Piazza Q&A platform for better student engagement.
Piazza provides a flexible approach to student-centered discourse. Discussions can be instructor- or student-led, enabling peer-learning at scale. Piazza is easily integrated with a Canvas course at the push of a button.
Piazza supports these learning types (see definitions):
Add Piazza to Canvas
Add Piazza to your Canvas course menu from the Canvas course Settings > Navigation options.
Drag Piazza LTI 1.3 into the course menu, above the list of disabled items.
- Discussions can be anonymous, encouraging engagement from students who would otherwise shy away.
- Reports show student participation while they answer each other’s questions.
- Similar to how Wikipedia crowd sources content, answers can be edited by others, ‘evolving’ the content over time.
- Still effective with larger numbers of students (>50).
- Link students to related answers or flag content as a good question/answer (endorse) rather than replying in detail each time.
- Pin important answers to the top of the forum to increase their visibility.
- Tag questions, categorise them into folders, or ask students to tag or categorise their question themselves. This increases the chance other students can find the information.
- Synchronise the Piazza class roster with the students in your Canvas course (requires Piazza LTI 1.3). This is an option when you create the Piazza discussion for the class.
- Allowing anonymous posts opens the possibility for improper or harmful use of the forum. Setting the expectations for engagement at the start may help to avoid misuse.
- Students are able to sign up as an instructor in your Piazza discussion. To avoid this, disable the self-signup feature (under the Manage Class setting).
- Students who are not part of your class are able to search for and sign up to your Piazza discussions. To avoid this, add an access code to the Piazza discussion (under the Manage Class setting). Either share the access code with your class or keep it secret and manually enrol each student.*
* This problem is solved with Piazza LTI 1.3.
- When students create a new Piazza account, it prompts them to join the Piazza Network – a job-seeker network, primarily USA-based. We recommend that you inform students that the Piazza Network is optional and is not required to access Piazza.
The University of Sydney also provides a comparison between Piazza and Canvas Discussions.
Page updated 24/08/2022 (Added info for removing users and the Piazza Network)