Create grade items, publish grades to students and manage your feedback.

Assessing and Marking Discussion Topic

This guide will show how to grade and assess Discussions in VU Collaborate. This is a great way to encourage students to interact with teachers, the content and each other.

If you have not already created your Discussions and associated grade item, see Using Discussions.

On this page:


Step One: Access Discussion Topic

1. In a unit space on the navbar, click Communication then Discussions.

access discussions tool

Discussion Topic

2. View the topic summaries:

  • Threads - total threads 
  • Posts - total posts and numbers of unread posts.
  • Last Post - the last student who posted on that topic, followed with a timestamp.

3. Click on the Discussion Topic Title (3), to view all posts and threads.

discussion topic summaries

4. Once done, go back and select Assess Topic from the dropdown option to mark student posts.

access evaluation topic view



Step Two: Access the Evaluation Submission Page

Search or Filter submissions list

If you wish to just view your class, or one group. Select view by Groups (1)Apply (2). Then select the class or group (3), and again Apply (4).
Additionally, you can search (5) for individual students by name, or expand the Show Search Options (6), for additional search options.

filter by group select view by group

search for students by name

View submissions

1. Under each student's name, select the Topic Score to enter the evaluation view.

click on topic score to access

2. The evaluation screen will open to one like the picture below:

  • (1) Name of the current discussion topic.
  • (2) Student name.
  • (3) Student submission post.
  • (4) Rubric to evaluate assessments based on criteria.
  • (5) Overall Grade: If there is no rubric to complete, place the score here manually.
  • (6) Overall Feedback: Enter and provide further feedback for the student.
  • If this is the first time you will provide the student with an evaluation, you will see the options: Save Draft and Publish. Click Save Draft to save all the information but to keep it hidden from students. Click Publish to save the information and show it to students.
  • If you have already evaluated the submission and published it to students, the following options will appear: Update and Retract. Click Update to save any changes. Click Retract if you would like to retract the evaluation.

topic evaluation view


Step Three: Providing Feedback using Rubric

Marking and providing feedback within a discussion topic is similar to marking a rubric in a dropbox folder. 
There are two options to view and mark with a rubric:

  • Expand view (1) - view and mark with the rubric in-line with the assessment submission
  • Pop-up window view (2) - view and mark with the entire rubric in a new pop-out window

select expand in line or pop up window

For more details on how to mark using each method, see our guide: Providing Feedback.


Step Four: Publishing or Saving Feedback

Save or publish feedback

Scroll to the bottom of the page and, select either 

  • Publish ( the student will see their mark and the grade will be transferred to the grade book) or 
  • Save Draft ( the rubric will be saved with the allocated mark; however, the student will not be able to view their result). 

publish or save draft buttons

Retract (unpublish) feedback

If grades have been unintentionally published, you can select Retract to return to Save as Draft.


Complete or Continue evaluations

1. Click Back to Assess Topic to exit the evaluation view, or Next Student icon to continue grading.

back or continue grading

2. To bulk publish some students or a class group, after filtering to your class,
Tick on all or some student submission, then select Publish.

bulk publishing feedback



Further Support

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Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service for technical support.

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