Discussions: *How do I create a class discussion activity in which students can interact with each other over a period of time?
Discussions: Create Topic
Discussion topics allow you to create a forum where users can post messages to exchange ideas, record thoughts, and ask questions on a particular subject. When you create topics, you can add them to a category, or leave them uncategorized.
There are three types of discussion topics:
Threaded: Create a threaded topic for a more traditional online discussion. Participants post and reply to messages. Replies that are associated with the same post are grouped together, creating message threads that can be expanded and collapsed.
Class blog: Create a collaborative blog (weblog) space by allowing participants to post a chronological series of entries on a particular topic. Participants can then add comments to any blog entry.
- Journal: Create a journal topic to give Students a place for their own writing. The journals can be kept private between the Student and the Section Instructor or shared with the class.
When editing a topic, you cannot change the topic type.
Role(s) Needed: The instructions for creating discussion topics apply to Section-level Designers.
Step 1: From the Build or Teach tab, click the Discussions tool.
Step 2: Click the Create Topic button.
Step 3: Select the topic type and click Next.
Note: Depending on administrator settings, you may only be able to create threaded discussion topics.
Step 4: On the first part of the Create Threaded Topic screen,
Enter a Title and Description, which is recommended to provide directions to the students for posting messages to this topic.
For Item Visibility, decide whether to show this item to students (upon saving) or keep hidden until you are finished setting up all your discussion activities in the course.
Decide whether or not to activate Grading features.Optionally enter a different name for the Grade Book column to be associated with this topic; otherwise the Title will also be used as the Grade Book column. TIP: The shorter the Grade Book column name, the better.
If the topic is to be graded, then:
Check Release grade to Students in My Grades if you want the grade you return to students to be visible to them.
Decide whether to use a Numeric grade, Alphanumeric grade, or Grading Form to use as basis for scoring your students. A Grading Form is akin to a grading rubric, which provides a more granular way of grading Students' work by identifying specific criteria and levels of performance against the criteria. Grading Forms are created via the Grading Forms tool.
- Specify if you want to associate Goals that students should achieve as a result of participating in this discussion. Goals are created via the Goals tool. NOTE: The Goals option only appears when creating or editing a topic from the Build tab.
Step 5: On the second part of the Create Threaded Topic screen,
Expand the Peer Review area if you want to use peer review:
Select the type of peer review:
If you want to allow peer review using a simple scale:
- Select Allow Students to review messages using a simple rating scale and then click Create Scale.
Set up the rating scale:
- To include instructions, enter them in the text box.
- To allow users to include a comment with the rating, select Allow users to include a comment with their rating.
- To add a star rating, click Add Rating and enter the label in the text box.
- To remove a star rating, click Remove Rating.
- To change the label of a rating, click its pencil icon.
- If you want to allow peer review using a grading form:
- Select Allow Students to review messages using a grading form and then click Select Grading Form.
- Select the grading form. To see the content of the grading form, click its title.
- If you want to allow peer review using a simple scale:
- Under Peer review visibility, select one of the following:
- Students see reviews of their own messages only.
Students see reviews of all messages. If you want these reviews to display only after Students have submitted their own review, also select Make other reviews visible only after submitting a review.
- To prevent reviewers' names from displaying to Students, select Make ratings anonymous. Section Instructors can always see reviewers' names.
Expand the Topic Behavior Options area to set Student Posting Rules for the topic:
If you want to allow Students to contribute to a topic:
Select one of the following:
- Students can post messages and reply to messages.
- Students can post messages but cannot reply to messages.
- Students can reply to messages but cannot post messages.
- To allow Students to edit their messages, select Students can edit their messages after posting them.
If you want to allow Students to read messages but prevent them from contributing to a topic, select Lock this topic for Students. Section Instructors and Teaching Assistants can post messages to a locked topic.
Tip: If you want to make a topic available to a group of students or on specific dates only, apply selective release criteria to the topic. For more information, see Adding Date Criteria to Items or Adding Group Criteria to Items.
Under Author Identification, specify whether Students' names should display with their messages:
For user names to display, select Authors are identified by user names.
For postings to remain anonymous, select Authors are anonymous.
WARNING: Once you set the option to make authors in a topic anonymous, it is not possible to revert back. Please proceed with caution. Once you make a topic anonymous:
Instructors cannot see author names
You cannot change the setting back to force non-anonymous postings.
All grading options disappear for that topic. This means if you had previously set up grading for the topic, the ability to grade student posts is no longer available.
You cannot copy or move anonymous messages to another topic in hopes of viewing author names through that topic.
When creating or editing a topic to be anonymous, keep in mind that students create postings in the belief that their name will not show. If it were possible for an instructor to later change this, it would not be true anonymity.
If you are creating a journal topic, under Journal Privacy, specify whether Students' journals are public or private. If a journal is private, only the Student and Section Instructor can access the journal.
WARNING: If a journal is public, everyone in the class can see each other's entries. This includes students being able to see their instructor's and teaching assistant's entries.
Under Artifact Creation for Portfolios, you can allow Students to save their discussion messages for use in their portfolios. Note: Depending on settings, this function may not be available.
Step 6: Click Save to create the topic.
If you have any further questions, please contact us for support. Thank you.
- WebCampus Support