Instructor: Create Discussions

1. Create: Discussion Forums

Create a single Discussion Forum that contains one or more Topics.

  1. Click the New button and select New Forum from the action menu.New and New Forum selections on Discussions list
  2. Enter the Forum name in the Title field.Image of Forum Title field
  3. Enter instructions or other text in the Description box, if desired. If you will include instructions and information such as prompts at the Topic level, you may leave this blank.

Options can be set at the Forum or Topic level. Any settings applied at the Forum level will apply to all Topics contained in a Forum. 

Directly under the Description box, you will see four check boxes to select one or more Options:

  1. Allow students to post anonymous messages.
  2. Require students to start a thread before they can read or reply to other threads in that topic.
  3. Choose whether an instructor must approve all messages before they are posted.
  4. Display the Forum description in all Topics contained in that Forum (not commonly used).Description field and four checkboxes for options in Discussion forum

You have completed the necessary steps for creating a Forum. If you want to control when students will be able to see or post to a Forum, select the Restrictions tab. Instructions for restricting availability are included in the help section: Apply: Discussion Start and End Dates. Availability Options set at the Forum level also apply to all Topics nested in that Forum.

Remember to choose one of the Save options at the bottom of the page.

Save buttons at bottom of Discussion forum page

 

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2. Create: Discussion Topics

Create a Topic where students can post original threads and reply to others' threads.

  1. Click the New button and select New Topic from the action menu.New and New topic selections on Discussions list
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow in the Choose a Forum field and choose the appropriate Forum. All Topics must belong to a Forum.Dropdown menu to select a forum
  3. For Topic Type
    • select the button for Whole Class topic, if all students should be able to see posts from the whole class, 
    • or Group or Section topic, if students should only see and reply to posts from others placed in the same group. If you choose a group discussion, the Groups must be created first. (See Groups help pages under More... D2L Tools.)
  4. If you select Group or Section topic, a drop-down menu will appear. Click on the arrow to select the appropriate Group or Section.Click the dropdown menu to select a group category for this Topic.

    Note: If you choose a Whole Class Topic you may change to a Group Topic as long as no one has posted to this Topic. If you choose a Group Topic you will not be able to change back to a Whole Class Topic. You will have to create the Topic again.

  5. Enter the Topic name in the Title field.
  6. Enter instructions or other text in the Description box, if desired. If you have included instructions and information such as prompts at the Forum level, there is no need to repeat that information here. Consider adding a sentence that tells students how to get started, such as "Click on the Topic title to get started."Image of title and description fields in create a discussion topic

Options can be set at the Forum or Topic level. Any settings applied at the Topic level will apply only to that Topic.

Directly under the Description box, you will see three check boxes to select one or more Options:

  1. Allow students to post anonymous messages.
  2. Require students to start a thread before they can read or reply to other threads in that topic.
  3. Choose whether an instructor must approve all messages before they are posted.

You have completed the necessary steps for creating a Topic. If you want to control when students will be able to see or post to a Forum, select the Restrictions tab. Instructions for restricting availability are included in the next help section: Availability and Locking Options for Discussions. Availability and Locking Options applied at the Topic level will apply only to that Topic.

Remember to choose one of the Save options at the bottom of the page.

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3. Apply: Discussion Start and End Dates

Determine when students will be able to access and post to Discussion Forums and Topics.

The Start and End Date options are the same for Forums and Topics and are located on the Restrictions tab in either the Forum or Topic. Remember that any restriction placed on a Forum will apply to all Topics in that Forum.

  1. Decide when students will be able to access a Forum or individual Topic under Availability. If you do not enter start and end dates, the Forum or Topic will always be live. If you want to permanently hide the Forum or Topic, check the box for Hide from Users. If you want the Forum or Topic to be live for a certain date range:
    • Click the button to the left of "Has Start Date" or "Has End Date" to set (you do not have to use both).
    • Set the date and time for the Start and End dates.In the Availability section, select a Start and End date for this Topic.
  2. For both Start and End dates, you must choose between three (3) actions to determine how the dates will work for students:
    • Visible with access restricted before start (or after end)
      • The activity will be visible to learners before the Start Date, but they cannot click or open it. Information displayed to learners about the activity is limited to title, dates, and restrictions.
    • Visible with submission restricted before start (or after end)
      • If you choose this option for the Start Date, the activity will be visible to learners before the Start Date and they can access and view the activity but cannot complete it. Learners can access the description and evaluation requirements such as rubrics.
      • If you choose this option for the End Date, the activity will be visible to learners after the End Date and they can access and view the activity but cannot complete it. Learners can access the description and evaluation requirements such as rubrics.
    • Hidden before start (or after end)
      • If you choose this option for the Start Date, the activity will be hidden from learners until the Start Date. Calendar events for Availability Starts and Availability Ends will be hidden until the Start date. Notifications will not be sent until the Start Date.
      • If you choose this option for the End Date, the activity will be hidden from learners after the End Date. Calendar events for Availability Starts and Availability Ends will be hidden after the End date. Notifications will not be sent after the End Date.

Note: If you want to choose different dates or options for individual Topics within the same Forum, leave the Forum options open and make your selections in the individual Topics.

Remember to choose one of the Save options at the bottom of the page.

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4. Assess: Linking Topics to your Gradebook

Link Discussion Topics to Grade Items to score Discussions and transfer grades directly to Grades.

Note: We recommend that you build your grade book before attaching Discussion Topics and other activities to grade items.  Please visit the Grades help pages for assistance.

From either the New Topic or Edit Topic page, select the Assessment tab.

Assessment tab at the top of the new or edit discussion topic page
  1. Click on the drop-down arrow in the Grade Item field and select the grade item that corresponds to this Topic. 
  2. Enter the score possible in the Score Out Of box.  Make sure the score entered matches the point value assigned to the grade item in the grade book.Grade item field and score out of box in discussion assessment

     

Remember to choose one of the Save options at the bottom of the page.

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