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Can I make a discussion available for selected students and not the whole class?

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If so, how is this done? 

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webbrp@gmail.com,

 

There is a lot of confusing information flying around here.

From within the Discussion itself, it can be assigned to sections and not individual students. The discussion can be graded or ungraded, but it still can only be assigned to sections. Sections do not have to be official school sections, although some schools lock down the ability for faculty to create or add students to sections, so you may not be able to do that.

The Canvas Guide lesson How do I assign a graded discussion to a course section? makes it sound like you can only assign graded discussions to course sections, but I have verified this is not the case. It's another one of those cases that occur too frequently where Canvas defines "If [this is true] then [that will happen]." In this case "If it's a graded discussion, then you can assign it to a course section." In that document, Canvas doesn't say what will happen when it is not a graded discussion, and people often infer the inverse (if it is not a graded discussion then you cannot assign it to a course section) is true when it doesn't follow logically.

You can assign a graded discussion to individual students using differentiated assignments. This is explained in the Canvas Instructor Guide lesson How do I assign a graded discussion to an individual student? In this case, it really must be a graded discussion in order to use differentiated assignments.

Making it a group discussion is probably not the way that you want to go. It assigns it to all students (who are part of a groupset), but limits the discussion to just those students. If you want Tommy, Johnny, and Suzy to discuss among themselves, while Bob, Frank, and Laura discuss among themselves, then you want a group discussion.

You didn't get into your reasoning, but let's say that Tommy, Johnny, and Suzy are completing a course for Honors but they are mixed in with the rest of the students. You only want them to complete the discussion since they have to do more than everyone else. You definitely do not want a group discussion. If you're lucky enough to have them put into their own section, then assign it to just that section by editing the discussion. If you don't have them in a section by themselves and are going to do several assignments like this, try to get them added to a section and it will make life easier. Students can be in multiple sections, by the way. You may need to get your Canvas Admin involved if you cannot add enrollments yourself. The last resort would be to create a differentiated assignment for just those three students.

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Community Coach
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Hello webbrp@gmail.com Welcome to the Canvas Community.  Thanks for posting your question.  You could certainly try creating groups for your discussion topic.  Check out the following Guide to see if it might help: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13039-415264224 

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Hi webbrp@gmail.com‌, I would suggest that you accomplish this via the Discussion settings.

To do this, edit the Discussion and in the "assign to" area select the individuals/sections you would like to assign to. Don't forget to remove "everyone". 

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kevin.wagenmaker@montcalm.edu...

I think you're referring to the "Post to" section when editing a discussion topic, right?  If so, you'd have to remove "All Sections", but in my testing, that does not allow you to type in or select individual students.  You can select sections of a course (if those are set up at a given school), but that's all I could do.

EDIT: Oh wait...the discussion needs to be graded in order to do what you are suggesting.  https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-9971-4152101243 

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webbrp@gmail.com,

 

There is a lot of confusing information flying around here.

From within the Discussion itself, it can be assigned to sections and not individual students. The discussion can be graded or ungraded, but it still can only be assigned to sections. Sections do not have to be official school sections, although some schools lock down the ability for faculty to create or add students to sections, so you may not be able to do that.

The Canvas Guide lesson How do I assign a graded discussion to a course section? makes it sound like you can only assign graded discussions to course sections, but I have verified this is not the case. It's another one of those cases that occur too frequently where Canvas defines "If [this is true] then [that will happen]." In this case "If it's a graded discussion, then you can assign it to a course section." In that document, Canvas doesn't say what will happen when it is not a graded discussion, and people often infer the inverse (if it is not a graded discussion then you cannot assign it to a course section) is true when it doesn't follow logically.

You can assign a graded discussion to individual students using differentiated assignments. This is explained in the Canvas Instructor Guide lesson How do I assign a graded discussion to an individual student? In this case, it really must be a graded discussion in order to use differentiated assignments.

Making it a group discussion is probably not the way that you want to go. It assigns it to all students (who are part of a groupset), but limits the discussion to just those students. If you want Tommy, Johnny, and Suzy to discuss among themselves, while Bob, Frank, and Laura discuss among themselves, then you want a group discussion.

You didn't get into your reasoning, but let's say that Tommy, Johnny, and Suzy are completing a course for Honors but they are mixed in with the rest of the students. You only want them to complete the discussion since they have to do more than everyone else. You definitely do not want a group discussion. If you're lucky enough to have them put into their own section, then assign it to just that section by editing the discussion. If you don't have them in a section by themselves and are going to do several assignments like this, try to get them added to a section and it will make life easier. Students can be in multiple sections, by the way. You may need to get your Canvas Admin involved if you cannot add enrollments yourself. The last resort would be to create a differentiated assignment for just those three students.

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