Discussions Tool Overview

D2L’s Discussion area allows you to post prompts to which students respond. Students can share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, post their work for peer assessment, or collaborate on assignments.

Yes. To get email notifications about discussion activity, you’ll need to change your subscription settings for the discussion forum. See the Participating in Discussions page for more information.​

Yes. First you’ll need to create groups for your students (see the Groups section), then you’ll need to set-up group-restricted discussion topics (see the Setting up Group Discussions page.)​

The discussion tool is set up with ForumsTopics, and Threads.

Discussion Forum – This is a heading or category that discussion topics will live inside. Students can’t do anything in an empty forum. It must have topics inside of it for discussion to take place.

Discussion Topic – The topic is where you state what is to be discussed. Students will then reply by starting a thread. You must designate what forum your topic is to reside in.

Discussion Thread – When a student posts their response to a topic, it will start a thread. This allows the instructor and other students to react to what they have said.

Example of a forum with two topics in a discussion page.

Use forums to organize your discussion topics into categories. 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.

  1. On the navbar, click Discussions.
  2. On the Discussions List page, from the New button drop-down menu, click New Forum.
  3. Enter a title for your new forum.
  4. Enter a description for your new forum.
  5. In the Options section, select any of the following check boxes:
    • Allow anonymous posts – To enable users to post anonymously.
    • A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the forum – To ensure that posts are approved by a moderator before they display in the forum.
    • Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads in each topic – To ensure user participation.
    • Display forum descriptions in topics – To provide instructors the option to display a discussion forum description within a discussion topic description.
  6. In the Restrictions tab, in the Availability section, select the Hide from Users checkbox to set the stats of the forum.
  7. Select Locking Options for your forum. Locking a forum prevents users from posting to any of its associated topics until it is unlocked; they can still read post made to a topic prior to it being locked.
  8. Click Save and Close.

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.

If the updated group discussions interface has been turned on by your administrator:

  1. On the navbar, click Discussions.
  2. On the Discussions List page, from the New button, click New Topic.
  3. From the drop-down list, select the forum you want to put your topic in. If you want to create a new forum for your topic, click New Forum.
  4. To grant everyone access to the topic and restrict learners to only see threads from their own group or section, under Topic Type, select Group or section topic.
    Note: You cannot edit the topic type once you save the topic.
  5. Enter your New Topic Details.
  6. On the Restrictions tab, select Availability options for your topic.
  7. Select Locking Options for your topic. Locking a topic prevents users from posting to it until it is unlocked; they can still read post made prior to it being locked.
  8. Click Save and Close.