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lla22
Community Member

Big class discussions

Hello,

I have trouble organizing large class discussions. Hope I can get some help for a good solution here!

It's large class with 45 students to participate the discussion forum. Each discussion topic has three streams and students are suppose to participate in each stream. Creating three streams as discussion threads in each week will yield 39 discussion threads (13 weeks). The long list may be too much for students. Then I created three first level replies in each discussion and ask students to reply to each stream, but with a large class, the posts are all mixed and it's hard to distinguish which posts belong to which stream.

Any creative ideas as to how to organize a confusing discussion design like this will be appreciated.

Arita

5 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @lla22 ​, here are two discussions that might help provide some ideas of what others are doing or have suggested for organizing big class discussions - Organizing Discussions & Re: How to organize Discussions in Canvas?. I'm also going to share this with the Instructional Designers​ group in the Community to see if they have any ideas or suggestions!

In addition, since there's no real right or wrong answer for this type of question, I'm going to switch this to a discussion so we can continue the conversation without looking for a correct answer!

lla22
Community Member

Thanks Kona. The discussions are helpful. I learned the idea of including discussions in modules. Brilliant!

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @lla22 ​, if I were managing this, I'd create the "three streams" as three separate graded discussion topics. It sounds like you want students to participate in the discussion every week. So I would create a thirteen-row rubric, one row for each week, and I would grade students' weekly contributions as they come in. This means students will see partial grades for these discussions that build over time. At the end of the course, students will have three grades that reflect their participation in each of the three topics.

Also, I would create calendar events for each week's required participation, so that students can see on their calendars that they have to go back to the discussion each week to post something new. And last, I would (probably) hide the Discussion link from the left navigation altogether. Instead, I would put the links to the discussions in weekly modules, which would create another signal to students that they have to circle back to the discussion to post new information.

I'm sure others will come up with ways to manage this. Personally, I agree with you that creating three threads every week will become very unwieldy (and a nightmare to try to grade!). But I don't think 45 students is an onerous number to manage for a single discussion topic. I've had topics with as many as 100 students participating!

lla22
Community Member

Thanks Stefanie. I think your three separate discussion topics is the best solution in this case. We just need to let students know that they should go in each "room" to discuss. Grading is much easier this way too! Hiding discussion is a great way to dispel confusion! Many thanks!

johnmartin
Explorer II

I'm proposing the creation of ahttps://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/9009-large-class-instruction-group" modifiedtitle="true" title... in the Canvas Community to gather and share discussions with this focus. Please consider voting the idea up! Thanks!