Discussions/Announcements Redesign

Enabled by default in UNM Canvas May 17th, 2024
Will be enforced by the vendor July 20th, 2024


The Discussions/Announcements Redesign seeks to bolster collaboration through updated, flexible discussion features. The Redesign currently provides a cleaner user interface for improved accessibility. It also introduces features like split and inline views, quoting functionality and @ mentions, and new sorting and filtering options. For a quick overview, see Discussions Redesign or watch the video below. There are no functional changes to Announcements, but they are getting a facelift to improve accessibility and provide design consistency.

Transition Timeline

Instructure, the vendor for Canvas, plans to enforce the ‘Discussions/Announcements Redesign’ on July 20th, 2024. Enforcement means it will be turned on for all courses and the legacy Discussions and Announcements tools will no longer be available. To minimize disruption in summer courses, the UNM Canvas team enabled by default the Discussions/Announcements Redesign on May 17th, ahead of the start of the summer term.

Until July 20th, instructors can revert, temporarily, to the legacy Discussions tool within individual courses. All existing discussion and announcement content will automatically appear in either version of each tool. The change does not require migrating or copying materials.

How to Enable/Disable (prior to July 20th)

  1. From within a Canvas course, go to Settings.
  2. Click the Feature Options tab.
  3. Click the icon in the 'State' column and choose desired state.


New Features

The Discussions/Announcements Redesign has parity with legacy Discussion features. New features in the Discussions/Announcements Redesign include:

  • Multiple Interface Changes
    • Redesigned Sort Function - The default sort order has been reversed.  The newest replies now display at the top of the first page instead of at the bottom of the last page.  Click the Sort button to toggle the sort order between ‘Oldest first’ and ‘Newest first’.
    • The toolbar containing Search, Mark as Unread, Collapse replies, and Expand replies has been redesigned. Search and Expand/Collapse Threads now show above the discussion prompt. The separate Expand and Collapse buttons have been consolidated. You can also now toggle between two different views: View Split Screen and View Inline (see Flexible Viewing Options).
    • “Publish/Unpublish” and “Subscribe” buttons are now icons in the top right corner of the forum window.
    • The “Read/Unread” button was split into separate commands under the More (three dots) menu.
  • Flexible viewing options to allow users to choose inline view or split view
  • Mentions to notify a user tagged by @
  • Role labels to indicate when the instructor leads a discussion
  • Quotes to reference a reply
  • Reply reporting to ensure appropriate replies
  • Anonymous ungraded discussions to allow for honest responses
  • Visual improvements on mobile app
  • Edit history for instructors to view all student reply versions
  • Updated create/edit for interface consistency and improved accessibility

Known Issues/FAQ

Note: This section will be updated as needed.

*Where did the Publish and Edit buttons go?  
Publish/Unpublish is an icon instead of a button.

Edit is under the More menu.


Canvas Documentation

Discussions Redesign

Instructor Guide
Student Guide
Release Notes

Announcements Redesign

Instructor Guide