University of Wisconsin–Madison

Message Board Discussions in Hybrid Classes

The importance of Canvas Discussions in Hybrid Classes

Canvas discussions in hybrid classes provide a means for remote collaboration between students and instructors regarding course material. Students are able to post questions, insights, and any other relevant information to an online discussion forum for their classmates and instructors to see. Students also have the power to respond to posts made by their instructors and classmates, which stimulates conversation viewable to all. Whether answering a discussion question or responding to a prompt, this style allows students to inspire each other through their contributions and ultimately creates a holistic conclusion relative to the topic at hand.

What does Canvas Discussion look like in Hybrid classes?

Discussion boards

  • For optimal learning, allow for asynchronous conversation between classmates and instructors (Malkin, Rehfeldt, Shayter, 2016)
  • Students can reply to a classmate’s post to share their opinion and provide feedback
  • Instructor interaction through discussion boards to answer questions, provide insight, and feedback will help facilitate learning (Educause, 2021)

How do instructors start implementing Canvas discussions

  • Create discussion postings for students to respond to and submit work
    • Use the Discussions tab in Canvas to start a new discussion stream
  • Monitor student responses and encourage student-to-student interaction within posts
    • This is especially important for any tech support or coursework-related questions
    • Be responsive when responding to student questions and other postings

Implementation Guides:

For More Information:

  • A quantitative study that looked at the efficacy of asynchronous learning in a discussion format, found that asynchronous discussion format improved quiz scores compared to those that did not participate in an asynchronous discussion. (Malkin, Rehfeldt, Shayter, 2016)
  • Article on how to facilitate a useful discussion, in an asynchronous environment, between students and instructors (Educause, 2021).