[Discussions] Option for setting a number of discussion posts required before being flagged for grading


In order to encourage students to participate more in the online discussion forum for their classes, many instructors require that they submit more than one post to a graded forum. Currently, when students submit just one post, they are flagged for grading in the Speedgrader (orange circle icon). Instructors who require more than one post before the discussion assignment is considered completed or available for grading have to look through each student who has submitted at least one post and see whether they have submitted the required amount.



It is a time-consuming task for the instructor to check every student who has been flagged for grading, since, in many cases, a student may not have yet submitted their second (or third, fourth, nth, etc.) submission, leading to wasted time and effort for an instructor.



Include an option in the discussion forum properties that allows instructors to set the number of posts a student must submit before they are flagged for grading.


Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thank you for your submission, 1086095​. This idea will be open for voting during the next voting cycle. (December 2)

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

This idea has moved to the next stage and will be open for voting among the Canvas Community, from Wed. December 2, 2015 - Wed. March 2, 2016.

Check out this doc for additional details about how the voting process works! Smiley Wink

Community Champion

I would LOVE this option.  Each of our distance courses has 5 discussions that require 2 posts each, 1 that requires 4 posts, and 1 that requires 5 posts.  It annoys the heck out of my OCD self to see that number badge in the Speedgrader app and know that when I go check on some of those forums, what "needs to be graded" doesn't truly need to be graded yet because the student has not done the requisite number of posts.

The one hiccup I can foresee with this setup (and perhaps there's a workaround) is what if the student does not do the requisite number of posts? Would he or she never show up for grading?  We're on rolling enrollment so we couldn't use the course end date as a flag to mark such cases as ready to grade.

Community Novice

Thanks for sharing your experience and bringing up an important point about what happens when students do not submit any or the required amount. There should be some way to identify who has partially completed the discussion assignment, which would be helpful in cases where an instructor will give partial credit. Otherwise, those who did not post the required amount will receive a blank score, which will either not count in the final grade, or will count as "0" if an instructor has chosen the setting "Treat Ungraded as 0".

I propose that those who have partially completed the discussion assignment be highlighted/flagged in the gradebook and Speedgrader with something like the following:

2015-12-04_12-05-55 (1).png 2015-12-04_12-34-26.png

Community Champion

I like it!   That would work for us. Smiley Happy

Community Member

This would be very helpful!

Community Contributor

I  would love to see this feature and will add a couple of things that would be useful details (to me at least!)

  • The discussion assignment should remain on the student's to-do list until they have made the required number of posts.  A mouse-over tip showing "x of y required posts needed" would be useful.
  • Before the assignment due date, a student's submission should not show on the instructor's to-do (in the number of items to grade) unless the required number of posts have been made.
  • After the assignment due date, all students who made at least 1 post should show in the instructor's grading to-do
  • In the SpeedGrader, there should be a clear indicator for each student showing the number of posts - something like "3 of 4 required posts. 1 late post"
  • The pink coloring indicating late assignments in the Gradebook should consider the required number of posts (currently, a discussion only gets the late indicator if the first post is after the due date).  So, when a discussion post is submitted after the due date, if the current number of posts (not counting the new post) is less than the required number of posts, color the Gradebook cell to indicate a late submission.

Another idea that would need a little more thought would be to add details to notifications sent.  I'm not sure what notifications students get when they post to a discussion, so can't offer a specific idea, but maybe if they do get a notification, include details like "you have completed x of y required posts"

Community Novice

Excellent suggestion!

Before Canvas, my school used BlackBoard and it had this option.  It definitely cleaned up the process for grading discussion board responses.  It is about the only thing I miss from BlackBoard (and maybe a few testing option), otherwise Canvas is definitely a superior product.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni


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Community Novice

Thanks, I thought so, too!

Unfortunately, it's failed to meet the 100-vote requirement in order to make it into the review phase, so the idea has been archived as of today.

If you or anyone else decides to re-write/re-submit this idea, please update this thread! I'll vote for it.