A combination of technical proficiency and pedagogy will result in a discussion topic in Canvas that will foster the growth of a learning community. Here is a 4 minute screencast that shows the techniques and conceptual development of a discussion that encourages participation by students.
The steps covered in the screencast are depicted in this tutorial retrieved from the Canvas Instructor’s Guide: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1977.
How often should I reply as an instructor?
To encourage the growth of a learning community, it’s probably best to respond frequently to student’s initial postings. After a vibrant and active culture has been established, according to your standards, you can be more selective in responding to student’s posts in order to further the goals of the discussion. Opinions vary as to how much you should respond, but it should be enough to establish a “presence”.
Reference: Quality Matters 5th ed. criteria 5.2, 5.3, 5.4