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frankel
Community Member

Group Graded Discussion Not Working Properly

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Hi.

On several of my graded group discussions, some students have managed to post to the discussion mainpage rather than in their groups.  This meant that their posts did not show up in Speedgrader, causing some understandable consternation on the part of those students.  How is it possible for them to post to the mainpage?

Here's an example:  2018-05-02_1124 

Thanks.

cdf

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
frankel
Community Member

 @kona ‌,  @James ‌: Thanks for your comments.  Here's what my IT folks reported:

There is a bug recently found where students using the Canvas Student app to submit to Group discussion aren't being redirected to their group and the reply is posting to the main discussion. In the app they could go to the group and then to discussions to post. But hen students reported the issue to us we were recommending that they use a browser.

 

The Canvas engineers are working on resolving the issue.

View solution in original post

13 Replies
kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

frankel, the only time I've seen this happen was when they weren't originally assigned to a group when they went to post in the discussion. Is there a possibility that this is the case?

frankel
Community Member

 @kona ‌, I don't think that's the issue as her earlier posts were made in her discussion groups.  She's not the only student, and this is not the only discussion where it's happened.  I may have made a mistake in setting things up, but I also think it's possible there's a bug -- perhaps an alternative way to get to the discussion board -- have to check the course navigation using student view.

kona
Community Coach
Community Coach

To be safe you might want to report this to Canvas Support and see what they have to say. 

frankel
Community Member

Thanks.  I've now done so.

James
Navigator

frankel ,

I'm leaning toward's  @kona 's take on this one.

The only time I've seen this is when a student was not assigned to a group.

It does not matter whether a student is in a group when you're looking at them, it matters whether they were in a group when they made the post.

To verify this, I just went into a group discussion as a student who was not in any group. The post showed up on the main discussion page, not in any group discussion (he wasn't part of any group). I then moved the student into a group and reloaded the page. His post was still on the main page, it did not get moved to the group discussion when I added the student to the group. If I go into SpeedGrader, his discussion is not there, even though he is currently in a group.

I went in again as that student, now that he was in a group, and posted. It showed up in the group discussion and it showed up in SpeedGrader.

If a student is in a group but you move them to another group, the post stays where it was originally -- it does not move to the new group -- and will show up in SpeedGrader for that student. It's only when the student is not in any group at all when the post was made.

If students are allowed to self-select their group they may not have been in a group. Other times I've had over-zealous students who would post before I had the groups completely set up (I had created the shells but not put the students into the groups). 

Every time so far, it has been an issue of unassigned students, not another way to get there. People have attested that it can't be that, just to come back months later and say it was an unassigned student. I welcome another explanation, but expect that's what the outcome will be here.

In fact, frankel  (yes, that's you) asked this same question a little over 2 years ago  Instructor/Test Student View of Group Discussions. The answer hasn't changed.

The question was brought up a year ago by another user in Speedgrader not showing student discussion posts if in group. Earlier this year someone replied there thinking it was something else, but realized the student was added after the groups were created so they were unassigned.

frankel
Community Member

Yeah, thanks, but that's not the problem.  As I mentioned to  @kona ‌, this problem has cropped up on several discussion boards with different students -- all of whom have been in their groups since the beginning of the semester.  There's something else that's going on, whether it's some kind of mistake I made in setting up the assignment or an issue with Canvas, I don't know, but I have created a ticket so that it can be looked into.  As  @chofer ‌ replied in one of the discussion you mentioned (Instructor/Test Student View of Group Discussions😞

"I have seen, however, a strange instance (this was maybe a year ago now) where, for some reason, even though all students were assigned to groups that an instructor created, some of the replies were being posted to this "root" discussion topic (essentially outside of where the replies should have gone).  I have no idea how this happened, and in recalling conversations with the instructor and the Instructure Help Desk staff...they were just as baffled as I was.  So, I just wanted to let you know that if you happen to ever see that, you wouldn't be the first to experience the issue."

So, the issue has happened before and not just to me.

I hope Canvas can find something out with your situation. There have been some really weird things going on recently -- seemingly one-off situations that shouldn't have happened. Not necessarily related to discussions, but just weird things that have no explanation other than glitch.

What you are describing still sounds like what other people have experienced; so I'm still leaning that way. 

To play up role of doubting disciple, Kona reminded me just yesterday that unless I have verified something myself, I may not be getting the accurate or complete story. I told her something and she asked "Did you see it?" Just because a student tells me that the computer did something, unless I saw it, I don't know that. Even with Chris' situation (and I have a lot of respect for Chris), the instructor might have thought they did something, or made the change and thought it was so insignificant and not related that they forgot about it. Not everyone has the attention to detail that I do and some people summarize things without realizing it or thinking that the details they're leaving out are important. I've also heard a rumor that in some circumstances (this is hard for me to fathom), people actually purposefully misrepresent the truth. Kona and I discussed that yesterday as well with respect to faculty telling students they can do things they can't in an effort to get students to choose the desired behavior.

In this case, it may be difficult to check things out after the fact. It matters whether or not a student was in a group when they made the post, not whether they were in one when you noticed it wasn't in the right spot.

If students can self-select their groups, even if they were originally placed into them, then a student might have moved themselves out of a group and posted something. As far as the teacher knows, everything was setup and working properly. The student might have even put themselves back into the original group afterwards.

275170_pastedImage_1.png

If I change that "Allow self sign-up" to be checked, then from the student perspective, they can LEAVE the group. Any posts that they made at this point show up on the main discussion page. However, when that student tries to get back into a group, they are only allowed to JOIN back to the same group they were in, the others are locked.

275179_pastedImage_4.png

To me, if the "Allow self sign-up" is checked, it is plausible that a student might leave because they get fed up with their group members or just because the option is there and they wanted to see what it did. Eventually they would probably join back up with the same group they were in because that's the only group they can join, but they might do something in the interim, like post to a discussion. Now if the allow self sign-up is not checked, and has never been checked, then that rules out that possibility.

The point is that looking at it today, I don't know what the settings or group memberships were when the post was made. There's a chance that you might be able to garner some information from the test or beta instances, but even that may not provide convincing evidence of what happened.

The local Canvas Admin might be able to figure something out by looking at page views and pulling information from the API. Probably not, though, as the list of group members doesn't contain any date information about when a person joined a group or even when the group was last modified.

And then there is always the possibility that there is a bug in the software.

Canvas Support may be able to provide resolution for you.

frankel
Community Member

 @kona ‌,  @James ‌: Thanks for your comments.  Here's what my IT folks reported:

There is a bug recently found where students using the Canvas Student app to submit to Group discussion aren't being redirected to their group and the reply is posting to the main discussion. In the app they could go to the group and then to discussions to post. But hen students reported the issue to us we were recommending that they use a browser.

 

The Canvas engineers are working on resolving the issue.

View solution in original post

I'm glad it is a known issue and we can stop looking and that you were able to get an answer back from them so quickly.  Checking through all the possibilities I listed would have been a real pain.

And thanks for coming back and sharing their comments with us.