Once you have created your Groups, you can easily create discussion topics that will be automatically group restricted. To create restricted topics, you must first create a forum. For more information about creating forums click here.

After the forum is created, you can create Group Discussions in one of two ways.  The method you use depends on whether or not the topic will be linked to the grade book and your personal preference/organization.  You can either create a single Group Topic or automatically create one Topic per Group.

Creating a Group Topic

From the Discussions tool, create a new Topic by clicking the New button and then selecting New Topic from the drop-down.

New Topic Menu

When creating a New Topic, you are prompted to choose between two topic types:

  • Open topic – All students can access the topic and all other posts, unless it is restricted in some other way (i.e., release conditions)
  • Group or section topic – All students can access the topic, but they can only see posts made by their own groups.

Select Group or section topic and finish creating the Topic.  Full instructions on creating a Discussion Topic can be found here.

Note: After you create a Topic, you cannot change the Topic type (i.e., go from an Open topic to a Group topic or vice versa).   If you would like to change this, you must create a new Topic.

group topic

When you look at the Topic in the Discussion tool, it should look like the following.  Note the Group/section restrictions icon - icon

group topic example

When you go to view students’ posts, you can filter by group so that you are only seeing students from one group.  This is helpful if multiple instructors and/or teaching assistants are assigned to grade specific groups.

group topic group list

Automatically Creating One Topic per Group

From the Discussions tool, click the Group and Section Restrictions link at the top of the page.

group and section restrictions

Click the Automatically create restricted topics link.

auto create topics

Select the Group Category and Forum and click Create.  You can also create a new Forum by clicking the New Forum link.

create restricted topics

Then, on the "View Options" page, you can allow access or remove restrictions just by selecting or deselecting the checkboxes.  When you are finished, click Save.

The example below shows a Forum named TBL Week 1 that has 3 topics restricted to each group within a group category called Discussion Groups.  

group restricted settins

Your Discussion board should now look like the following.  
Note the Group/section restrictions icon - icon