Engage your students in an online discussion around course topics!
The Discussions tool is a collaboration area with a variety of uses in a course:
- initiate and contribute to discussions on course-related topics
- provide a space for students ask questions of you and their peers
- enable collaboration on assignments and homework in a safe environment
- minimize course-related email by hosting a class FAQ
|Forum||Organize discussions into broader groups. Most courses only need one main forum. In order to have any discussions happen, a forum must be created by the Instructor (or someone like a TA).|
|Topic||Group discussions into sub-groups under a forum. For example, if the students are expected to post on a weekly discussion concept, a 'Week 1' "topic" would be appropriate here. In order to have any discussions happen, a topic must be created by the Instructor (or someone like a TA).|
|Discussion thread||This is the real meat of the Discussions tool. The actual discussions that are comprised of the initial post and all replies to that post. Instructors, TAs and students can create and respond to discussion threads.|
If you teach several course sections in one course shell, and want each section’s discussions to be in separate topics, it's pretty simple -- without needing to use Release Conditions or create groups. You can also use this method for groups.
This section assumes that you already know how to create discussion forums and topics, and so will not go into detail about their setup.
This method can only be used if you haven't yet created your discussion topics. Please see the instructions elsewhere on this page for how to release pre-existing topics by section.
Create section-specific topics (not forums)
While Brightspace enables you to create separate forums or topics for each section, we highly recommend creating section-specific topics underneath one shared forum.
Why? Forums take up quite a lot of screen real estate, which will result in lots of scrolling for you and your TAs.
As such, the instructions below are specific to having one shared forum with section-restricted topics within.
This method can only be used to create new discussion topics. The instructions on how to release pre-existing topics by section can be found elsewhere on this page.
Copying a topic creates a new topic with the same properties as the original. Links to grade items or competency activities are not copied. You can choose to copy pinned threads along with the topic. Copying a topic does not copy any normal, unpinned threads inside the topic; however you can copy or move individual threads from inside the existing topic after you create the new topic.