Discussions Redesign Coming to Canvas LMS on July 20, 2024!

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure
119
19595

Canvas.png

We've been working tirelessly to enhance the Canvas experience, and we're delighted to announce that the long-anticipated Discussions Redesign will be enforced on July 20, 2024!

In our continuous effort to provide you with the best tools for collaboration and communication, we recognized that the discussion feature is at the heart of many online learning experiences. To ensure that your discussions are more engaging, user-friendly, and efficient, we have revamped this crucial aspect of Canvas LMS. And with inline/split view being enabled in Discussions Redesign on October 25, which allows users to switch between an inline or split viewing experience, we feel confident that we've addressed user concerns and made the discussion redesign a better experience. 

We believe these changes will improve the way you collaborate and interact within the Canvas platform. Whether you're an educator looking to facilitate engaging class discussions or a student eager to participate actively, this update will make your Canvas experience more enjoyable and productive.

What does this mean for users though? The discussion redesign includes an updated UI and new features. When the redesign is enforced all existing discussions will show in the new UI and will have new functionality available to them. No migration necessary. 

More information on features and functionality can be found in the feature group, this blog, and the change log. We want to ensure a smooth transition, so stay tuned for more information and resources as we approach the enforcement date.

The enforcement dates for the Discussions Redesign are:

Beta: June 17, 2024

Production: July 20, 2024

This doesn’t mean we’re done working on discussions though. Upcoming features that will be added to the redesign before it's enforced include:

Edit History (Available in production November 8): When a user edits a submitted discussion reply, instructors can view the different versions.

Updated Create/Edit: General UI updates to match the look and feel of other areas of Canvas and to ensure accessibility. 

Checkpoints: Allows instructors to set two due dates for discussions; providing greater clarity to students on when initial responses and replies are due. 

We're committed to evolving Canvas to meet the needs of our vibrant and growing community. Your feedback has been instrumental in shaping this redesign, and we can't wait to see the positive impact it will have. If you have any suggestions on resources or information that would like to see to make you feel more confident in this change, please let me know in the comments below. 

Tags (1)
119 Comments
vanzandt
Community Champion

Hi @SamGarza1 , I wanted to check to see if your team was able to complete the videos, especially the comparison video.  If so, can you provide a link here to help us find them?  Thank you!

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

I just wanted to bump @venitk's comment about the mark as read. As I'm now using the redesign as in my courses and in my role as DE coordinator encouraging my faculty to use it, this is the one thing that's actually a pain point in the redesign's current state and that doesn't have parity with original discussions. It's really important to be able to mark each reply as read separately. I like the "Mark thread as" feature, but I may be working my way through a thread of responses and what I really need to be able to do is mark each one as I go, and having to do that with two clicks is not great.

Edit: I just realized that the 'Mark thread" feature also refreshes the whole page, so it's really a non-viable solution workflow wise.

Sylvia_Ami
Community Contributor

@mwolfenstein I have a similar workflow. I like to individually mark each post as read. It's my way of keeping track of which posts I've read and responded to (if needed). I may not read all the new posts for the day in one sitting. So I like to use "Mark as read" so when I go back that night or the next day, I can easily pick up where I left off.

venitk
Community Champion

I also just discovered the refresh, and worse, after the refresh, the discussion replies are

  1. out of order from what they were before
  2. marked as read chaotically. In other words, posts I didn't mark as read were marked as read.

This is with the inline view. @mwolfenstein are you seeing this with inline view as well?

The whole redesign works better (=less glitchy) with the side view, which is unfortunate because the side view breaks my brain. It's great that Canvas built in the sideview option, but not great if it doesn't work well. 

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

@venitk I have noticed that the replies are re-ordered and I'm unclear as to what is going on with that. I'm currently just using Mark as Read for whole threads and I haven't experienced any bugs with it marking things that were not in the thread and it does seem to mark the whole thread. It's not good for my workflow because I'm offloading some cognition to making sure I've read all of the replies either before or after marking as read, but at least it doesn't seem to produce a glitch. I have noticed that at least in Firefox, after I click like on a post, when I click like on other posts or responses on the page the like button doesn't change state. When I refresh the page it changes state. Instructure, please address these bugs ASAP. It will be pretty bad if the redesign has these issues when the old version is sunset.

Edit: I think part of what's going on here is that the sort feature is based on interactions. If I'm seeing this correctly, it means that when a post gets an edit or a comment it is bumped to the top if you're sorting by most recent. This actually detracts substantially from why I was really excited about this feature. In my thinking, it meant that newer posts would be more likely to get replies from students instead of replies clustering around the oldest posts which is the problem that happens in old discussions. I'm hoping that we might get some granularity of control, and that it may be possible for someone in the Teacher or equivalent role to enforce a sort order for students or at least  a default sort for when they open a discussion.

masantos
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello,

Will this feature be on and unlocked or on and locked for faculty to decide if they want to use it? Is there a way to revert the change if they lock or unlock?

I know that we can change the setting after the fact, but I want to know what the default will be when the change has been made.

Thanks

TrinaAltman
Community Participant

@masantos Let's let Instructure confirm, but my understanding is the Discussion Redesign will be enforced on 7/20/24, meaning everyone will HAVE to use it if they want to use the Discussion tool. It will be the only option, and admins/instructors won't have any choice to revert to the old discussion tool. I have been lobbying for Instructure to delay the enforcment until at least the end of the year so that schools can transition on a timetable that actually works for them.

Trina

hesspe
Community Champion

@SamGarza1 Has anyone else reported this?:  When I edit a post and click Save, the edited version doesn't appear until the page is refreshed, making it seem like the edit didn't take. 

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

@hesspe I haven't edited a post yet, but this goes along with the other notable behavior that doesn't show up until refresh which is liking a reply that is below the top level.

hesspe
Community Champion

@mwolfenstein @SamGarza1   As you noted with "Likes," the editing problem I reported yesterday has to do with replies below the top level.  Edits of top level replies work as expected. 

evdoxia_liatiri
Community Explorer

@SamGarza1  thank you for the updates! We've just recently discussions redesign in our institution and I had feedback regarding group discussions. In the old interface, where groups were listed at the top of the page, the lecturer can quickly scan through and gauge engagement, as well as check for any unread messages. In the new interface, the groups are 'hiding' under the groups button and when clicked, it doesn't show the activity of each discussion board, unless you go into each one individually. Is there any workaround or anything we're missing or will this previous feature be lost? Thank you!

ProfessorBeyrer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Adding on to the comment from @evdoxia_liatiri , here is a screenshot from one of my discussions from last semester. Without clicking, I can see the number of messages (especially unread) for each discussion, and I can cmd-click (or ctrl-click) each link to open that group’s discussion in a new tab:

Screenshot of groups list from original discussionsScreenshot of groups list from original discussions

If the box on the original discussion page cannot be brought back, @SamGarza1 , please include the message count on the group pop-up *and* make the pop-up persistent so we can minimize the clicks to open each group’s discussion in a separate tab/window. It becomes a bit more challenging to encourage my faculty colleagues to do group discussions when there is a barrier to easy activity assessment.

Edited to add alt text to screenshot.

hesspe
Community Champion

I would add to the discussion about groups, the following observations:

-  The groups icon is not immediately apparent.  Once people are used to the interface it will work fine, but when discussions are initially enforced it's going to cause confusion and consternation that could easily be remedied by a text label that reads "Discussion Groups"

- The groups icon and menu is visible to students, but essentially non-functional for them since they can only access their own groups discussion.  Could it be hidden from Students?  Or am I missing something?

hesspe
Community Champion

The tool tip on the sort button is confusing to me:

 

sort.png

I would expect based on my past experience the text  would tell me what happens when I click the button, but in fact what it is showing is the current state, which will flip when the button is clicked.

What would be clearer to me, but may take up too much space would be if the tool tip read"Now showing Newest First" and the button said "Re-Sort."  I suspect that will be considered too cumbersome, so perhaps someone can think of another way to make the function clear.  If not, it would work better for me to have no tool-tip at all.  I also don't find the arrow helpful.  That an upward pointing arrow signifies Oldest First is completely non-intuitive to me.

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure

Hi @venitk , @mwolfenstein@Sylvia_Ami 

Thank you for sharing your feedback on how Mark as Read is working. The redesign is intended to automatically mark posts as read but it sounds like this isn't the optimal workflow for users grading discussion posts. While we can look at changing that functionality back or making it an option for instructors, I'm wondering if this is actually an issue with how Mark as Read is functioning or if it's due to the current grading experience? Our team is looking at improving the grading experience in speedgrader which would include showing an entire post and thread inside speedgrader. Would this resolve the workflow issue? Or would there still be a need to change the Mark as Read functionality?

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure

Hi @venitk @hess @mwolfenstein

Our team is currently fixing a bug that should resolve the loading issues upon edit, save, or like and issues caused by refresh. Our team is committed to prioritizing any bug we receive for the redesign as quickly as we can. 

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

@SamGarza1 speaking for myself, if the post and thread could mark as read once I enter a grade in SpeedGrader that might work if all items in the thread were marked, but it gets a bit weird. What happens when a student has their posts in one thread but responses are spread around other threads? SpeedGrader handles that aspect of things currently by at least allowing use to see all of a student's contributions in one place. I'm not sure how that might look with what you're planning. I also think the big question mark for me (and likely others) is that we still haven't seen how checkpoint/milestone due dates will work and they're an important part of this as well in thinking about posts that you've viewed and grading processes.

Ultimately I suspect that there isn't a one size fits all approach here because people have different workflows around discussions. Personally, I use different workflows depending on the type of discussion. The current UX presents the biggest challenge for me when I'm doing a sum-up style discussion where I review everyone's posts, make notes, and then post my response. This use case would be handled really well by integration with grading because I could just review students' initial posts (and any other comments they've left one another) in SpeedGrader where I would grade while taking my notes for the sum-up post. It wouldn't work nearly as well for cases where I have a Q&A discussion as a graded activity where I award points for asking questions or providing answers. Those are just two types of discussions that I use in my course, and in fairness as DE coordinator I'm more diversified in my uses of discussions than most (but certainly not all) of my faculty.

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure

Hi @masantos

I think your question has been answered, but just to confirm the Discussion/Announcement Redesign will be enforced on July 20th, 2024. More information on that enforcement can be found here. If you want some more general information on what is included in the redesign you can check out this blog or the feature group

venitk
Community Champion

@SamGarza1 

I'm a little confused by your question because Mark is Read is an option in the discussion redesign, but it just doesn't work well. But regardless, to answer your question about speedgrader: 

The way I use it--and the way I know some other people use it -- is to mark off posts that you're "done" with, that don't need you to come back to and engage with later. The ones that are kept as unread need more interaction during the discussion period itself. This is for graded and ungraded discussions, so for that reason alone, having the functionality to mark something as read somehow through speedgrader won't work, if that's what you're suggesting. Even and especially for graded assignments, most instructors that I know don't wait to participate (if they're going to participate at all) until the grading stage. They engage in the discussion as it's ongoing in the discussion itself, asking students questions and responding to their posts. So it's not a problem with grading.  

We have been recommending people use the manual mark as read feature for years as opposed to automatic, because the automatic feature doesn't know if you start to read a post and then you get distracted and don't finish, or if you need more time to think about a post and then come back to it, or if you accidentally scroll too fast and skip over a post. We love Mark as Read. 

Honestly, the way it worked before was perfect. One click, an easy toggle on and off, a clear visual indication of what is done and what isn't done with, perfect. Anything harder than this will not be an improvement of that workflow because it was already perfect. Even if it worked without glitches, the way it is now in the redesign is already less convenient than it was before because it requires more clicks to mark something as read.  Just my two cents! 

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure

Hi @evdoxia_liatiri , @ProfessorBeyrer , @hese 

Thank you for the feedback around groups in the redesign! I've connected with the designer on our team to see what improvements we can make. 

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure

Hi @hesspe 

Thank you for pointing out that the hover text on the sort button may be unclear. I've shared that feedback with our designer to see what change makes the most sense. 

dbrace
Community Contributor

@SamGarza1, I do not remember if it was talked about in this post or somewhere else (I am sorry, I could not find it but I do recall it somewhere) but if someone edits a reply, will that reply be considered unread to others (regardless of their role or whether they already read the original reply) the next time they return to the discussion? I believe this was mentioned as a concern for anyone with the ability to grade the discussion.

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure

@mwolfenstein @venitk 

Sorry for any confusion! Based on your responses it sounds like being able to manually mark something as read is important not only for graded discussions but for ungraded ones as well. Let me take this feedback back to my team and we'll investigate how we can improve the experience. 

Thank you again for sharing your workflows. 

ProfessorBeyrer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thank you @SamGarza1 for your engagement on this page. If only this were a discussion instead of a blog entry, then our replies could be threaded. 🤣 My college's semester began this week and I'm getting my first experience using the redesign. I have an experience similar to that mentioned by @venitk: my workflow with the original discussions tool was to mark messages read as I dealt with them, which easily took just one click on the circle. Now it takes two clicks -- I have to select the Atkins menu for that message and then select the link to mark as read. I didn't mind that the unread count at the top of the page did not change as I marked individual messages as read. I liked refreshing the page to confirm that I had dealt with all the messages on the page. If it were up to me, I would make that circle interactive like it was before and allow the user to use it to manually mark the message as read/unread.

hesspe
Community Champion

I want to second the thanks for your engagement on this page.  I was at the R1 meeting last Friday and where I felt your efforts were, I would say, "underapprectiated".  Regarding the sort feature, this is how Panopto handles the problem.  I'm not saying it's Ideal, but it's clear.  First, click the "Sort" button to reveal direction menu:

 
 

SortP.png

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

@ProfessorBeyrer did you just refer to the kebab icon as the Atkins menu? 🤣

I wanted to also endorse a key part of what you said here (and which is consonant with other community members) as I've been thinking about this for the last 24 hours. The biggest factor is having feature parity with old discussions for 1 click to mark as read. There are a lot of other things that might not carry over, and I think we all need to be willing adjust workflows when Instructure offers us an alternative process that is at least as efficient for achieving the same results. However, that 1 click to mark as read element is really important for feature parity simply because it enables extremely flexible use for different cases.

hesspe
Community Champion

@SamGarza1 I'm hoping to follow this up with a comment specifically about Discussions Redesign later but I want to first make this "meta" comment:

I'm trying very hard to follow all of the stuff from people relating their experiences with the redesign, and particularly the responses from official sources - I think in most or all cases, that would be you.

But this information is in at least four places in the community where you have left comments:

Enhancing Collaboration: Re-introducing the New Canvas LMS Discussions Redesign 46 comments
Discussions Redesign Coming to Canvas LMS on July 20, 2024! 76 comments
Discussion Redesign Update. 10 comments
New Discussion Board is Awful 21 replies

My suggestion is to have a forum or blog post "Discussions Redesign - Canvas Replies"  locked for regular posters where we could find all official comments, including contextualizing quotes from the comments you are replying to, with links in both directions - from your comment to the original post and from the original post to your comment.

I'm very grateful for the fact that you do post regular replies.

hesspe
Community Champion

Something I hear people gripe about occasionally, which is not really a Discussions problem, but only comes up in the context of group discussions: You have to intuit how to go from the group discussion page back to the course home page (and some people's intuition is challenged by the task).  I'd like to see the simple expedient of having two links in the Group Nav menu:

Group Homepage

Course Homepage

I'm curious to see whether others think this is something worth addressing or too trivial to merit attention.

 

kailey
Community Participant

@SamGarza1 Although Discussions Redesign has value (anonymous discussions and eventually Checkpoints), there are bugs, loss of functionality, usability issues, and other concerns that make it difficult for institutions to enable Discussions Redesign at this time. I have other examples, but below are a few.

Bugs (I have cases open for these, but no answer as to if and when they will be addressed)

There are no Discussions Redesign bugs posted on Instructure’s Known Issues list, which is very unhelpful and puts the burden on the Canvas community to have to re-discover these issues independently.

  • When viewing a graded discussion in SpeedGrader, clicking ‘view the full discussion’ or the discussion title results in the entire Canvas course displaying all within SpeedGrader. You can navigate to other parts of the course (e.g., Announcements, Settings, etc) and even enter Student View all in SpeedGrader.
  • When deleting or editing a reply in Inline view, the change is not immediately reflected. You must refresh your browser. This is not the case with Split View or original Discussions.
  • Teaching team members are unable to attach a file. Trying to save the reply results in an error message. 
  • Students can still see the ‘Quote Reply’ option in Announcements when “Disable comments on announcements” is enabled and when the announcement is closed for comments. 
  • Others…

Loss of Functionality 

Your blog post says, "Taking user feedback from this group, the community as a whole, and internally to ensure that what we created didn’t have any loss in functionality but also provided new functionality that our users needed.” Does this mean the items listed below (and other lost functionality) will be added before enforcement?

  • Course member names are no longer hyperlinked, making it difficult for admins to easily access the commonly used ‘Act as User’ functionality and instructors to access the student context card. 
  • Group discussions no longer display the total number of replies per group on the main discussions page, making it difficult for teaching teams to gauge engagement. Clicking into each discussion group is very inconvenient, especially for large courses with many groups.
  • There is no longer infinite levels of nested replies. Infinite levels is possible with current discussions. Not a huge deal-breaker, but calling it out since it is a loss of functionality.
  • Others…

Usability Issues/Concerns/Feedback

  • Mark as Read/Unread is hidden and requires more clicks, leading to a worsened experience, rather than an improvement. 
  • Groups are hidden under an easy-to-miss button, rather than immediately visible. Again, more clicks and easily missable. 
  • The order of first-level replies are not static and are affected by the date/time of nested replies. In current discussions, first-level responses are always static. The constant reordering of first-level replies makes it very difficult to find where a user last left off when reviewing the thread.
    • Side note: the default in Discussions Redesign is “newest at top” for replies but “oldest at top” for nested replies, so it’s not consistent. Is this intentional?
  • The ‘Reported Reply’ notification setting is only available at the course level rather than account level. Why? Had I not read an article about it, I wouldn’t know it exists. It’s extra work when the only option is to configure preferences at the individual course level. Not really understanding the design decision behind this one.
  • Why is Edit History only available on Prod and Beta and not Test? It’s inconvenient testing with Beta, given the weekly reset. Support didn't have an answer whether this is intentional or not.
  • Others...

With these items in mind (and there are many others), how can Instructure force an enforcement date when the feature is still in active development and bugs still need to be addressed? It would be great if you could shed some light on the questions above. Thanks!

hesspe
Community Champion

@KAILY  I have mixed feelings about your post.  Some of your concerns I strongly agree with and others seem unimportant to me, and one or two items that you didn't mention are concerns for me. The fact that two people have different perspectives is not surprising and doesn't invalidate either one.  I agree that Canvas not say that there is parity when there isn't parity and I hope that intense development will continue until parity issues are addressed and bugs are fixed.  Nonetheless, I would still prefer to see Canvas adhere to the 7/20 enforcement date.

The two places you mentioned where I think the redesign most egregiously falls short parity are that you can't mark messages as unread with a single click and that group discussions no longer display the total number of replies per group 

The most prominent bug I've encountered is the need to refresh before seeing likes and comments.  I hadn't picked up on the SpeedGrader bug, but that certainly also should be addressed.  It seems to me that showing the Groups button in the students' view is also a bug.  They may be there anticipating the time when a student can be in more than one group in a group set, but if that is the case, only the groups available to that student should be listed.

Here are some interface tweaks I would like to see

An edit button for the Topic post, like the one in "old" Discussions, instead of or in addition to the "Edit" item in the kebab menu.

For content creators, In Group Discussions, give more prominence  to the Groups button, and add the label  "Groups" to it..  For Students, remove the Groups button for which is non-functional for them.

Label the Sort button with the state that will be in effect after the button is clicked (Newest First / Oldest First),  rather than with the current state. This would be consistent with how the Split Screen / Inline button works.

TrinaAltman
Community Participant

@hesspe Thanks for your additional perspective and info in your reply to @kailey's very thoughtful post. I have been lobbying Instructure since the Fall to postpone the enforcement date, and a number of other people have expressed the same. There are other posts about this request and the reasoning, so I won't get into all of it again here. But in response to your desire for Instructure to stick with the July enforcement date, I just wanted to say individual schools can enforce the redesign whenever they'd like within their own system - in July or even today, if they wanted. I would strongly prefer Instructure address many of the remaining issues and roll out Checkpoints which they say is not part of the actual Redesign, but is new functionality which will only be added to the Redesign version. Fine, but it would be a big selling point for us to encourage our instructors to try the Redesign tool before forcing them all to do so. (Yes, Checkpoints should be available later this spring - that doesn't give us adequate time to test it and expose folks to it before enforcing for all courses this summer.)

To me, it seems customers would be served better by postponing the enforcement date and giving us more control over how we transition our campuses to the redesigned tool, with all its issues (hopefully many fixed before then) and benefits.

kailey
Community Participant

@hesspe Thanks for sharing that the Groups button is visible to students. I missed that and agree that the button shouldn’t be visible. Also appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

As for the enforcement date, I was going to say the exact same as @TrinaAltman. Any institution can “enforce” Discussions Redesign at any time they feel comfortable. However, it shouldn’t be forced upon institutions if it is not ready and is still in active development. My stance is that enforcement dates, at a minimum, should be set once all outstanding bugs are addressed. When something new is released to instructors and students, I want a feature I can stand behind and promote its benefits, rather than one that may result in faculty’s lack of confidence in the system. 

hesspe
Community Champion

@TrinaAltman @KAILY I hear what you're saying, and it makes logical sense, but  psychologically, it's hard to enforce a transition when Canvas hasn't committed to it.  It's  like --  if the transition is enforced, Canvas owns it (and we expect with that ownership Canvas will treat any issues that come up with due seriousness).   If we enforce it, we own it, and that implies there might be less urgency on the part of Canvas to clean up any messes.  We have not enforced the Assignments Redesign for example, though by this point I know of no reason for not doing so - other than the Canvas hasn't done it.  New Quizzes is a whole different story.  Don't get me started.

mwolfenstein
Community Participant

I definitely concur with @hesspe regarding the distinction on local enforcement vs. Instructure enforcement. If we choose to enforce something locally even if there are no issues with it, my team winds up spending valuable political capital because fundamentally a lot of users just really don't like UX/UI changes. If it's enforced by the developer, we get to both support the change and be sympathetic to recalcitrant users coaxing them along instead of fielding blame from them.

As an aside, we still don't have the Assignments Enhancements turned on at my institution because it doesn't support Peer Review assignments (or previously discussions) and the last thing we want is students experiencing two different UI's depending on the type of assignment.

@kailey I would be okay with that enforcement date being announced as long as we have a clear picture of a timeline to address the bugs and other issues, and that absolutely needs to start with recognizing that some of these issues are legitimately bugs. They might not be critical bugs in the conventional sense (the software still functions), but the resorting issue based on activity, the need to refresh to see edits/actions registered, and the text size issues all approach major bugs IMHO because they substantially disrupt user expectations and can lead to users assuming that the software is broken. We really need those issues in particular to be recognized and to have a timeline communicated for when they will be fixed.

Finally @TrinaAltman, I hadn't heard that checkpoints were not considered "part of the redesign" since they were rather explicitly included in the announcement at CanvasCon online a couple of years ago and subsequently in updates in the Discussions Announcements Redesign group here on this site. I believe it was communicated that grading workflow improvements were not being considered as part of the redesign but might happen anyway.

SamGarza1
Instructure
Instructure

Hi again everyone, 

I want to stress how thankful myself and my team are for all the feedback we're getting on this redesign. It is not only helping us determine what tweaks need to be made now but also how we can improve the overall process in the future. 

On to some updates!

Thank you for pointing out that issues were not being posted to the Know Issues page. I am working internally to get this updated and users should start seeing updates I believe by the end of next week. I've also resolved the issue of Edit History not being available on Test. @kailey I did want to call out that the bugs you mentioned in your earlier post are currently being addressed by our team and we are prioritizing any issues with the redesign immediately. 

Our team does test extensively, both for functionality and accessibility, but like with any feature some issues are just not found until a high volume of users are using the feature. 

With the feedback from users who have been trying the redesign, it's become clear how important a one-click mark as read is. The blue dot that served as a toggle to manually mark items as read/unread in the legacy version did not meet the accessibility standard that we work to uphold. I'm working with our designers to determine how we can add this functionality back in while maintaining accessibility standards. @mwolfenstein @venitk 

The other pain points that we're working to resolve include: course member names are no longer hyperlinked; group discussions no longer display the total number of replies/new replies per group; sort order/button is unclear. 

While we can't guarantee that every pain point for every user will be resolved since many of the UI/UX changes were made to increase the overall accessibility of discussions, I can promise that we are taking every piece of feedback into consideration. 

hesspe
Community Champion

@SamGarza1 So appreciative of your engagement and responsiveness here!

Would it meet accessibility requirements to have both the clickable blue dot and menu options?  I can imagine it might not, but curiosity led me to ask.

TrinaAltman
Community Participant

@hesspe and @mwolfenstein  - Very fair points about distinction between local enforcement and Instructure enforcement, and I agree. I'll fall back to maintaining that I feel the enforcement date for the Discussion/Announcements redesign is premature on Instructure's end. See my November post as to why, as well several posts others have made about that. (And, as an update to that post, I'll point out we ARE now starting to see more solid feedback about issues and bugs with the redesign that Instructure now needs time to fix and respond to.)

 @mwolfenstein  that's really interesting regarding the checkpoints history. The Product Manager for the Discussion Redesign, @SamGarza1, has said checkpoints were added as an enhancement to the discussion experience after the original redesign pl... and that the Discussion Redesign is complete. That said, she has also let us know they are on the roadmap for Q1 which is good news. The fact that they aren't available yet for testing and yet an enforcement date was already announced (back in October) also indicates they aren't part of official Redesign rollout, but they do plan to add them as an enhancement prior to enforcement. From my perspective, by the time Checkpoints are released, there won't be much time for testing and for Instructure to fix reported issues with them prior to the Redesign enforcement date (which for us would really be early June most likely as it would be very disruptive to have the discussion tool automatically changing on our users at the tail end of our summer term in July).

 

kgerig
Community Explorer

My students did not like the split screen of the new design. I think it is great that you are letting students choose which view they want - inline or split screen. 

DaGIFT222
Community Participant

@SamGarza1 @kgerig @kailey @venitk I for one like the new options to view split or inline, and the mark as read option. Thanks.

 

GIFT

DarrylEvans
Community Explorer

I apologize if this has already been addressed, but this seems to still be shown in a "Feature Preview" status in the Feature Options tab. As such, I was not putting a lot of effort in testing/getting instructor input. Seems it should have been moved out of that status before talking about forcing its use.

ProfessorBeyrer
Community Coach
Community Coach

It sounds like your instance of Canvas, @DarrylEvans, is currently set so that instructors can decide on a class-by-class basis whether to enable the feature option. That's how it is on my instance, and we won't enforce it locally until the break between our spring and summer semesters. It will retain that status as a feature preview until Instructure's enforcement date in July, and the "preview" means that users can enable the feature before it's enforced.

kailey
Community Participant

@SamGarza1 I only see one Discussions Redesign bug added to the Known Issues list, although I submitted multiple bug reports (including the ones I listed above). The item that was added (teaching team members not being able to add an attachment) was supposedly "fixed" and deployed to production on 2/7/24. However, the last update I received from support/Support Panda for this bug was yesterday (2/14/24), stating that the fix just passed initial QA testing and will need to be deployed to Beta next. The communication for the same issue is very contradicting. I tested on Beta and can confirm the bug is fixed there.

Can you confirm whether the ability for course team members to attach a file is actually fixed on production? And if so, why the lag in communication from support panda? It's supposedly been over a week since the bug has been resolved and I'm only getting told that QA testing just wrapped up. 

Also, will other Discussions Redesign bugs be posted to the known-issues list? I'm actually more interested in what other institutions have reported that I may have missed. Thanks.

 

AnnLoomis
Community Explorer

Good question, @kailey, and I don't think the "Known Issue" issue is limited to Discussions Redesign. I can't count the number of times I've had someone report an issue, and I've responded by checking the Canvas Community (including "Known Issues") and doing lots of troubleshooting on my own. Eventually I come to a dead end and contact Canvas Support for assistance, only to be told that other people have reported the same issue, there is an open engineering ticket, and I will be added to a list to be notified when the issue is resolved. 

Based on my experience I really don't understand what Instructure defines as a "Known Issue". To me, if multiple people have reported a problem, there's an open engineering ticket, and a list of people to be notified when the issue is resolved, then it is a Known Issue and should be listed as such!

The lack of information on the "Known Issues" list causes so much time to be wasted by so many people. It is incredibly frustrating.

degensp28
Community Participant

@AnnLoomis Don't forget things that "work as intended". Ever seen an instructor enter letter grades into an assignment that they accidently left as 0 points? That grade data is going to be lost if they ever try to update. Don't worry though, it is intended to work that way.

dbrace
Community Contributor

I second what @AnnLoomis said. I am actively involved in at least two situations that do not appear at https://community.canvaslms.com/t5/Known-Issues/tkb-p/issues and it is frustrating.

DaGIFT222
Community Participant

@dbrace@AnnLoomis I've had similar issues that are still unresolved.

 

GIFT

AnnLoomis
Community Explorer

@degensp28 So true! Things that "work as intended" but do not work in a way that any rational person would expect are equally as frustrating. Scheduler notifications are the first things that come to my mind in that category. An then to add insult to injury, we are asked to submit "Ideas" regarding these issues. We shouldn't have to submit "Ideas" for basic LMS functionality that should already be in place.

DarrylEvans
Community Explorer

Any plans to update the guides so that instructors don't see:

"Discussions Redesign is currently a beta feature. Some discussion settings and features in the classic Discussions interface may not function or be available in Discussions Redesign."

when they look for information on a feature I'm trying to get them to use in a live course?

hesspe
Community Champion

Suggestion:

Where it says, under anonymous posts"

Full: student names and profile pictures will be hidden

That be amended to say.

Full: student names and profile pictures will be hidden.  THAT INCLUDES FROM TEACHERS AND CANVAS ADMINISTRATORS.  ONCE A DISCUSSION HAS BEEN MADE ANONYMOUS, ANONYMITY CANNOT BE UNDONE EXCEPT BY DELETING THE TOPIC.

cdoherty
Community Participant

@AnnLoomis Let's not forget the SAVE button in Classic Quizzes that deletes content without warning or chance of recovery (if the much smaller Update Question isn't clicked first). That has been working as intended for over a decade.