to the search bar at the bottom of the instructions and looks like an up arrow with a box around it.

d00386959
Community Member

I agree completely.  The best workaround I've found is to require students to start their replies with the name of the person they are addressing.  Then, you send a daily summary of discussion posts so you only get one email.  Then, you look for your name in that email to see if anyone replied to you.

d00386959
Community Member

This feature would be a tremendous improvement!  The faculty I work with are always wanting their discussions to be more meaningful, but that can't happen unless students are seeing what's happening.  And the only way they can do that is to open the discussion itself and scroll through looking at every post.  Please, add this basic feature of discussion notifications to the dashboard!

*Interesting irony: I believe that if someone replies to this comment, that I will be notified by Canvas Smiley Happy

timothy_maw
Adventurer

This would've been extremely nice as my time as a student! It really would've helped me find responses much quicker than I did. I know this would really help current students as well. 

frichter1
Community Member

I totally agree with all here. I have several classes that each have a new discussion topic each week. Trying to figure out if someone has responded to one of my posts by going to each topic and scrolling through more than 300 posts is crazy... The platform is not adequate for the goal of collaboration and discussion. Please fix it!

llane2
Surveyor

It's always interesting when Canvas itself is missing what the Canvas Community technology has built in.

anw5374
Community Member

Please make this a feature. It is absolutely essential for having an actual discussion.

bb198
Community Member

Hello All,

I agree 100%: Students should have the option to "Subscribe" to individual Discussion posts made by themselves and others, as well as, choosing to "Subscribe" to the topic/thread. Thus, Notifications to the student will be more specific, and save time.

Within a few days of my first online course using Canvas, I quickly realized that the lack of such a feature would be a [and is] a pain in Discussion-heavy courses--which is nearly all of my courses. :smileyshocked:

Anyway, I hope this feature gets added into Canvas by the start of my next semester (August 19').

*fingers crossed* :smileylaugh:

-- Brittany

P.S. Why do we have to "vote" on these things? Why can't Canvas just change them--so that the improvement of virtual learning systems are immediately applicable? If something isn't functional with other established features, or is disliked by vast numbers of users, then Canvas personnel would remove the "feature/issue in question" and start from scratch (if needed). I guess what I'm trying to say is--I really don't understand the need for this "voting system". Looking at past "votes", peoples' well-liked ideas have been put on the back burner for years. 😕      #ImJustSaying

brendan_gill
Community Member

Canvas needs to incorporate this feature or else not call its forums "Discussions". Every other app or web-based communications platform I've used is so eager to let me know that someone interacted with my posts.

I have students specifically asking me if this is an option.

It would be so! appreciated! if this feature was added soon in an update! The sooner the better!

nl222
Community Member

Hi all,

This is a no-brainer as far as I am concerned; all other major platforms enable users to receive notifications in the discussion forums if someone replies to your own parent post (both via email and also on the home page)...

brendan_gill
Community Member

As it was stated above in this thread, I did get both email and in-app notifications from Canvas that someone else replied to this thread. It brought me back here, and now I'm commenting again. It works! So, Canvas has built this functionality into the LMS Community site. Please bring it to our Canvas courses! There's even a little bell icon that collects notifications at the top right of the red toolbar (pictured below). In my Canvas course, the top bar area is all blank white space to the right of the name of the course (also pictured below).325359_Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 4.41.43 PM.png

325365_Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 4.49.51 PM.png

venitk
Adventurer

This would be very helpful for us and would be a great way to get students to participate in the discussions without having to scroll through the whole list. Many students have discussion notifications turned off (understandably), but if they were responded to or even "tagged," if that would be possible, they could know that without having to scroll through the entire discussion to find their post. It would certainly enrich discussions and lead to better student learning. 

tzs80
Community Member

My life, and the life of many other online students, would be saved by this feature.  It would cut down on the time I have to go back in, search, and click on each one of my posts to view it in the discussion.  PLUS - I would not forget to go back in and reply to the comments of my peers.  PLUS PLUS - My peers would actually see my well thought out and constructive replies to their original posts.

mjbrigh
Community Member

Wow, there are a lot of students requesting this feature. I would just like to add my voice that this would be very useful and improve my efficiency as an online student. Hope you can get this done soon!

mranta1
Surveyor

As a student, one of my biggest pain points with using Canvas for class discussions is that there is no option to be notified if someone else replies to one of my posts or comments. This forces me to either waste time checking for replies that may never come or to move on in the course and miss out on replies that others may post later.