Ed Discussion: A Potential Piazza Alternative

Are you an instructor who has used Piazza in previous courses? Do you like Piazza’s Q&A function, the ability to organize discussions, and its overall usability? Are you disappointed that Piazza is no longer supported at Duke?   

You may find a solid alternative in Ed Discussion, a tool Duke Learning Innovation is piloting in 2021. Like Piazza, Ed Discussion has separate Q&A and Discussion options. Instructors can define categories to organize discussion and Q&A threads. Instructors can also set up private threads for conversations with TAs, share snippets of code in a variety of programming languages, view analytics showing student participation, search threads and filter threads by category. 

Ed Discussion is available in Sakai and can be added to your course site like many other tools. Simply go to your course site, choose “Site Info,” then “Manage Tools,” and scroll down to “External Tools”. Select Ed Discussion, click “Continue” and then “Finish”. You’ll then see Ed Discussion in the left hand menu.

The location of the Ed Discussion tool within the Sakai Tool Manager

Once you’ve added Ed Discussion to your site, set it up to meet your course needs (a Quick Start guide is available). Add your roster by clicking “Sync with LMS” in the Ed Discussion Admin panel, and the tool will be ready to support online discussions for your class.

If you’d like to learn more about Ed Discussion you can see the Duke Learning Innovation pilot page. Also, keep an eye out for workshops this summer. These will be listed on our events page and in our newsletter, which you can sign up for here.