Discussions Redesign User Group + Early Access

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni
10 21 5,992

[2021-06-07 Update] TheDiscussions Redesign project is now available in the beta environment. Please view more details about this project in our Discussions Redesign User Group.

Hello Community! We have many improvements lined up for our Discussions feature in Canvas, as announced in the Canvas Release Notes (2021-06-19)

Why the Changes?

Discussions have proven to be a great way to engage students with course content and each other. Over the years we've received feature requests from you all and we are so excited to start incorporating those requests.

First Design Update

The release notes indicate what you can expect to see in the first round of this feature update. 

Our first release includes:

  • freshening up the UI to take better advantage of the space and ensure responsive views
  • moving the toolbar to the top of the page
  • placing newest replies on the top of the first page instead of the bottom of the last page
  • creating a button to sort replies from newest to oldest and oldest to newest
  • allowing posts to be marked as unread/read from the reply menu

These changes will be available in both the beta and production environments on June 19.

Screen Shot 2021-05-17 at 9.56.02 AM.png

Early Access

On June 19, the production and beta environments will both include a feature option at the course level called Discussions Redesign. This feature option will allow Admin and Teacher roles to enable early access to our Discussions improvements, beginning with the first set of features.

We will not be deprecating the current Discussions feature for a while.

The workflow will be:

  1. Admin can turn on the course-level Feature Option in Account Settings—the default setting will be OFF
  2. Teachers and Admins can turn on the Feature Option in Course Settings—the default setting will be OFF

Also beginning June 19, you can also explore the Discussions Redesign functionality in your beta environment. 

Feature Option Changes

If the Discussions Redesign feature option is turned on in a course or for an account, that course and/or account will receive additional updates to Discussions as soon as the updates are released. Our User Group will include updates about the project and the remaining release plans. Plans are subject to change based on your feedback, so subscribe to the group to stay up to date with the latest news.

User Group

Beginning June 19, we will also make available the Discussions Redesign User group, which anyone can join and stay current with the latest development work. We would love to get as much feedback as possible for future designs.

The link to the user group will be updated in this post on June 19, and the link will also be posted in the Beta Features User Groups page.

Thanks for participating in this project with us and we look forward to your feedback.

Best, Katrina