Creating Discussion Forums & Topics

Overview

The Discussions tool is a collaboration area where you  and students can post, read and reply to messages on varying topics you create.

With the D2L Discussion tool, it is important to note there are 3 main areas:  Forums, Topics and Threads.  Forums are the top level that are used for organizing discussion topics.  Topics live under Forums and are a place for conversations centered around a specific talking point or assignment.  Within a Topic, students will create their own Threads.  Threads are where the actual conversation takes place between the class.

Use forums to organize your discussion topics into categories.  Use the forum to provide students with a general overview of the discussion topics within it and also let them know what is expected of them.  Your course can have multiple forums and topics, but you must create a forum before you can create a topic since all topics belong to forums.


Create a Forum

From your course homepage, click on Discussions within the Communication drop-down menu.

 

Choose New Forum from the New drop-down menu.

On the New Forum Details page, take the following steps:

1.  Give your Forum a title.

2.  In the Description field, briefly describe the topics of the discussions, what students are expected to do and any other information that may be vital for students to be successful in this Forum.

3.  Optional:  here you may choose to...

  • allow anonymous posts
  • force all posts to be approved by a moderator
  • make it so students must start a thread before they are allowed to read others' threads.  Since this is being set at the Forum level,  this will be true for the entire Forum and any Topic within it.

4.  Visibility Options:  these are options that affect the ability to see the Forum

  • Forum is always visible:  students will always see the Forum
  • Hide this forum:  students will not be able to see the Forum until this option is changed
  • Forum is visible for a specific date range

5.  Locking Options:  these are options that allow students to post

  • Unlock forum:  students will always be able to post
  • Lock forum:  students will not be able to post until this option is changed
  • Unlock forum for a specific date range

6.  Click Save and Close to go back to the Discussions page or Save and Add Topic to save the Forum and go to directly to the New Topic screen.

 


Create a Topic

Click the drop down menu next to your Forum name and select Add Topic.

 On the New Topic Details screen, take the following steps:

1.  Select the Forum where this Topic will reside.

2.  Give your Topic a title.

3.  Optional:  here you may choose to...

  • allow anonymous posts
  • force all posts to be approved by a moderator
  • make it so that students must start a thread before they are allowed to read others' threads.  Since this is being set at the Topic level, it will only be true for this Topic unless set at the Forum level.

4.  Visibility Options:  these are options that affect the ability to see the Topic

  • Topic is always visible:  students will always see the Topic
  • Hide this Topic:  students will not be able to see the Topic until this option is changed
  • Topic is visible for a specific date range

5.  Locking Options:  these are options that allow students to post

  • Unlock topic:  students will always be able to post
  • Lock topic:  students will not be able to post until this option is changed
  • Unlock topic for a specific date range

6.  Click Save and Close to go back to the Discussions page or Save and New to create another new topic.