InterPro - Teaching & Learning - Tools & Technology - Piazza

Piazza is a robust asynchronous discussion tool that is integrated into Canvas.



Piazza is a robust asynchronous discussion tool that is integrated into Canvas.


Piazza is an external tool meaning it is not a UW-Madison-provided tool, but it is integrated into Canvas, and UW-Madison and Piazza have reached an agreement that provides protection for student and faculty data and intellectual property. 


  1. Organize discussions in channels called folders. (It's less linear than Canvas Discussions tool.) For example you can have a folder for HW, Exam, and Topic and 'add' the same post to multiple channels. 
  2. Instructor-endorsed answers. If a student answers another student's question, an instructor can "endorse" it. The instructor endorsement is visible to everyone in the class. 
  3. Allow anonymous posts, so students can ask questions they may not ask otherwise.
  4. Enable group-based discussions.
  5. Instructors can change visibility after a post has been made, moving it from a group to class-wide visibility (and vice versa)
  6. Mark responses as resolved/unresolved
  7. Reference other posts and replies using @mentions 
  8. Use the class statistics page to gain insight into learning
  9. View the question history along the top of the post, to see who posted responses and when
  10. Allow students to edit each other's posts, to have a collaborative wiki-style response
  11. Utilize a single Piazza space across several Canvas courses and sections
  12. Instructors can post Notes and notify students immediately via email, bypassing user notification settings
  13. When posting a new question, Piazza offers duplicate post suggestion, to alert the user and avoid redundancy

    Example 1 Followup conversations can be started based on previous conversations or discussions, threads can be marked resolved or unresolved to triage and keep conversations moving, and student posts can appear anonymous to classmates. 

Example 2 Anyone can @mention another post or reply for quickly linking to information, rather than duplicating a response.

Piazza @mentions

Example 3 Instructors can endorse student responses to encourage peer-to-peer learning. 

Piazza instructor endorsed response


  1. If grading Piazza discussions, instructors need to manually enter scores in the Canvas grade book. 

  2. There are some Ferpa risks. To prevent sharing student data, follow these best practices:
    • Turn on and use an Access Code when you activate your Piazza course 
    • Leave the instructor Self-Signup default to "disabled" 
    • Periodically review your roster in Piazza


KeywordsLDT, edtech, technology, learning technology, tech tools   Doc ID101672
OwnerLearning Design and Technologies TeamGroupInterdisciplinary Professional Programs
College of Engineering
Created2020-05-04 13:21:33Updated2021-06-30 15:53:31
SitesInterdisciplinary Professional Programs
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