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VMI Canvas Options for Distance Learning

Discussion Boards

Task Tool How to/Resources
Create Class Discussion Canvas: Discussion Boards

"Discussion boards allow 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."

More on What are Discussion Boards from Canvas

Quick How to: In your course...

  1. In Course Navigation, click the Discussions link.
  2. Click the Add Discussion button.
  3. In the Title field, create a title for your discussion.
  4. Use the Rich Content Editor to create content for your discussion. The Rich Content Editor includes a word count display below the bottom right corner of the text box.
  5. You can also add links, files, and images to the discussion using the content selector.
  6. If you want to create a section-specific discussion that is not graded, select one or multiple sections in the Post to drop-down menu. Graded section-specific discussions must be created as part of the Graded option in the next section.
  7. You can also add an attachment to your discussion by clicking the Choose File button .
  8. IF you want to grade the discussion board, click the Graded checkbox. If this option is selected, additional options will be added to the page, where you can assign graded discussions to everyone.

Excellent instructions from Canvas.

Guidelines Ideas for you  to share with your cadets

Grading Ideas


Ideal Guidelines to share with Cadets.

Here is the protocol for posting and contributing to an online discussion: 

• Posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph and a maximum of two paragraphs.
• Word totals for each post should be in the 100-200 words range.
• Whether you agree or disagree, explain why with supporting evidence and concepts from the readings or
a related experience. Include a reference, link, or citation when appropriate.
• Be organized in your thoughts and ideas.
• Incorporate correlations with the assigned readings or topics.
• Stay on topic.
• Provide evidence of critical, college level thinking and thoughtfulness in your responses or interactions.
• Avoid summarizing.
• Contribute to the learning community by being creative in your approaches to topics, being relevant in
the presented viewpoints, and attempting to motivate the discussion
• Be aware of grammar and sentence mechanics.
• Use proper etiquette. Remember that being respectful is critical.

Grading Ideas:

Participation is measured by posting an initial post and the number or replies required by the discussion board
assignment. In this class, online discussions will count towards your assignments grade in the course.
The purpose of the discussion board is to frame and promote collaborative learning.
Active and regular participation is not only important for me to see. It is also
important for you in learning the course content and in developing your thoughts and positions on various topics.

A level discussion postings:
• Are made in a timely fashion, giving others an opportunity to respond.
• Are thoughtful and analyze the content or question asked.
• Make connections to the course content and/or other experiences.
• Extend discussions already taking place or pose new possibilities or opinions not previously voiced.
• Motivate group discussion, and present a creative approach to the topic.

B level discussion postings:
• Are made in a timely fashion, giving others an opportunity to respond.
• Are thoughtful and analyze the content or question asked.
• Make connections to the course content and/or other experiences, but
connections are unclear, not firmly established or are not obvious.
• Contain novel ideas, connections, and/or real world application but lack depth, detail and/or explanation.
• Occasionally attempt to motivate discussion.

C level Discussion postings:
• Are usually, but not always, made in a timely fashion.
• Are generally accurate, but the information delivered is limited.
• Make vague or incomplete connections between class content and posting by other students.
• Summarize what other students have posted and contain few novel ideas.
• Show marginal effort to become involved with group.

D level Discussion postings:
• Are not made in timely fashion, if at all.
• Are superficial, lacking in analysis or critique.
• Contribute few novel ideas, connections, or applications.
• May veer off topic.
• Show little effort to participate in learning community as it develops.

F level Discussion postings:
• Student was rude or abusive to other course students. In this case, the number and quality of other
posts is irrelevant.
• OR student failed to meet the basic criteria for the “D Discussion”.