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Desire2Learn 9.0

Setting Up Discussions

Discussions are a convenient means for you and your students to interact with each other over the course content. Desire2Learn discussions are an asynchronous (i.e., not real time) communication tool. The structure of the discussion will determine the ease with which it is used. A discussion contains forums, topics, and messages.

Forum
The discussion area is divided into forums. Establishing a separate forum for each major discussion topic can help you and your students manage and organize the discussion area. Only the instructor can create a forum.

Topic
Forums contain topics. A topic is a major element in the discussion (e.g.,question of the week). Only the instructor can create a topic.

Message
Instructors and students can post messages within a topic. Messages are the actual content of a discussion.

For a discussion to be visible to students, you must add both a forum and a topic for the discussion. For additional options regarding discussions, refer to Discussions: Modifying Forums and Topics.

  1. From the My Home page, in the My Eau Claire Courses widget, click the course in which you would like to add a discussion forum
    The Course Home page appears.

  2. From the Navigation bar, click DISCUSSIONS
    The Forums & Topics List pane appears.

  3. Click NEW FORUM
    The New Forum pane appears.
    New Forum pane

  4. In the Title text box, type the name for your new forum

  5. In the Description text box, type a short description of the forum
    NOTE: The description will be displayed under the forum title when the Forums & Topics List pane is viewed.

  6. To allow anonymous posts to the discussion, select Allow anonymous messages
    NOTES:
    This allows for anonymous postings, but does not make all postings anonymous.
    Students may choose to make their post anonymous on the message list.
    For UW-Eau Claire courses, anonymous postings are anonymous to both students and the instructor.

  7. To hide the forum from student view,

    1. In the Availability section, select Show forum visibility options
    2. Select Hide this forum
      NOTES:
      Hiding a forum hides the forum and all topics within the forum from student view.
      To automate the availability period use step 8.

  8. To specify the time period in which the forum is available,

    1. Select Forum is visible for a specific date range
    2. To specify the start date, select Has Start Date
    3. Use the Month, Day, and Year pull-down menus to specify the starting date
      HINT: To select a start date from the calendar, click SELECT START DATE IN CALENDARSelect Date button.
    4. Select Has End Date
    5. To specify an end date, use the Month, Day, and Year pull-down menus to specify the ending date
      HINT: To select a date from the calendar, click SELECT END DATE IN CALENDARSelect Date button.
      NOTE: The discussion forum and all topics beneath it will not be visible outside the specified time frame.
  9. To terminate the discussion, but keep the forum visible, in the Locking Options section,

    1. Click Show locking options
    2. To lock the forum indefinitely, select Lock forum
    3. To set a date range during which the forum is unlocked, select Unlock forum for a specific date range and select the appropriate dates
      NOTE: Messages may only be posted within the specified time frame of the discussion forum and not at all when it is locked.

  10. Click SAVE & ADD TOPIC
    NOTES:
    The forum is created and is visible to the instructor.
    For a discussion to be visible to students, you must add a topic.
    The New Topic pane appears.
    New Topic pane

  11. In the New Topic Details section, in the Title text box, type the title for your new topic

  12. In the Description text box, type a short description of the topic
    NOTES:
    This description will be displayed under the topic title when the Discussions page is viewed.
    You can type the actual question and/or describe what you want in the messages.

  13. To hide the topic from student view,
    1. In the Availability section, select Show topic visibility options
    2. Select Hide this topic
      NOTE: In the Discussion area, the instructor sees this iconHidden Topic buttonnext to hidden topics.
  14. OPTIONAL: To add additional topics for the same Forum,

    1. Click SAVE AND NEW
    2. Repeat steps 11-12
  15. Click SAVE
    The forum and topic(s) have been added.

  16. To return to the Forums & Topics List pane, on the Navigation bar, click DISCUSSIONS
    NOTES:
    Students cannot see the forum unless topics have been added.
    Students cannot see hidden forums or topics; remember to unhide them when you want student participation.

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