To facilitate freer discussion of controversial topics, and to ease the concerns of students that might be worried about how others perceive a question or comment of theirs, students have the option to post comments anonymously by clicking the appropriate icon in the toolbar when writing their comment:
"Anonymous" in Perusall means that other students will not see the identity of the author of the comment, but as an instructor the author's identity will never be hidden from you. (The "talk bubbles" for anonymous comments are shaded in light red, so you can identify which comments were posted anonymously.)
When creating an assignment, you can select from three anonymity options:
- Let students decide whether to post anonymously allows students to post anonymously or not, at their discretion. By default, comments are not anonymous.
- Require all comments to be posted anonymously forces the anonymous button in the toolbar into the "on" position so that all comments in the assignment will be posted anonymously, and even the avatars on the left side of the screen will show anonymous avatars in place of the normal avatars that show student photos or initials. (This setting only applies when the student accesses the reading through an assignment link; if they open the document from the Library, then they can choose to post anonymously or not, as usual.)
- Do not allow students to post anonymously will not provide students with the option to post anonymously.
If you prefer, you can you can also apply the last option above as a course default, to completely remove anonymous comments from your course. This can be set under Settings > Advanced > Commenting > Prevent students from posting comments anonymously.
Whether a comment is posted anonymously does not affect scoring; anonymous comments will still be included in calculations of a student's score (if you use automatic scoring in your course).