Piazza and New Online Discussion Platform Update

January 15, 2021

Timely and important updates regarding instructor options for online discussions technology tools.

In late fall, Piazza announced they would be adding Google Ads to their Instructor/Student interface starting January 1.  We were able to verbally negotiate a paid agreement with Piazza to keep ads off of the platform and out of instruction from January through August 31, 2021.  Piazza must sign the UCOP Data and Security agreement before we finalize. We are working closely with them and feel confident they will do so before instruction officially begins on January 19. We will keep you posted if there are any issues with the agreement and what the impact will be in the use of this tool.

We are pleased to announce that in that same timeframe (January - August 2021) an additional vendor will be engaged in a paid pilot with UC Berkeley as well, Ed Discussions.  

Ed Discussions will be offering the following workshops to get started on their platform:

To find out more, including how to connect your bCourses site to Ed Discussions, access help guides and receive support, please visit the Online Discussions service page.  Piazza information will be added to the service page once they’ve signed the UCOP data and security agreement.

RTL is beginning a Request for Proposal (RFP) for an online discussion platform this spring that will conclude this summer.  We will solicit faculty, GSI, and student feedback in the process. In the meantime we hope that you will take advantage of these options depending on your pedagogical needs and preferences.