Collaborative Discussions

Navigate Your Perusall Site

Course Home

After the first time you click in (and take or cancel the Perusall tour), you will be taken directly to the landing page of your course. The landing page has a dashboard that provides quick access to a lot of useful information. You can rearrange the layout by clicking on the three lines in the top left corner, and dragging and dropping the blocks.

Course Setup

Before adding documents to the “Document library” block, check that the course general settings are correct. To do this, click on the  “Course setup” tab.

Most of the information will automatically be pulled from Canvas (Course name, Institution, Course start date), but there are a number of features you can modify, enable, or disable:

a.     Set a “post-deadline reply window,” which allows an additional grace period to add comments after the deadline has passed.

b.     Award partial credit for late responses by setting a “late annotation period.”

c.     Set when the Assignment should be made available to the class or group in the “Availability period”

d.    Change the number of annotations required per assignment (by default set to 7) in “Annotations to grade.”

Before Adding and Assigning “Readings,” some of the other tabs worth exploring  are “Chats,” “Instructor access,” “Grouping,” and “Advanced.”

Instructor Access 

“Instructor access” allows you to invite via email a co-teacher or instructor, and give them full access to the Perusall course.


By default, Perusall splits students into groups of 20. This helps ensure that students are not overwhelmed by the number of comments, and instead allows them to generate a productive discussion with their peers. Depending of the course enrollment, the instructor may edit the group sizes. To do this:   

a.     An instructor can also choose to manually assign students to groups, or to allow Perusall to automatically create the group assignments.

b.     In “Target Group Size,” change the entry to the number of students you would like in each group. (Note: this is not the number of groups, but the number of students per group). To bypass groups altogether, set the “Target Group Size” to the total number of students in the course.

Please note: changing group settings mid-course may create confusion for readings already annotated; a student’s comment may no longer be visible to the new group they are assigned to.