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Changes to Canvas Discussions and Announcements tools coming Jul 20

On July 20, 2024, all Canvas courses will begin using a new, redesigned version of the “Discussions” and “Announcements” features. For the past several semesters, using the redesigned versions of Discussions and Announcements in Canvas has been an option but not mandatory. As of July 20, it will become mandatory.

This redesign has a notable impact on the appearance and behavior of both Canvas Discussions and Announcements. Because this change occurs in the middle of Summer 2024, it will impact in-progress summer classes using Canvas. Instructors may choose to enable the redesigned version of Discussions and Announcements in their summer courses, which will minimize the impact of the changeover on July 20. Please refer to these instructions for guidance on enabling the feature option called “Discussions/Announcements Redesign”.

For an overview of the release and links to the pertinent Canvas Guides on the new state of the tools, review this Canvas Release document.

What’s changing?

The primary changes in this redesign are aesthetic, including less white-space, more condensed lists, repositioning of existing commands and buttons and more.

However, a few behaviors are new to both the Discussions and Announcements tools. They include:

  • The use of labels to identify the role of the respondent.
  • The use of @-sign mentions.
  • The ability to run “reply reporting” for instructors.
  • A button allowing students to “quote” other students.

The primary differences in the Canvas Discussions tool are:

  1. The new design introduces “anonymous discussions”.
  2. The new design no longer allows instructors to suppress “threaded replies”.

How to get help

Learn@UW–‍Madison is committed to providing excellent support and service to the Canvas-using community at UW–‍Madison. Questions or concerns can be directed to