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bschaffer314
Surveyor

Discussion Forum Issues: Editing My Replies

To whom it may concern,

Discussion forums are the basis of my online history classes.  (As such, I wish that they were more conducive to meaningful discussion, rather than short comments!  For example, when you open up the reply box, the standard size of the box allows only for about 3 lines of reply, so I always have to lengthen it.  The text-box is narrow, so any reply over a couple of paragraphs looks really long and, I worry, freaks out my students.  The box to connect to materials and assignments on Canvas remains at the top of the screen, so it is inconvenient to insert hyperlinks after I get beyond about the 3rd student; couldn't the box with the links parallel the instructor as he/she scrolls down through the page?)  

But here is my question: I post detailed replies to my students' posts.  Sometimes, I find I need to revise my comments after I post them. If I post a reply and then edit it, when I hit "Done" Canvas converts my reply to that student's post into a new post - in other words, it no longer appears as a reply to that student's post.  So, in order to maintain the "thread" of the conversation, I have to copy my reply, delete my post, and then resubmit my reply.  Moreover, sometimes, when I go to re-submit my reply, no text-box opens up, and my only options are to attach a file or cancel the reply.  At that point I have to exit the discussion forum, re-enter it, and then Canvas will allow me to submit a reply.  Why does Canvas do this?  Can it be fixed?  (FYI: I have been using Google Chrome as my web-browser when working with Canvas.)

Thanks very much,

Bridgitte Schaffer

1 Reply
Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @bschaffer314 ‌, I am having trouble replicating the behaviors you've described. First, when I click on Reply, I get a very large text box that accommodates plenty of text--far more than three lines.

242339_discussion-text-entry.png

You'll notice I drew an arrow at the bottom right. That's a grab handle; you can grab that to make the text entry box even larger. I believe you described that, but I found the scroll bar to be sufficient when composing the reply.

In addition, at the top of the screenshot above is the reply I posted to a student's post and subsequently edited. The reply retained its place in the discussion thread. I tested this several times with other posts in the thread, and each time, the edited reply stayed in its original spot.

And no text box appearing unless you refresh is certainly not intended behavior. I was not able to make this happen either (I'm also using Chrome).

I'm wondering if the narrowness to which you refer is a function of the replies being fourth- or fifth-level; certainly, as the thread continues, with replies to replies to replies, the available space will narrow so that the UI can reflect the threading.

I strongly recommend that you submit a support ticket so a member of Canvas Support can investigate why your edits are causing posts to change position, and why your text box for a reply is so small--and please take a moment to let us know the result!

Turning to your comment about the Content Selector not following down the page, while the UI isn't currently designed to do that, you might want to add feedback and vote to https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/8219-make-the-content-selector-sticky