A few weeks ago we received a feature request: ‘can backchannel do public anonymity with private accountability’, in other words can students post to the discussion anonymously but have the teacher know what they posted. It’s such a great request that we had to implement it.
The idea is so powerful, students can post to a discussion and we remove any author information from the message when it is displayed to the rest of the chat audience. We show the correct author display to the teacher of the discussion. Students can feel free to post questions in the chat and know that others students in the chat directly identify them.
Once the new setting has been turned on students can post messages as per normal, the message they post will still show their display name, but only to them, to everyone else it will be a random profile picture and a blank display name.
Teachers will view the correct display name and profile picture. We also disable the typing feature next to each student name when this setting is turned on.
We’ve also reworked the settings screen a little bit in this release, to turn on this new feature look for the ‘Hide student names from other students’ option: