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ryann_craig
Community Member

Why is there no discussion board tagging/mentioning ability?

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Why can't students @ mention each other in replies and then get notifications when they are @ mentioned on discussion boards? I want students to (a) not have to subscribe and get 80 notifications when they really need 4 and (b) be able to draw in multiple voices in their reply, so that they can have, you know, actual discussions. 

I see this as an "open for voting" concept in Ideas from 2018. This is now a critical priority for fall 2020 if/when all of our classroom discussions are based in Canvas. 

As I type this, I see this is quite literally an option on this forum, with "@ Mention" and "# Tag" in the top right toolbar... 

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there,  @ryann_craig ...

I can certainly understand the want/need for mentioning people in Discussion topics within Canvas courses...similar to what you can currently do here in the Canvas Community.  While I don't have an explanation as to why this isn't a feature of Canvas, I can tell you that this is a pretty popular request by Community members.  Take a look at this Feature Idea: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1066-mentions-in-discussion-forums" modifiedtitle="true" title....  It is still open for voting (which isn't the only way that Instructure gets feedback, by the way).  If you feel that this Feature Idea aligns with something you'd like to see implemented in Canvas, I would encourage you to vote on it and add your feedback to the bottom of that thread letting Canvas software engineers know why this would be important to you.

I know this might not completely answer your question, Ryann...but I do hope it has helped in some way.  Stay safe, and be well.

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3 Replies
jcarpenter1
Navigator

 @ryann_craig , welcome to the Community.  I'm assuming, based on your question, that the 4 notifications they'd need would be from group members.  If this is an accurate assumption, then put your students in groups and assign discussion questions to each group.  The groups can change as easily as the discussion questions do.

ryann_craig
Community Member

Thanks,  @jcarpenterteach ‌, for your response. This is not an accurate assumption of recreating discussion groups in a virtual space, nor do I find it an adequate solution when mentioning directly, as I've done here, is such a widespread, well-known, well-used feature elsewhere. 

My students will be in smaller discussion groups, likely 5-7 in a group. In each group, I require (1) a response to the prompt, (2) replies to two classmates, (3) one response to one of the replies.  Thus, they do not need to receive the notifications for all of those posts -- and I would strongly prefer them not to get burned out on notifications and ignore them all, which they will -- but they should receive notifications for the replies to them so that they can respond.

In addition, not being able to thread together concepts from multiple classmates is a HUGE hindrance to *actual discussion*. Let's say student A is reading through the six other posts in her group, deciding who to reply to. She sees that student D and student E make similar points in their posts but that they are coming from completely different starting points. She wants to draw them into conversation with each other -- as one might do in a classroom. Why can't she @ mention student D in her reply to student E and vice versa? "Hey @Jane, did you see that @John agrees with you on x and y, but starts with presupposition b instead of a? What do you think is going on there?" 

Or, what if the students want to draw ME into the conversation for clarification? I need to be able to prioritize responding to that thread rather than reading through 85 posts before I get to it. 

This seems so, so basic that it baffles me that this is not a feature. 

chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello there,  @ryann_craig ...

I can certainly understand the want/need for mentioning people in Discussion topics within Canvas courses...similar to what you can currently do here in the Canvas Community.  While I don't have an explanation as to why this isn't a feature of Canvas, I can tell you that this is a pretty popular request by Community members.  Take a look at this Feature Idea: https://community.canvaslms.com/ideas/1066-mentions-in-discussion-forums" modifiedtitle="true" title....  It is still open for voting (which isn't the only way that Instructure gets feedback, by the way).  If you feel that this Feature Idea aligns with something you'd like to see implemented in Canvas, I would encourage you to vote on it and add your feedback to the bottom of that thread letting Canvas software engineers know why this would be important to you.

I know this might not completely answer your question, Ryann...but I do hope it has helped in some way.  Stay safe, and be well.

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