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Canvas Discussions - Knowledgebase / Teaching Learning and Research / Canvas / Communication and Collaboration - OIT Service Center

Canvas Discussions

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You can use Discussions to start discussions with/ among your students. Discussions can be created as an assignment for grading purposes or simply serve as a forum. Discussions can also be created within student groups.

Note:  Discussion posts cannot be made anonymously. 
  1. Log in to Canvas at
  2. Click Courses in the Global Navigation menu on the left, then select your course.
  3. Click Discussions in the Course Navigation menu.
  4. Click + Discussion.
  5. Enter the title of the discussion in the Topic Title box.
  6. Enter the discussion prompt in the text box below.
  • (OPTIONAL) In the Attachment menu, click Browse... to add a file as a resource or prompt for the discussion.

7. Select Allow Threaded Replies to allow students to respond to each other’s posts.

8. Select Users must post before seeing replies to hide replies from students until they post their own.

9. Select Enable podcast feed to make the discussion and its replies available as a podcast. 

10. Select Graded to make the Discussion graded and enable more options.

Note: Graded discussions are integrated with the Canvas Gradebook and can be graded by Teachers and Teaching Assistants.

11. Select Allow Liking to allow users to "like" posts. Then, choose who can "like" posts and whether to sort posts by the number of "likes" they receive.

12. Select This is a Group Discussion to create an identical discussion topic in each group. Then, select the Group Set to which to assign it. Students will only see and be able to reply to posts within their group.

13. Enter beginning and end dates of availability in the Available from and Until boxes, respectively, to limit student access to the discussion to a certain date range.

14. For a graded Discussion, configure the following options:

  • In the Points Possible box, enter the maximum amount of points that students can earn for the discussion.
  • In the Display Grade as menu, select the unit with which to display grades.
  • In the Assignment group menu, select the appropriate assignment group for the Discussion
  • In the Assign menu, select whom to assign the Discussion in the Assign to box, then enter the due date in the Due box.
  • In the Assign menu, enter beginning and end dates of availability in the Available from boxes to limit Discussion participants' access to a certain date range. These dates will override any entered in step 13.

  • Click Save.
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