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.
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:
Admin can turn on the course-level Feature Option in Account Settings—the default setting will be OFF
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.
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.
My background in human-centered design influences my approach in creating products. At Instructure, I work with incredibly smart and kind people to build products that will empower teaching and learning.