#197 Using Discussions in Canvas

September 04, 2013

The Discussions tool in Canvas can be used for threaded discussions between students and instructors.  It is the equivalent of the Discussion Board feature in the Course Portal.  Discussions are organized into 3 areas:

  • Pinned Discussions - These are discussions that are kept at the top of the page. They can be arranged in any order.
  • Discussions - These are current discussions that are organized by most recent activity.
  • Closed for Comments - These are discussions that are in a read only state, either because the available date range has expired or they were closed manually. They are also sorted by most recent activity.


Here is how to start a Discussion:

1. Click Discussions located in the left sidebar of the course menu

2. Click the button labeled “+ Discussion” in the top right corner

3. Enter a Topic Title in the first text field, and then enter the body of your discussion in the large text box in the center

4. Under Options, check the box for “Allow Threaded Replies”

5. If you only want the discussion to be open for a limited period of time, enter dates and times in the “Available From” and “Until” fields by clicking on the calendar button next to the text field.

6. Click Save


By default, students can start discussions when the feature is enabled within the course.  For more information on Discussions, please see either this general guide or this guide on how to start discussions.

Latest News

  • Starting Thursday, February 14, all Penn students will be required to use Two-Step Verification to login to PennKey protected resources.
  • This year a new Special print account is being added for all Penn Law students. This account is to be used when printing for approved group and programs. All other printing remains the same, please read on for more details.