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Download discussion board posts

Download discussion board posts

(30)
We would like to be able to download all of the discussion board posts from our course this semester for faculty analysis. We would also like students to be able to download and/or view all of their posts to review at the end of the semester in one place. This would create a type of e-portfolio for each student based on their work during the semester.

74 Comments
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

The Radar idea stage has been removed from the Feature Idea Process.  You can read more about why in the blog post Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

 

This change will only impact the stage sort of this idea and will not change how it is voted on or how it is considered during prioritization activities.  This change will streamline the list of ideas 'open for voting', making it easier for you to see the true top voted ideas in one sort, here.

Ch_Higgins
Community Member

Julie,

This is something I've considered for a long time. Working in an elementary school, it's really important to be able to highlight student work and share portfolios with parents. I would love a way to easily group a student's work and share it to their classroom teacher, parent, or admin.

johast
Community Member

This is a very important feature for me. I can see myself using this for every discussion assignment that I create. 

mtw56
Community Participant

This is something that should be available in Canvas without a question. I have faculty who continually tell me that Blackboard has this feature as well as the ability to see all of a student's discussion posts throughout a course. 

julian_ebeli
Community Participant

Hi Marcus

GET /api/v1/courses/:course_id/discussion_topics/:topic_id/entries

is less cluttered and easier to work with.

user_names are attached to their entries, unlike in view where its just user_ids linking the data.

Cheers

mwe_sci
Community Member

That's right – Blackboard has had multiple methods for organizing and downloading discussion posts for a decade or more. The wheel doesn't need reinvention. Some suggestions don't need voting on.

bec_plumbe
Community Participant

Mark & Mark - YES! As someone who's come from 10 years of Blackboard, completely agree that this has been available there forever and it's just a basic requirement of a functional LMS. Export should be easy and everywhere.

ofelia_mangen
Community Participant

Echoing the need for a straightforward export function for discussions.

emoss798
Community Member

While it is not the prettiest, (Ok... bordering on butt-ugly) you can do a CTRL P and print the discussion into a PDF file.  Pictures are replace with hyperlinks to their location in your Canvas directory.  Other hyperlinks and formatting do come across.

Brute force and crude, perhaps... but it it may be a workable approach for you.

Eric Moss

kinardk
Community Member

Thank you.

Karen Kinard

Tallahassee Community College

Science/Mathematics Division

444 Appleyard Drive

Tallahassee, FL 32304

850-201-8096

ofelia_mangen
Community Participant

One this to look out for with this method is the overlay of certain page elements, including discussion post actions and the chat window (if/when enabled in the course site).

screenshot of overlay issue when exporting discussions to PDF

I've found a workaround by using a browser extension that takes a screenshot of the entire webpage (vs. PDF export that will break it into pages; hence the repeat and overlay of certain page elements/windows). Some of these browser extensions will also give you different options for export (png, pdf, etc.). I export to PDF and run OCR so the text is accessible. 

carol_patrie
Community Member

Being able to download  the discussions would be a huge help. 

mwe_sci
Community Member

     Eric and Ofelia, I appreciate your suggestions. There are other ways, too, such as selecting, copying, and pasting the entire discussion, although there are a number of formatting problems that need management with this approach (at least there are no text mistakes, as would be the case in OCR methods that convert images).
     However, all of these methods using bailing wire and duct tape to repair a poorly designed discussion tool are a great waste of teacher time when multiplied by every instructor that uses one of these methods. Add to that the instructor time given to years of begging in these forums and hundreds of votes for this obviously necessary improvement and one might just throw their hands up and respond, "I don't think there's anybody back there."

johast
Community Member

Ive found years worth of discussions and comments on this topic but yet it has still not be implemented. I would use this across all of my classes. It is integral to user experience - how is this not a priority? 

mwe_sci
Community Member

     Yes, Jocelyn, that's the question – how is this not a priority? And wouldn't it be nice if our students were able to download an entire discussion as well, in various formats and arrangements, for many of the same reasons we instructors want these necessary capabilities? So, multiply the efforts of our students to work around these missing discussion-tool components and add them to our own efforts in the calculation of unnecessarily wasted time.
     With these improvements, our students could then work on their discussion entries more effectively offline, analyzing and responding to the entries of the classmates that interest them. Since they can't take notes or write drafts within a Canvas discussion (among other failings of the Canvas discussion environment), the need for this kind of improvement seems so basic and obvious. I would think Canvas techs would be all over this, providing discussion-tool upgrades that would surpass efforts by Blackboard and other competing LMS providers.

paul_greenberg
Community Member

I would love to download all posts from all discussions in all classes I teach and to do this as needed for all of the classes that I supervise for others.  Copy/paste, page by page, class by class is a waste of time.  Canvas must be able to pull the data so this would be very useful for users.  Thanks and please implement!!  Most people don't even know to ask about this or how to find the voting pages, but if Canvas were to poll people, I expect most would want it.

The current score is 378 for and  22 against.  94.5% of respondents want this feature!!

abigail_smith_2
Community Contributor

At our institution, courses are deleted after 2 years.  But instructors often need a record of student work, for when they are asked to write references, which can happen more than 2 years after the actual course.  A way to quickly download all student work in a course, including discussion posts, would be excellent.  It would also help with capstone courses, portfolios, and other project-based assignments where students or instructors need to reference past work.

curtain
Community Participant

good use case examples

shannon_tomlins
Community Member

I think that we need to be able to download discussion boards just like we can with other assignments to help with grading. There are times when I can't be connected to the internet but would like to be able to grade discussion boards, such as when I am riding in a car or on a train. Even though internet connections are available in most places, there are times when you cannot connect for one reason or another yet grading still needs to get done. 

paul_greenberg
Community Member

These scripts shown on the following website seem like the fastest way to grab all of the discussion posts from all of the discussion forums in a class, all at once.  http://www.dartmouth.edu/~breid/userscripts/ 

This person's scripts are discussed in a different Canvas question/answer forum on this same topic and while you need to install "tampermonkey" into your browser, once that is installed the script "Canvas-Discussions-Discussions-Get_Entries.user.js" seems to work   "Gets discussion data. Activation button appears toward bottom of Discussion page. v1.1" (from the Dartmouth page listed above).

It dumps everything into an excel spreadsheet and the text is all there.  The word counts don't seem to be correct, but you will have everything anyone has written.  It would be best if Canvas just wrote this as an option because who knows how long those scripts will work.