Canvas provides an integrated system for class discussions, allowing both instructors and students to start and contribute to as many discussion topics as desired. Discussions allows for interactive communication between two or more people; users can participate in a conversation with an entire class or group.

Discussions can also be created as an assignment for grading purposes (and seamlessly integrated with the Canvas Gradebook), or simply serve as a forum for topical and current events. Discussions can also be created within student groups.

Discussion topics can be a focused or threaded discussion.

For examples of when to use either Focused or Threaded Discussions, visit: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10727-67952724152

For step-by-step instructions on how to use Discussions, visit: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460#jive_content_id_Discussions


The Chat tool in Canvas allows students and teachers to interact in real time. As a course tool, it is available to all students in the course and cannot be limited to specific students. In addition, all users in the course can access the chat history.

Instructors can use chat to allow students to contact them when online, create virtual office hours, and conduct group discussions or study sessions.

For step-by-step instructions on how to use Chat, visit: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10460#jive_content_id_Chat