WHAT IS a discussion board?

In Canvas, the Discussion tool can be used to create prompts to which students can post their responses asynchronously via written, audio, or video posts and can also reply to other students and engage in a discussion.

Discussions can be graded or ungraded, and instructors can use Speed Grader and rubrics to facilitate grading and feedback.

Why implement?

Asynchronous Student Engagement

Robust discussion assignments encourage students to engage with each other through tasks that encourage them to build consensus, solve a problem, or critique and evaluate an idea or topic. Ungraded discussions can encourage further interaction and assist in developing a learning community.

Formative Assessment

Asking students to share their reasoning may help you to determine their level of understanding of a concept or topic and their communication skills. Regular feedback provides students with the ability to adjust and improve their learning before summative assessments. 

Strategies for high enrollment courses

Break large classes into manageable groups of 20-30 and post a weekly feedback/wrap-up announcement with “best of” posts, takeaways for the week, and recommendations for further reading. Sending a class-wide feedback announcement reduces the amount of time spent grading and can be used to expose students to great posts from students they are not in the same group with.

Who’s using it at University of Florida?

Liz Ibarrola and Lance Gravlee, ANT3451: Race and Racism

Students discuss a variety of prompts related to the course topic in small group discussions each week. Students select one of four prompts to respond to, and then engage with students who chose the other prompts. The course begins with a rules of engagement discussion to agree on acceptable etiquette and behavior.

References and Resources