How do I give feedback to an individual student in a nongraded discussion?
Hi Carol Collien - Interestingly, unlike an assignment that is designated as Not Graded, an ungraded Discussion does not allow you to comment privately to the student using SpeedGrader. In a way, I suppose, this makes sense since the Discussion is intended as an open forum of sorts. So while you can indeed reply to the student as you could to anyone else, that reply will not be private.
There are two ways around this. The simplest is to simply message the student, as covered here: How do I send a message to a user in a course in the Inbox as an instructor? The other way is to make it a graded discussion, but worth 0 points. This way, the usual way to comment to students via SpeedGrader will be available. (Yes, you can do this to a discussion, even after students have started to reply to it.) On the other hand, it creates another column for you in the Gradebook and might cause some additional confusion/consternation since students will see it now as an assignment, albeit one worth 0 points. Speaking for myself, I would probably just choose the first option and message the student privately via the Inbox.
I hope this helps a bit, Carol!
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