Creating Group Discussions


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

Step 1. From the Discussions tool, create a new Topic by clicking the blue New button and then selecting New Topic from the drop-down.

Step 2. 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.

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


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.

Automatically Creating One Topic per Group

Step 1. From the Discussions tool, click the Group and Section Restrictions link at the top of the page.

Step 2. Click the Automatically create restricted topics link.

Step 3. Select the Group Category and Forum and click Create.  You can also create a new Forum by clicking the New Forum link.

Step 4. 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 Week 1 Discussion that has 3 topics restricted to each group within a group category called Discussion Groups.  


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