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Ed Discussion

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Ed Discussion is an online threaded discussion platform that allows instructors and students to interact asynchronously by posting text comments and questions, files, and more to discussion forums.

Ed Discussion supports customizable thread filters and categories, anonymous posting, LaTex, image annotation, instructor endorsements, customizable notification settings, data analytics, and runnable code snippets.

Sample screen from Ed Discussion

What can Ed Discussion do?

Ed Discussion can be used for:

  • Q&A discussions, where students can post anonymous questions to peers or the teaching team.
  • Collaboration, where students can work on group projects or study together.
  • Peer review, where students post their work files and give feedback to each other.
  • Back-channel discussion for teaching team members to coordinate their work.
  • Formative feedback, where the instructor provides feedback to specific individuals, groups, or the entire class.

What are some benefits?

Ed Discussion can benefit both instructors and students in a variety of ways:

  • Reduce the number of emails and repeat questions to instructors and the teaching team.
  • Asynchronous access allows more students to participate in discussions.
  • Gives students multiple ways to express ideas with equations, runnable code, annotations, and more.
  • Data analytics can provide useful information to inform the course design.

How can you access Ed Discussion?

Ed Discussion is most commonly accessed from within Canvas for students enrolled in that Canvas course. However, it can also be accessed from outside of Canvas, whether set up from within Canvas or set up independently of Canvas.

To set up Ed Discussion within a Canvas course:

  1. Go to the Settings tool within the Canvas course, then click the Navigation tab.
  2. Drag Ed Discussion from the hidden tools at the bottom of the page to the active tool list.
  3. Disable the default Discussions tool by dragging it to the hidden tools list. This will prevent the potential confusion of having two discussion tools.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Refer to the Ed Discussions Getting Started guide to finish setting up the tool.

To set up an Ed Discussion forum independent of Canvas, send a request to This option is for courses that are not using Canvas.

How can you get more information?