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Counting discussion posts based on reply and initial posting

Question asked by Paul H. White on Sep 22, 2015
Latest reply on Sep 23, 2015 by Paul H. White



I apologize for jumping onto a horse that may have already gone a number of laps with this topic, but here I mount. A number of years ago, I asked about being able to have a simple way to count students' discussion posts. For a number of our classes, we have students have to post so many topics/questions, plus have them respond to other people's postings (so two separate activities). A brilliant student in one of my classes suggested that I do not count a student's initial post/question unless someone else has responded. It was a great idea but makes counting the posts even more difficult (e.g., I could not tell after a while if I had graded that person's reply or was it the initial post without going into the discussion thread directly, which with just 25-30 students and have 5 topics each + 5 responses grows very quickly).


We have discussed, as part of our revamping of some courses, especially given the push for more online offerings, to employ such techniques in more courses. Some of these classes have 200-300 students, so it becomes impractical to sort and count that many possible postings the way Canvas does it now (via the threads themselves or in Speedgrader where it does not distinguish initial post or reply). I am not sure of a solution outside of having the students start their post with "Initial Post" and "Reply to . . ." to make it easier to count (somewhat) in Speedgrader. It would be nice if Canvas had this information available to us (and the students, so they can keep track). I have read through many of the other posts on this issue but have not found a good solution to address this concern (especially thinking the number of students/posts/types). Any tips/suggestions before I go stir crazy counting and/or the graduate assistants come with pitchforks at my door? :-)


Thank you,