Canvas for Instructors



Additional Pages


The Discussions section of the site allows you to facilitate online course discussions. Discussions are primarily text based but also allow for file attachments, images, and videos. Instructors can also create group discussion boards for groups which are viewable only by people within a group.

Discussions are useful for:

  • Following up on a conversation or lecture in the classroom
  • Conversations and debate about topics in the class
  • Introduction to an upcoming assignment or class discussion

[Return to Top of Page]

Accessing and Layout

To access the Discussions Section of Canvas, click the Discussions Tab on the left navigation panel. Doing so will bring up a page similar to the one shown below.

Discussion Board View

Some of the important elements to this page are:
  • new discussion button -- Used to Create a New Discussion Thread
  • Settings button -- Used to view General Discussion Settings, such as how to determine whether a post is read and the student permissions for Canvas Discussions (i.e. create their own threads, attach files, etc.)
  • Unread and read button -- Used to filter discussion threads to only those with Unread posts or to only those that are Graded Assignments
  • Graded symbol -- Used to mark a discussion thread as graded
  • Read status button -- Used to identify the number of responses that are Unread (blue) and the Total Number of Responses (grey) for the specific thread
  • Other settings button -- Allows you to Lock (close from further comments), Pin (highlight at the top of the page), or Remove a specific thread.
  • Published Icon-- Indicates that the discussion thread is published and can be viewed by the students
  • Unpublished Icon-- Threads with this icon are unpublished and will not be visible to students. Clicking on the icon will publish the thread.