[SpeedGrader] Grade discussion posts and attachments with DocViewer

All discussion posts and attachments (MS Word, PPT, PDF files, etc.) should be displayed in SpeedGrader like an assignment so that teachers can use mark-up tools to add comments to those posts and attachments using Crocodoc DocViewer.

Background: In some of our courses, we use discussion forums in two ways (in addition to regular discussions among students):

  1. Research activities: In which students submit substantial posts that require the observance of the APA Manual formatting guidelines.
  2. Peer review/instructor preview activities: In which students attach their research assignments for review by their peers and instructors for feedback before final submission.

This feature would be useful for commenting discussion posts and discussion attachments like one would grade an assignment using Crocodoc DocViewer. The ability to add comments to those posts and files would make the LMS more useful.

Added to Theme

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Thank you for submitting this feature idea! Learn more about the feature idea process and how to champion your idea.

Your feature idea will be open for vote from Wed. December 7, 2016 - Wed. March 1, 2017. Smiley Wink

Community Novice

Students want feedback, this adds too our ability to provide it in the same manner we can with submitted assignments.  Discussion activities are utilized in different ways and in some cases can be multi-functional as an open discussion but with formatting requirements or as aligned with other activities.  When needed, using Crocodoc in this area enables us to render deep, enriching feedback.

Excellent idea Felix.

Community Novice

Wonderful to hear. Thank you, Biray.

Best regards,


Community Novice

Often we have our students post their assignments to the discussion board because they need to be shared, and with a flipped class they are discussed with the community of colleagues on the Discussion board to build on their initial ideas. So we turn on the Grading for that discussion topic and each student will post their assignments as a thread starter.

Presently, you can click that file in SpeedGrader and it will display in Box but not Crocodoc so you can’t make inline comments on the paper, you can read it but not make comments on it. So, in order to make comments on the file you have to download it, make your comments in Word or Adobe PDF, and then attach it back to the discussion grading comment.

I like the idea of it not automatically opening it like it does in Assignments because you might want to look at the message in the post and the discussions about the post first.  Then you should be able to click on the file and it should come up in Crocodoc like it does in Assignments so you can add you inline comments.

Thanks for starting the post I hope it gets enough votes becuase I could really use this.

Don Quick

Colorado State University

Community Novice

Thank you, Don. We face the same limitations on our end. The idea will be up for voting on Dec 7th. Make sure to vote. 🙂



Community Novice

Excellent idea.  Any system that allows for easy, timely feedback to students is important and really makes a course more effective and proactive. 


Community Champion

It would be nice to be able to reply to discussions from within the SpeedGrader.

Community Novice

This would greatly enhance the feedback process for students and instructors.

Community Contributor

GREAT IDEA @FelixDeBritoNeto! I just had a teacher think this was broken in her instance... but she didn't realize that "mark up", or Crocodoc is only available in assignments currently.

Instructure Alumni
Instructure Alumni

Hi, Heather,

You may have been getting feedback from a bug we corrected in Canvas Production Release Notes (2017-11-18)  where students were unable to view any comments submitted by instructors using DocViewer in discussions. To help avoid any confusion, we've disabled that functionality for instructors. In the future if this idea gets picked up, our product team will ensure the feature is implemented correctly so that students can view the feedback.