Docent - TeacherGuides and instructionsBrightspace Activities: DiscussionsHow do I create a discussion forum? Activities | Discussions

How do I create a discussion forum? Activities | Discussions

An instructional video is included for this subject. This instructional video will provide a step-by-step explanation about how to create a discussion forum. A written manual can be found below the video.

How does a discussion forum work?

Discussions allows students to easily work together and communicate via Brightspace discussion forums. Create a discussion forum for a course to enable students to discuss a relevant topic online. 

A forum can consist of multiple topics, just like a course can contain multiple forums. Integrate the discussion in your course by linking to it in Content.
You can allow your students to discuss a specific topic or put them in groups and have them exchange ideas in a more private setting. Starting a discussion works the same for both cases:

  • create a forum;
  • add one or several topics. A topic is where the student can publish and read messages;
  • create (or let the students create) one or multiple threads within a topic: lead messages to which others can respond with a post;
  • a student can both post a reply and create a thread.

As the teacher (who is the moderator of the discussion) you are able to modify or delete all the posts made by students. You can also subscribe to forums, topics, and/or threads to receive messages when there are any new posts or updates.  

Create a forum

  • Go to Activities in the navbar of your course.
  • Click Discussions.
  • Click New and after that click New Forum.
  1. Give your forum a title.
  2. Do you want to immediately create a topic with the same name? Check the Create a new topic in this forum with the same title box.
  3. Add a description (and/or video or link) in the HTML editor.
  4. The following boxes can be checked below Options:
    • Allow anonymous posts if you want to enable anonymous posting. Students will not see the names associated with a message. Messages will only be anonymous for students but the moderator (you) can still see the names.
    • A moderator must approve… if you want to approve every message before it is posted.
    • Users must start a thread before… if you want every student to first post a thread before they can read the other posts and/or post replies.
    • Display forum description in topics if you want the description of the forum to be visible in every topic. NB: Topics can also have their own description. Read more about this in the article How do I create a Topic in a Discussion forum?
  5. Click on Save and Close to return to the Discussions homepage. Click on Save and Add Topic to create a Topic or scroll up to add Restrictions.