This guide shows how to create and manage discussions, forums and threads in your space content. It is helpful to provide a central repository for questions, comments and to encourage online socialising amongst students.
To see a short video on how to create a discussion forum and discussion topic, see the video below:
Below are the steps to use Discussions:
- Setting Up Discussion Forums and Topics
- Setting up a Forum
- Setting up a Topic
- Setting Availability and Assessment options
- Reorder or Copying Discussions
- Moderating Comments
- Adding Discussions to Your Content Area
- Edit Discussion Properties and Add Restrictions
1. Click the Communication tab, then select Discussions.
Setting up a Forum and Topic: forums are used to organise your discussion topics into categories. You must create a forum before you can create a topic as all topics belong to forums. For example, week one would be a forum and within the week one forum, there are discussion topics relevant to that week.
1. Click New, then New Forum.
2. Give the discussion forum an appropriate Title and Description.
3. When finished click Save and Close.
1. Click New, then New Topic.
2. Give the discussion topic an appropriate Title and Description.
3. Select which forum you would like to attach the topic to, from the dropdown list. In the example below, we have picked General Discussion Forum for the Unit.
You can select different Visibility and Locking Options in the Availability section. Visibility settings control when the forum or topic can be viewed by the users. Locking Options control when users can contribute to the forum or topic.
1. Edit Options for the topic, in this example we have ticked - a user must compose a message before participating in the topic. This means that each student needs to post their own message before they can see and respond to others.
2. You can change the Availability and Locking Options manually or you can use the specific date range options to make changes automatically.
3. Click Save.
1. Click the Assessments tab.
2. Associate with the appropriate Grade Item by clicking the dropdown arrow in the Grade Item field. If you do not have available Grade Items, see Numeric Grade Item for information on how to set this up.
3. Enter a Score Out of. This is the maximum amount of points one can give for the assessment.
4. Select how you would like to assess the individual messages from the options below.
5. Click Save and Close when finished. To grade this completed topic, see Assessing and Grading Discussions.
Go to the Communication tab and click Discussions in the navigation bar. The More Actions function allows you to Copy, Reorder and Restore previously deleted messages.
1. You can copy and reorder the forums and topics by selecting the Copy and Reorder buttons.
You can also respond to students discussion board comments by creating a post to address a number of posts.
1. Select the discussion topic you wish to view, by clicking on the title of the topic.
2. Click on Start a New Thread to respond to the students discussion board message.
3. Enter a Title.
4. Enter your message.
5. Tick subscribe to this thread, if you want to get notified when students reply to your thread.
6. Pin a thread if you want it to stay at the top of the Activity Feed (list of posts); you can pin more than one if you like. This allows you to highlight important posts to ensure that students do not miss critical posts.
7. Click Post to publish the post for students to view.
You can add your discussion forums and topics to the content area of a VU Collaborate Space. This helps students find the relevant discussion board in the the Learning Space.
1. In the Learning Space, select the module where you want the discussion forum or topic to be linked.
2. Click on Add Activities and select the Discussions option.
3. A pop-up menu will appear. From here, click on the discussion Forum, which will take you to another page, where you can select which topic you wish to embed into your content area by clicking on the topic title.
4. Or you can Create a New Discussion Forum, if applicable.
4. Once selected, it will appear at the bottom of the content module. A message will appear to confirm that the topic has been Saved.
1. Click the dropdown arrow next to the topic's title.
2. To edit or add restrictions to the discussion topic, choose Edit Topic in the dropdown menu.
In Edit Topic you are able to:
- change the description provided for the Discussion Topic
- In Availability - change the Start Date, Due Date and End Date, as well as add the topic to the calendar
- choose from a range of Options, and
- add ratings to the topic responses.
2. To add or edit release conditions, click Restrictions.
In Restrictions you can attach Release Conditions already created or create a new Release Condition for the discussion. To create release conditions, see the Using Release Conditions help guide.
3. Once completed, click Save and Close.
Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service http://servicedesk.vu.edu.au for further technical support.