Canvas Resources

Canvas Discussions

Discussions allow users to have interactive conversations with groups or an entire class. Discussions can be created as a graded assignment for students, or they can be ungraded and serve as a general forum. They can also be created to be focused or threaded.

Focused discussions only allow for two levels of nesting, the original post and subsequent replies, and are best suited for short-lived conversations. Threaded discussions allow for infinite levels of nesting replies and are best suited for longer conversations.

Create Discussions

As an instructor, you can create a discussion for your course. Discussions can be graded or ungraded.

Engage with Discussions as Instructor

You can easily reply to any discussion, threaded or focused.

Graded Discussions

Graded discussions are available where you can specify a due date and availability dates. You can assign a graded discussion to an individual student, course section, course group, or everyone.

Group Discussions

A group discussion assignment creates an identical discussion topic in each group category. When students reply to the discussion topic they do so within their group environment, which is linked to the course from which the assignment was created.


To create group discussions in Canvas, you will first have to create group sets and groups.

Peer Review Discussions

A peer review discussion enables students to provide feedback on another student's reply to a class discussion. Peer reviews are a tool that allows communication between students and can help students master the concepts of a course and learn from each other.

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Joshua Akkerman
Instructional Technology Specialist
[email protected]

Ethan Wittrock
Instructional Technology Specialist
[email protected]

Cathy Robak
Instructional Technology Specialist
[email protected]

Adam Konczewski
Instructional Technology Specialist
[email protected]