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 drop-down menu.New and New Forum selections on Discussions list

     

  2. Enter the Forum name in the 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.Discussion forum title field and description box

     

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. Choose whether an instructor must approve all messages before they are posted.
  3. Require students to start a thread before they can read or reply to other threads in that topic.
  4. Display the Forum description in all Topics contained in that Forum (not commonly used).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: Availability and Locking Options for Discussions.  Availability and Locking 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.

All Topics must belong to a Forum:

  1. Click the New button and select New Topic from the drop-down menu.New and New topic selections on Discussions list

     

  2. Under Forum click on the drop-down arrow in the Choose a Forum field and choose the appropriate Forum.
  3. For Topic Type Select the button for Open topic, if all students will post and reply, or Group or section topic, if smaller groups of students will discuss among themselves.  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.Image of Forum selection field and Topic Type buttons

     

  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. Choose whether an instructor must approve all messages before they are posted.
  3. Require students to start a thread before they can read or reply to other threads in that topic.Checkboxes for the three options for discussion topics

     

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 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: Availability and Locking Options for Discussions

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

The options for availability and locking 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 see a Forum or individual Topic under Availability.  If you do not enter start and end dates, the Forum or Topic will always be visible.  If you want to hide the Forum or Topic, check the box for Hide from Users. If you want the Forum or Topic to be visible for a certain date range:
    • Click the button for your choice.
    • If you choose to set a date range, check the boxes for Has Start Date and/or Has End Date and enter the dates and times you want the Forum or Topics to be visible. You can also check a box to allow those dates and times to be displayed in the course calendar.Availability options buttons for discussion forums and topics

       

  2. Decide when students will be able to post under Locking Options.  You can choose always unlocked, always locked, or set a date range when students can post to a Forum or individual Topic.Image of buttons for locking options for discussion forums and topics

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 the gradebook.

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 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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