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Creating Group Discussion Topics

Discussions can be set up for the entire class, or they can be restricted into smaller groups. If your class is divided into groups, discussions can be a great way for them to plan, communicate, and share ideas. You can also create a Discussion that is restricted to course Sections (001, 002, etc.) if you have a multi-section course.

Note: Once a Discussion Topic has been created, you cannot change it from an open topic to a group topic (or vice versa).

There are two ways to create group discussions. One is with the Discussion tool, and the other is when you are creating your groups. This guide will help with both methods.

Using the Discussion Tool

In order to use this method, you must have already created groups. Use this guide to learn how to create groups. You also must have created a group Forum. If you’re not familiar with the Discussions tool, it will be helpful to visit our guide on understanding the Discussion Tool.

Start creating your group discussion by going to the Discussion tool and click on New and select Topic.

Choose the Forum you’ve already created. Select Group or Section Topic… then select the Group or Section you want. If you only have one group created it will be selected by default.

Give your discussion topic a Title and Description. This will be visible to all groups. Choose the options that suit your learning needs.

After this you will have a variety of selections to make regarding Availability and Locking. Availability refers to whether the topic is visible to students. Locking will prevent students from actually participating in the topic. Example: A discussion topic can be available to view, but locking it will prevent students from commenting or creating threads. This information is hidden in the tabs at the top of the page. Be sure to investigate the additional features here – see number 1 on the image below.

Be sure to click Save and Close when you are finished.

Once you save and close you will see the freshly created topics in your Discussion page under the forum that you chose at the start of this process. The title (1) for the topics will be listed as well as an icon that shows that it has a restriction applied – ie it is only accessible to members of a specific group(2).

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