When it comes to class discussion, one of the biggest roadblocks to participation is plain old fear of judgment.
Especially when discussing controversial topics, opening up your ideas to critique can be anxiety-inducing, leading many students to keep their thoughts to themselves. And let’s be honest: Sometimes students react not just to ideas, but to who is sharing them.
At Kialo Edu, we’ve come up with a way to sidestep these problems. Presenting Anonymous Discussions, where hidden identities put the spotlight on ideas!
The class menagerie
Instead of students’ usernames or display names, Anonymous Discussions randomly assign each participant (including the teacher) a colorful animal avatar, like “Red Dolphin” or “Yellow Camel.” These anonymous names are shown everywhere that you’d normally see a username or display name.
But of course, for both grading and accountability, discussion owners can see users’ true identities. When you’re ready to see who’s who, head over to the Discussion Settings. Under the Anonymous Participation section, click the List Deanonymized Users button and voilà—a list of everyone’s normal usernames! Importantly, only discussion owners and admins can see real identities: the button will be grayed out for everyone else.
Create your own Anonymous Discussion!
When you’re creating a discussion, you’ll come across the Participation type panel. Select Anonymous Participation and let everyone assume their secret identities!
If you’ve already created a discussion, you can make it anonymous at any time. In the Discussion settings, scroll down to the Anonymous Participation section and click the Change Participation Type button. That’s all! Just note that this is a one-way street: Anonymous Discussions cannot be converted back into standard discussions.