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Discussion Boards

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Canvas is Northwestern’s university-wide learning management system. It is used by Northwestern students, faculty and staff to access, manage and engage digital learning materials that comprise courses as well as to assess and communicate about academic achievement. Canvas can be used to create an array of customized learning experiences, including assessable assignments, quizzes and discussions, as well as pages that can be customized with text, video and links to files or other course content. All these features and more can be housed in a modular structure that controls the flow of the course.


Piazza is a discussion board that allows for extended conversations, getting direct assistance from faculty and collaborating with fellow students to solve problems, deepen understanding and enrich conversation. Discussion posts and updates appear in real time, and the wiki-style format allows students to edit questions and answers, enabling them to collaborate and build single, high-quality responses. Instructors can also use the built-in polling feature to take the pulse of students on a given topic before posting questions that prompt discussion.