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 Brightspace 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.

discussions menu

Choose New Forum from the New drop-down menu.

New Forum link

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. 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.

New forum steps 1-3

New forum steps 4 and 5

Create a Topic

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

add topic

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

1.  Give your Topic a title

2.  Select the Forum where this Topic will reside.

3.  Grade Out Of, will this discussion post be graded? If it needs to be associated with a grade item you can link it to your Grade book.

4.  Give your Topic a description (optional).

discussion deatils

5.  Here we have advanced option panels, a list of some notable advanced options 

  • Discussion Availability Dates
  • Group and Section Restrictions (if this is a Group Discussion) Full instructions on Creating Group Discussion Topic can be found here
  • Add any discussion Rubrics (optional)

discussion extra properties

6.  Click Save and Close to go back to the Discussions page.