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Discussion Notification: Activity that involves you

Discussion Notification: Activity that involves you

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)

YES PLEASE. In all honesty, I generally do not care to read through all of the discussion board posts for my courses. I really only care about replies to my own post, or replies to my replies on other's posts. The ability to set notifications to my posts only would be huge. Blackboard used to have it. I was shocked that Canvas doesn't. It's also ironic that the discussion boards here have that ability, as I see the small box below that says "Email me when someone replies". 


Another plead to make this a feature. Notification settings akin to Facebook or Instagram where there is an option to see specifically if people replied or liked YOUR post.


Time to move from "Open to Conversation" to "In Development."

Introduced in 8-2018 with only comments pleading for it to be instituted suggests it is a feature one's time has come. 

Surveyor II

I posted a comment in favor of this before and want to emphasize how important this is for students, especially those in large classes. They need to know when I or another student has responded to their question or post. For some Q&A discussions, I tell them to subscribe, but for some discussions, I don't want them to subscribe because they'd get over 200 emails about posts rather than just an alert when someone comments on their own post and wants to start a conversation about the topic. 

PLEASE make this a feature for spring 2021!!!

Explorer III

Agreed, lending support by both commenting and starring. 

Surveyor II


I guess I'd like to add my voice to the chorus here. We just switched to Canvas from Blackboard, and while Blackboard was generally terrible, and Canvas is generally much better, the Discussions in Canvas really are awful. Bulletin Boards in the pre-web internet circa 1990 had far more functionality. 

Discussions are the main way I teach. I have students post, then I post back with a question, and they post with an answer, and I follow up, and so on... sometimes this goes through many iterations. Not having automatic notification and not having a collapsible / threaded discussion tool... it turned my teaching experience - and the learning experience of my students -- into a nightmare. 

I'd like to point out that Discussion GRADING was far more full-featured in Blackboard as well. I used to get a notice in my "grading to do" list that would let me know a student had posted a new message in a graded Discussion, and the grade in the gradebook would revert to "needs to be graded / new submission" status. 

Please. Discussion boards are the heart of any truly interactive class experience online. This tool needs a major improvement -- not to some imaginary science fiction technology, just to basic bulletin board features that are 30 years old. 




I have a suggestion regarding the ease of cohesive discussion communication. Please, allow notifications for 'replies' within the discussion boards. For example, at the end of the day, I get 'notifications' via e-mail from anyone who has posted to the discussion board... which could be hundreds of posts, and what I am most interested in reading, are the specific responses or replies to my posts. I am not easily able to discern when someone is communicating directly with me, without constantly checking back and reading through the various discussion boards that I have contributed to. This could be easily resolved by allow notifications to immediately be sent out when so and so replies to my post. It would say something like, 'So and so has replied to your post...' and would either show the communication thread, or offer a link that navigates to that exact reply. Thanks for your consideration!




I’ve noticed that it’s hard to keep track of which responses in the discussion boards are replies to my post or others’.

Though I know it’s possible to receive responses from classmates through emails notification; however, I do not know whether the  responses are replies to my post or others’ posts. Thus, I have to manually keep track of which discussion boards that I’m currently active in order to not miss any replies to my post from other people.  

Through email notification, it would be great to have identification of who the respondent is responding to, whether to the forum initiator or to a person (and which person that respondent is replying to).

Another feature that could be added is to have a choice to have discussion notification through phones’ banner/ badges, just like messaging notification in social media. With many Canvas emails to go through, sometimes I missed out on the specific email about discussion replies. Also, a banner/badges feature can provide an easier active participation opportunity since people can start to develop their ideas when there are replies to a forum. Though there will be technical difficulties such as login authorization to view the messages, I think Canvas’ technical team has the ability to solve this issue. The convenience of social media messaging can be taken into consideration for the features in Canvas.

Thanks for reading my thoughts. 


I see that I can turn on notifications for when a discussion is posted or when someone creates a post on a discussion, but it would be really helpful if I could enable notifications for when someone replies to one of my posts. This is a key feature for promoting longer conversations, or a conversation, in a discussion thread.