About Anonymous Discussions

About Anonymous Participation

  • Discussions can be one of two participation types: standard participation, where participant usernames are visible as normal for all users; or anonymous participation, where participants’ username and avatar is replaced with a randomized “color animal” combo such as “Purple Penguin“.
  • In anonymous discussions, Admins’ names are not anonymized and they are able to view the “real” usernames of all participants in the discussion if they choose to (see here).
  • Participants in an anonymous discussion are informed of their newly assigned username upon entering the discussion for the first time.
  • Once a discussion is set to anonymous participation, it cannot be reverted back to the standard participation type.
  • Discussions can either be set to anonymous participation when creating a new discussion or using a template (i.e. be anonymous from the start), or be converted to anonymous participation from standard participation.
  • Users have different anonymous identities in separate discussions. For example, if a user has the “Purple Penguin” identity in one anonymous discussion, they might be “Orange Cat” or “Blue Octopus” in a different anonymous discussion.
  • Students can theoretically work out the identity of other participants, such as if they reveal any personally identifiable information in a comment or the discussion chat.

Tip: You may wish to remind students that as discussion Admins, teachers/educators are able to view the real usernames of all participants.

How to Anonymize a Discussion

Reminder: Once a discussion has been set to the Anonymous Participation type, it cannot be reverted back to Standard Participation.

To anonymize a new discussion:

  1. Navigate through the new discussion prompts as normal, selecting the appropriate settings.
  2. For the Participation type setting, select Anonymous Participation.
  3. Continue through the rest of the prompts.

To anonymize an existing discussion:

Note: Only discussion Admins can anonymize a discussion.

  1. Click the Settings icon in the top-right of the discussion.
  2. Scroll down to the Anonymous Participation section and click Change Participation Type.
  3. Select Anonymous Participation, then click Save.

Viewing Real Identities in Anonymous Discussions

Note: Only discussion Admins are able to view the real usernames of users in an anonymous discussion.

Admins in a discussion can toggle whether to view the anonymous or real display names for users. To do so, toggle the Show Anonymous/Account names icon in the top-right of the discussion. Regardless of this setting, other users in the discussion will continue to see anonymized names in the discussion.

Admins can also display a list of the usernames of all anonymous users in the discussion:

  1. Click the Settings icon.
  2. Scroll down to the Anonymous Participation section.
  3. Select List Deanonymized Users.

To download a .csv file of anonymous names and their real counterparts, click the download icon.

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