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Modify discussions so that students cannot see others' responses unless they post first.

We have an issue with less motivated students not participating well in discussion boards.  When a teacher posts a discussion prompt and other students answer, the less motivated students will often copy portions of their classmates' posts, or otherwise post thoughtless responses.  We want all students to think carefully before posting, and it would help if they were unable to see anyone else's response until they themselves post.  Can we add that option for teachers?  Our old LMS, My Big Campus, had this option, and several teachers reported it was an effective way to facilitate discussion.

  • Guest
  • Sep 7 2016
  • Not selected for implementation
Country US
Category Content creation and management
  • Nov 21, 2016

    Admin Response


    The noble art of fostering self-motivated students is a challenge, but it’s also a part of what makes teaching so rewarding. Preventing students from seeing each other’s posts before participating in a discussion would provide less transparency in discussion, and it is nothing we are planning to implement support for.

    Collaborative learning is a great way of building knowledge, but to make it work it needs to be transparent. If students cut & past each other’s work, what about using the opportunity to talk about source references and source criticism?

    You’ll find people posting thoughtless responses in discussion forums all over the internet. When this happens in discussions threads in itslearning, you could use the opportunity to discuss these “trolls”.

    Another alternative is of cause to delete inappropriate messages.

    When online collaborative learning is not the answer, you might want to have a look at the assignment or test tool :-) 

    Best regards

    Henning Gjellesvik

    Product Manager

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  • Guest commented
    November 21, 2016 13:10

    Thanks for your response. The teachers were asking for this feature because they want to use the discussion as a form of assessment. Just as they want the discussion to be graded.