Use Threadz to visualize discussion interactions in Canvas

Threadz is a visualization tool that adds graphs and statistics to Canvas discussions. Once it is added to a Canvas course menu, all members of the course may access Threadz. Threadz can make it easy to see student participation in a discussion forum in relation to other class members. Threadz was developed as an open-source tool by Matt Lewis, an instructional technologist at Eastern Washington University.

Users may select to have graphs display the number of posts sent, posts received, total posts, total word course of posts sent, or average word count of posts sent. The visualization and data can help with the following:

  • Identify learner isolation or non-integrated groups
  • Identify instructor-centric vs. learner-centered discussions
  • Influence interactions with others
  • Challenge students to achieve participation metrics

Threadz does not work with Group Discussions.

Add Threadz to a Canvas Course

  1. Navigate to the course where Threadz should be added
  2. Click Settings in the course menu
  3. Click the Apps tab located in the top center of the page
  4. Click View App Configurations
  5. Click +App
  6. Change the Configuration Type to By URL
  7. Enter Threadz (or other descriptive name) in the Name field
  8. Leave the Consumer Key field empty
  9. Enter threadz-v1 in the Shared Secret field
  10. Enter the following URL in the Config URL field
    The following image shows what the form should look like:
    Threadz App Configuration
  11. Click Submit
  12. Click the Navigation tab located in the top center of the page
  13. Enable Threadz by clicking and dragging it from the list of disabled tools to the list of enabled tools
  14. Scroll to the bottom of the Navigation page and click Save. Refresh the page or click Home in the course menu, the Threadz menu item should now be visible.

Using Threadz

  1. Click Threadz in the course menu
  2. Authorize the app to access discussion data
  3. Select a course discussion from the Discussion Topic Name dropdown menu
  4. Use the tabs in Threadz to review data and graphs
    • Each tab provides options to save graphs as SVG, PDF or PNG images
    • Use the Statistics or Data Sets tabs to export data as CSV files

Still have questions?

If you questions about this topic or related topics, please use one of the following methods to contact the Canvas team at Oregon State:

  • Add a comment/question to this article using the tools below the article
  • Send an email to


Article ID: 70830
Thu 1/24/19 4:20 PM
Thu 8/29/19 2:43 PM