How do I use the Discussions Index Page?

Canvas recently introduced a new page design called the New Canvas User Interface (UI). Depending on your Canvas view, your page design may vary from the images shown in this lesson. However, the functionality and location of the components remain the same.

The Discussion Index page allows you to view all the discussions within a course. As an instructor, you can add discussions and modify discussion settings. Please note at this time you cannot reorder discussions; by default they are ordered by most recent activity.

Open Discussions

Open Discussions

In Course Navigation, click the Discussions link.

View Discussions Index Page

The Discussions Index page is designed with global settings at the top of the page [1], followed by the Discussion groups [2]. Individual discussions are nested within each Discussion group [3].

View Discussions Global Settings

Global settings include searching for a discussion [1], filtering unread discussions [2], and filtering graded assignments [3]. You can also add a new discussion [4] and edit discussion settings [5].

View Discussion Groups

Discussion groups can be expanded and collapsed by clicking the arrow next to the name.

Discussions are organized into three main areas:

1. Discussions. These are current discussions within the course. Discussions can remain open indefinitely, or you can specify a date range (as designated by the available from/until date). Discussions are ordered by most recent activity. Students will only see this section heading if there are discussions within this section.  

2. Pinned Discussions. These are discussions that you want your students to see at the top of their page. Pinned discussions can be arranged in any order. Students will only see this section heading if there are discussions within this section.    

3. Closed for Comments. These discussions have been manually closed for comments, or the discussion is past the available from/until date. These are discussions that are only available in a read-only state. Closed for comments discussions are also ordered by most recent activity. Students will always see this section heading, even if there are no discussions within this section.

View Individual Discussion

Each discussions displays whether or not it is a graded discussions [1], the name of the discussion [2], the date of the last discussion post [3], the due date (if any) [4], the discussion draft state status (published or unpublished) [5], whether or not you are subscribed to the discussion [6], and the number of unread/total posts in the discussion [7]. The peer review icon [8] also displays if a graded discussions has been assigned peer reviews.

You can also set varied due dates for a discussion and create due dates according to course section. Varied due dates appear as multiple dates.

Note: Due dates are not required for discussions.

View Availability Dates

Assignments can also include availability dates. Availability dates can make an assignment available for only a specific period of time.

Manage Individual Discussion

For each individual discussion, you can use the settings drop-down menu to close the discussion for comments, delete, or pin or unpin a discussion.

View Discussion

To view discussion details and replies, click the name of the discussion.