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Alternate Discussion tools

Hi Everyone,

Can anyone recommend other Discussion tools that connect with Canvas? The Canvas Discussion Boards fall a bit short. We already use Piazza for some discussions, mostly questions about course content, but it is not appropriate for all discussion types.

Thank you for your time.


6 Replies
Learner II

Specifically what are you finding clunky about the Canvas discussion boards? (I'm not disagreeing with you at all, just trying to find out what kinds of functionality or experience you're trying to support as that would inform tool recommendations.)

As a left-field option, we've been using Padlet in a few of our courses. The recent update greatly expands what you can do with the cards—recording video, audio, and images directly within the app, for example. It embeds very easily in Canvas pages, and has some pretty nifty moderation and discussion feedback tools, imo.

ETA: We've also had positive responses from teachers and students re: Slack. One thing to consider re: Slack though is to have instructors think about setting student expectations re: instructor availability for IM.

0 Kudos

A Slack integration with Canvas would be pretty spiffy though.

Community Member

I have found both and Slack to be solid class discussion tools. does have a Canvas LTI that is in beta, and it works well - but you don't have to have the LTI to use, as it runs anywhere on the web.   I have students annotate the syllabus, videos, and articles routinely - having the discussion in the margins of the documents is remarkably effective. Slack does not integrate with Canvas, but it's easy and convenient.  Dialog in Slack is more conversational and fluid - I find students are more engaged and forthcoming.   Plus it works well on my phone.  

Learner II‌, when discussing a text or reading or image, I like Perusall. it is a social annotation tool that integrates into canvas via LTI:‌. Have a nice day!


And I set up a Flipgrid Playground for anyone who wants to just see what it's like: 

It's something new I'm trying this semester.

I do not use Canvas discussions exactly because they seem to me very clunky and impersonal. I rely on a student blog network instead. But I am excited to try adding some video component, and Flipgrid sure makes it easy. 

Community Coach
Community Coach


I have not used any of these myself, but here are some integrations that you might want to look at (some of which may come with a cost):