Instructor ability to reorder discussion boards


Discussions are currently ordered by "recent activity".

Instructors should be able to select the order that discussions appear on the Discussion Page.

Ordering discussions by their due dates or release dates is preferable.  It allows the instructor to create a logical, chronological order; students and instructors can then find the discussions more easily.  

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thanks for sharing this idea,  @mpaige1 . We've opened it for voting as a request for an enhancement to the Discussions index page. You might also be interested in this related idea: 

Community Champion

Voted!  @mpaige1  I really like your idea of offering a configurable option for automatic ordering for discussions.

Just for awareness, manual ordering is currently possible by using the Pinned Discussions feature:

Community Novice

Hi Rob,

Thanks for that. I’m aware that I can order the discussions if I pin them. But, I prefer only to pin specific discussions. For example, I have a Student Collaboration discussion where students can meet and “talk” amongst themselves. That’s the only one I want pinned so that it stands out.

Community Participant

Great idea. I actually came hunting to see if anyone had posted this idea.

Many forums - including Canvas Community - allow you to choose how you sort threads. (Sort by most recent, sort by most posts, or whathaveyou.) Because I'm used to that functionality being everywhere, I intuitively expected it when I started using Canvas. I was surprised to see that the default was most recent activity, and the only way to change it was to pin the discussions.

Pinning the discussions does let us add something kind of logical, but I would prefer to use pinning for, say, a Q&A thread, and let all of the others be auto-sorted. Right now, though, I pin all of the threads, because the 'most recent activity' ordering is so confusing for students and instructors, and they have no way to choose different ordering systems.

I had this moment of surprise three years ago, and just sort of got used to it, but every time I log in to Discussions, I think "yeah, Canvas sort of dropped the ball on this one". I was simply accepting it until today when I realised (duh) that we can encourage new features through Ideas!

Community Member

I have lots of discussions all the time, because students are meant to pick among them.
They are numbered according to what module they go with; I could also have titled them with dates. 

It'd REALLY help to be able to sort the Discussion board according to title. I'm sure there are other ways people would like to sort them as well. 

This would also make it easier to spot the doubled ones when Canvas bugs out and duplicates all the Discussion Topics instead of just adding new imports during Import Course Content.

Community Member

Yes! In addition, an index page through which we can adjust options and dates for discussion threads without having to go into each thread and click edit would be amazing! 

Community Member

I would like to be able to sort or order the Discussions on the Discussion Page by date or other ways not only by Recent Activity.

Community Member

I would also like to be able to sort my discussion boards alphabetically by title. I have a dozen or so discussion boards that are all active at the same time. Sorting by activity makes it unnecessarily cumbersome to find the thread you're looking for. I realize I could pin them all, but like ashleya2 said above, I'd like to reserve the pinned section for more administrative threads.

Community Member

Yes, please! We need this.

Status changed to: Archived
Comments from Instructure

As part of the new Ideas & Themes process, all ideas in Idea Conversations were reviewed by the Product Team. Any Idea that was associated with an identified theme was moved to the new Idea & Themes space. Any Idea that was not part of the move is being marked as Archived. This will preserve the history of the conversations while also letting Community members know that Instructure will not explore the request at this time.