I'd like to create an assignment that will be graded, but I also want the content of student postings (but not the grade) to be visible to other students. Is that possible? If not, what's the best way to approximate that?
You can use a graded discussion for this. Quizzes and Assignments do not allow sharing the submission. Discussions, however, do not allow the use of DocViewer to mark up the document and leave comments.
I've used discussions this way, but I am clear in the directions about the purpose. I let them know that this is not a normal discussion and they should only post once and not reply to anyone.
If their submission is a document that they're supposed to upload, then you can tell them to attach it to the post or they can embed Google docs (with the Google Apps integration) and perhaps Office 365 documents from One Drive (I don't have mine set up to verify).
Thanks, James! I had a graded discussion in a previous course, but never figured out where the SpeedGrader was for it, so graded on paper. I went back to it and found that link for future use. I assume it would be OK if students (or I) did reply in the discussion, if I made it clear that only the initial post, not replies, are graded. Have you seen it used that way, or used it yourself in that way, and does that work? It would be useful to allow discussion about the initial post--part of the point for having the posts be public.
I have used it where students reply to each other. When this happens, it becomes more like a traditional discussion, which may be perfectly suitable depending on the type of assignment.
My most recent use was having students create a data visualization and share it with the entire class. I actually encouraged the other students to go through and comment on the other visualizations with constructive feedback, what they took away, how hard it was to read, ways they could improve, and so forth. Then the students take the feedback and use it to revise the visualization. I could either have the students update the visualization in the discussion (where it's not likely to be seen) or turn it in as a separate assignment. In that case, it's kind of like a "draft" submission where students turn something in (the discussion), get feedback (the discussion), and then submit the real assignment (assignment).
How you grade it is completely up to you, but you only get one grade with a discussion. I can make the initial post and the follow-up both be part of the discussion grade. This is what I normally do and setup the rubric to reflect that part of the grade is for the initial post and part is for the follow-up.
If I want to provide separate grades, one for the initial post and one for the follow-up, then I need to create a separate assignment. I would make it "no submission" and then put the grades for the initial post in that one. This keeps people from get 50% (or whatever) because they did really well on the initial post but didn't do any follow-up discussion. It also allows me to provide a score for just the initial post before the entire discussion is over.
I don't normally separate things because of the overhead of having a separate assignment, but I do usually create two assignments for a discussion. The second one is a non-graded assignment that I use to remind students that the initial post is due. Because it's non-graded, it doesn't show up in the gradebook.
There are lots of ways you can use the tools that Canvas provides. Do not get hung up on the name that Canvas gives. For example, I've used quizzes to randomly assign data sets to students in my statistics class. Knowing the differences between the three assignment types and what each one allows you to do helps figure out the best way to use them, no matter what it's called.