Canvas Toolbox: Esoteric Ed Discussion

Desktop computer with a toolbox icon on the computer's screen.

Ed Discussion is available as a pilot to all schools at Penn. Ed Discussion is tentatively slated to replace Piazza at the end of the Spring 2022 semester.

Ed Discussion is a discussion tool that provides a platform for students and instructors to interact through threaded discussions. Students can answer one another’s questions, work on and run code together, embed video, annotate images, and share documents.

Similar to Perusall, Ed Discussion allows for social media-style discussions, with the option to “like” and directly reply to posts. Replying to posts creates “threads” to group together similar topics. These threads are searchable by all users within the course.

Instructors and TAs have the option to “endorse” posts to allow the comment to gain traction amongst students. Students have the option to “Post Anonymously” in Ed Discussion if they feel more comfortable in comparison to attaching their question/comment to their name.

There are various icons available when using Ed Discussion:

  • Threads with a blue dot Blue dot icon are unread. These are threads that you have not seen.
  • Threads with a green checkmark Green checkmark icon are questions that have been resolved. This means that the question has already been answered.
  • Threads with a purple pin Purple push pin icon have been pinned. Pinned threads are generally reserved for announcements or important information.
  • Threads with a blue ribbon Blue ribbon icon have been endorsed by course instructors. This is usually done by instructors to distinguish high-quality content.

If you would like to enable Ed Discussion for your course, please contact

In addition, please review the Quick Start Guide for more information.

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