Piazza is a tool integrated and available in Canvas. Students can post questions anonymously, answer their peers, and read TA or instructor responses in the course forum. In addition to posting anonymously, students can endorse, or “upvote”, questions to increase interest in common issues. Using Piazza can also reduce the number of emails sent to TAs and instructors, especially during midterms and exams. Students using Piazza have access to a public and archived forum for course and content-related questions.
Here are some tips for introducing Piazza to your course:
- Enable Piazza in Canvas and encourage students to sign up during the first week of classes.
- Discuss in person and state on your syllabus that all course-related questions should be posted to Piazza first. Reserve email and office hours for personal questions or questions still unclear from the Piazza forum.
- Introduce Piazza in class during shopping period, orienting students to the “New Post” function and ability to add images, equations, and polls to a post.
- Bring questions posted on Piazza back to the physical class. Discuss the top questions in class or highlight student contributions.
- Stay active within Piazza. Students are more likely to participate if you respond to their questions. If you have TAs, make participation in the forum one of their responsibilities.
When setting up your Piazza course, take a look at the course settings to create custom folders/tabs, allow anonymous posting, and view student analytics. These tools are helpful in identifying students who not only post the most questions, but answer and read questions as well.