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Modify Discussion Forums to be more like an in class Discussion

Modify Discussion Forums to be more like an in class Discussion

My request is to restructure the Discussion Forum to act more like a Classroom Discussion so that both Student and Instructor do no have to do the "Scroll of Death" to be part "in" the Discussion.   It's helpful to have the "Like" feature for the Instructor, but perhaps there might be a way to condense the Discussions?   Maybe a Side by Side?   Student comments on one side and Instructor on other side?   Or maybe Group them?  Anyway the scrolling is the issue

How about something like a Kindle format?   Have "Thumbnails" of each post and maybe link similar replies together connected by a line in the Thumbnail.   Then the Instructor can click on the Thumbnail and bring to the front? 

Just want to add a bit to this.  How about adding at a feature labeled "Responses" next to the "like" button at the bottom of each discussion?  This would be an optional feature, but when present could be clicked on to see others comments on a particular thread.  

Or possibly a "Network" Diagram of common responses?

12 Comments
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @pmercier ‌, thanks for sharing your feedback on the discussions interface. We have a number of ideas currently open for voting requesting specific improvements and enhancements to discussions. Here are links to some of them:

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/3742-add-more-distinction-between-discussion-forum-posts-to-di... (UI)

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/6037-canvas-needs-a-discussion-board-where-within-it-students-... 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/15381-teacher-created-discussion-threads-or-sub-topics 

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1190-order-discussion-posts-from-newest-to-oldest (relevant to scrolling)

https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/4745-subject-lines-for-discussions (organization, distinguishing between posts, collapsing)

Please search through the Ideas‌ forum for other discussion-related ideas to support, and if you don’t find one that specifically addresses the type of change you’re hoping to see, please create it as new after reading How do I create a new feature idea in the Canvas Community?‌ We’ve archived this one for now. 

Thanks, Paul. Stay safe, and be well.

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @pmercier ‌, please use the Edit button on this page to modify the idea description as you see fit. Be sure to include screenshots and state the idea using declarative statements rather than a series of questions. I've placed this idea in Moderating status for the moment, and have deleted the three replies you posted here from your email.

pmercier
Community Participant

Thanks Stephanie, I discovered how to modify (Edit) my original request. Sorry for all the Clutter. I will delete the extra posts.

Paul Mercier

Retired Sr. Systems Analyst/Programmer| Semi-Retired Adjunct Faculty| Technical Expert III | Business Division

Computer Information Systems

pmercier@mtsac.edu<mailto:pmercier@mtsac.edu>

(<tel:6268258225>470) 869-1790

Building: On-Line, Room: On-Line

Varies per Semester

Varies per Semester

Mt. San Antonio College

1100 N. Grand Ave.,

Walnut CA 91789

www.mtsac.edu<http://www.mtsac.edu/>;

pmercier
Community Participant

Thanks, I don't do this often..  Just got confused.  Sorry.

dan_baeckstrom
Community Participant

@pmercier One thing that ought to be an absolute minimum is to be able to create a link specifically to one entry on a Discussion page. Sometimes, I get questions in emails from students which I prefer to answer in a public discussion (w/o naming the student, of course 🙂 . Then I want to reply to the student that the answer can be found on my discussion page, specifically... here – which I can't point to.

But oh, wait. Canvas actually does tag each entry, but not in a way that is readily visible to the user. Using Chrome DevTools, it can be seen that every entry gets an id (see image) that can be used for creating anchor links. So if I want to link to the last entry on this page, I can just append "/#entry-386046" to the page's URL. A shame that Canvas is so coy about this info. I think I'll write a Chrome extension (again!) to provide this type of links. An ambitious teacher can then even build a link list to the entries (or to some of them) in the top post.

dan_baeckstrom_1-1620559560086.png

 

pmercier
Community Participant

@dan,

Thanks for the suggestion.  Looks a little to cumbersome and not what I am really looking for.  We are currently looking at another tool for Discussions call "Harmonize" .

Thank you also for you great work on Module Compactor... very close to my request for Modules with sub modules which I don't that Instructure wishes to look into.

pmercier
Community Participant

@dan, I've shared "Module Compactor" with many associates.  ALL to rave reviews!!  Kudos.

dan_baeckstrom
Community Participant

@pmercier Thank you for the kind word about the Compactor, which maybe should be called an "organiser" following the latest update... happy to hear about the favourable reviews, but the number of recent installations is very modest – the users/week figure is basically flat since late March. So there seems to be a gap between approval and installation 🙂

Regarding the discussions – please have a look at this video which demonstrates my latest extension for creating in-page-links and link lists to discussion posts. Rather basic, but it's v 0.1. Chrome Web Store installation link here and in the YouTube description. What do you think? Not very cumbersome in my view.

 

pmercier
Community Participant

@dan, yes this does look useful.  It's kind of hard to see, but I think it would be very useful during grading so I can see replies to a student's post.

My policy is I make a statement, as in your video,  on Monday of each week.  The students have until Wednesday to reply to that statement,  then they have until Friday to reply to two other student comments in the class.

So, it might be nice to add the date (and maybe time) to each post?

dan_baeckstrom
Community Participant

@pmercier No problem – I was actually considering that. In my working draft of the next version, Canvas's (language-adaptive) time stamp is copied into the link list info. See image.

 

dan_baeckstrom_0-1620804430427.png

 

dan_baeckstrom
Community Participant
pmercier
Community Participant

@dan, I just witnessed a demo of a tool that really is the best answer to the "Discussion" issues.

Have a look at Harmonize!!

We can remove this Thread as it's been done by the above company!!

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