Discussions

Discussions can be used to encourage users to share thoughts on course material with their peers. You can set up forums and topics for users to ask questions, discuss course content and assignments, and work together in assigned groups and sections.

 

Learn about:

 

Creating and Managing Discussions

Discussions are organized into categories, called forums, which contain specific prompts, called topics. Before students can post to a discussion, you must create a forum and a topic within that Forum. 

 

Creating a Discussion Forum

Use forums to organize your discussion topics into categories. Your course can have multiple fourms and topics, but you must create a forum before you can create a topic since all topics belong to forums.

 

To create a Forum, access the discussions tool by clicking Tools on the Course Home navigation bar. Then select Discussions.

 

Click Tools. Select Discussion.

 

Click New, and then select New Forum from the drop-down menu.

 

Click New, and select New Forum.

 

Enter a Title and Description for your Forum. The following settings can be applied:

  • Allow anonymous posts - Select this option if you want to enable users to post anonymously. 
  • A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the forum - Select this option to ensure that posts are approved by a moderator before they display in the forum.
  • Users must start a thread before they read and reply to other threads in each topic - Select this option to ensure user participation.
  • Display forum description in topics - Select this option to display a discussion forum description within a discussion topic description. 
  • Availability - Select visibility options for your forum.
  • Locking Options - Select locking options to prevent users from accessing the forum until it is unlocked.

 

Click Save and Close

 

Enter a Title and Description. Apply additional settings, if needed. Click Save and Close.

 

Back to Top

 

Creating a Discussion Topic

To create a discussion topic, access the discussions tool by clicking Tools on the Course Home navigation bar. Then select Discussions.

 

Click Tools. Select Discussion.

 

Click New, and select New Topic from the drop-down menu.

 

Click New, and select New Topic.

 

Select a forum. If you have already created the forum in which you want to add a topic, select a forumfrom the forum drop-down menu. If you want to create a new forum for your topic, click New Forum

 

Enter a Title and DescriptionThe following settings can be applied:

  • Allow anonymous posts - Select this option if you want to enable users to post anonymously. 
  • A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the topic - Select this option to ensure that posts are approved by a moderator before they display in the topic.
  • Users must start a thread before they read and reply to other threads - Select this option to ensure user participation.
  • Display forum description in topics - Select this option to display a discussion forum description within a discussion topic description. 
  • Rate Posts - Select a rating scheme:
    • No Ratings - All rating controls are disabled.
    • Five-Star Rating Scheme - Students can assign each post a score from 0-5.
    • Up Vote/Down Vote Rating Scheme - Students can vote to increase or decrease a post's rating.
    • Up Vote Only Rating Scheme - Students can vote to increase a post's rating, but they cannot vote to decrease it.
  • Availability - Select visibility options for your forum.
  • Locking Options - Select locking options to prevent users from accessing the forum until it is unlocked.

 

Click Save and Close

 

Enter title and description. Edit settings. Click Save and Close.

 

Back to Top

 

Participating in Discussions

While participating in discussions and reading discussion posts, you have the ability to change the settings of the Discussions tool. Specifically, you can alter the Default View. To do this, click Settings in the upper right corner.

 

Click Settings.

 

Then, under Default View, select either Grid View or Reading View, based on your preferences. Selecting Grid View will display the discussion posts with post subjects displaying in a grid. Selecting Reading View will display the entire text of a post displays for all posts. By default, Reading View will be chosen. 

 

After selecting your preferred Default View, click Save.


Choose your preferred Default View. Click Save.

 

Posting a new thread to a topic or replying to a user's thread allows you to participate in a discussion. 

 

To post a new thread, access the discussions tool by clicking Tools on the Course Home navigation bar. Then select Discussions

 

Click Tools. Select Discussion.

 

Click the Topic where you want to create a thread.

 

Click the Topic. 

 

Click Start a New Thread.

 

 Click Start a New Thread.

 

Enter a subject and postThe following settings can be applied:

  • Pin thread - Select this option to keep the thread at the top of the list.
  • Subscribe to this thread - Select this option to receive updates on the thread using your selected notification method.
  • Add attachments - Select this option to add attachments. To attach a file, click Add attachments for several options on adding an attachment to your thread. These options include, UploadRecord Audio, and Choose Existing
  • Post to other topics - Select this option to post your thread to more than one topic.

 

Click Post

 

 Enter a subject and post, and choose additional settings. Click Post.

 

Back to Top

 

Subscribing to Discussion

When you subscribe to a Forum or Topic, you will receive updates on the thread using your selected notification method.

 

To subscribe to a discussion, access the discussions tool by clicking Tools on the Course Home navigation bar. Then select Discussions.

 

Click Tools. Select Discussion.

 

Then, do either of the following:

  • On the Discussions List page, from the drop-down menu of the topic you want to recieve notifications of new posts for, click Subscribe.

 

Click Subscribe.

 

  • On the View Topics page, beside the thread you want to receive notifications for, click Subscribe

 

On the View Topics page, click Subscribe.

 

In the Custom Notificatons pop-up window, select your Notification Method. If you do not have an email address set up in your user profile to receive notifications, in the Customize Notifications pop-up window, click the Add an email address in a new window link. Click the Enable email notifications link, then set your email preferences in the Email Settings pop-up window. Click Save.

 

Custom Notifications pop-up window

 

Then, Click Subscribe.

 

Back to Top

 

Creating Private Discussion Topics for Individual Students 

In eLC, you can create private discussion topics for indivudal students so only you and the student have access to their posts. This is one way to have students keep a private journal or blog for a course.

 

To create the private discussion topics, first create a set of one-member groups (one for each students in the class). To do this, go to tools on the Course Home navigation bar, and click Groups.

 

Click Tools and select groups.

 

Click New Category.

 

Click New Category. Choose settings.

 

Choose the following settings:

Category Information

  • Category Name: Journal Assignment (or the name of your assignment)
  • Enrollment Type: Single-user, member specific groups

Additional Options

  • Check Set up discussion areas.

 

 Click Save.

 

Choose settings.

 

The next screen will ask you to set up the Discussion areas. You can click New Forum to create a separate forum for all of the Journal topics. This will help you stay organized.

 

Click Save. Click New Forum

 

Back to Top

 

Embedding Audio and Video in Discussions

Instructors and students can share audio and video files in the Discussions tool, as a new thread or reply, using the Insert Stuff button in the eLC HTML editor. 

 

When you start a new thread or reply to a discussion post, you see the HTML editor. Click Insert Stuff, the first button on the tool bar.

 

Click Insert Stuff.

 

Next, click My Media, then Add New.

 

Click My Media and then click Add New.

 

You can create short webcam recordings or screen captures or upload files created on other devices. After creating or uploading a file, give your file a title, description, and tags. Then click Next.

Note: We recommend creating your audio and video files offline, then uploading via the Media Upload option. If you schoose to create a Webcame Recording or Screencast using Insert Stuff, please be aware that any internet interruption may result in lost work.

 

Give your file a title, description, and tags. Click Next.

 

Click Insert. After inserting the file, you can attach a trancript to make your file accessible.

 

Click Insert.

 

Back to Top