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Discussion Tool – Advanced Features

The following article will look at the Subscriptions , Group and Section Restrictions and the Statistics section of the Discussion Tool.


The Subscriptions tab shows you a list of the forums, topics, and threads to which you are currently subscribed to receive notifications.

You will automatically be subscribed to every thread within a forum or topic when you subscribe yourself to said forum or topic.

  1. Select whether you want to see all of your subscriptions or just those related to forums, topics and/or threads. Click on Apply
  2. You can select whether you want to receive the notifications in the minibar, as an email, or in your daily summary of activity below Default Notification Method.
  3. You can select the notification method for each forum, topic, and thread separately.
  4. Click on Subscribed to unsubscribe from a forum, topic, or thread.

Group and Section Restrictions

You can use restrictions to assign forums and topics to certain groups. Only the students in this group will be able to see and use the intended forum or topic.

  1. Select for which group you want to set the restrictions for what forum.
  2. Adjust the check marks if you want to grant/remove access to certain forums and/or topics.
  3. Click on Save to save your adjustments.
  4. Click on Automatically create restricted topics if you want to create topics in a forum that are only accessible to specific groups. The topics in the forum will automatically be named after the groups in the selected group category.


The Statistics tab allows you to see the statistics of the discussion. There are two types of statistics: statistics of the users and statistics of the forums and topics.


  1. Below Org Unit Statistics you can see the total amount of posted threads and replies (Replies) and the total amount of unapproved posts.
  2. Below User Statistics you can see the activities per student. Select whether you want to see the statistics of all the students or the statistics from a specific group behind View By. Then click on Apply.
  3. Click Export to CSV File to download the statistics as a CSV file (which can be opened in Excel).

Forum and Topics

  1. Below Org Unit Statistics you can see the total amount of posted threads and replies (Replies), the amount of pinned threads, and the number of unapproved posts.
  2. Below Forum and Topic Statistics you can see the activity per forum and topic.
  3. Click on Export to CSV File to download the statistics as a CSV file (which can be opened in Excel).

Moderate discussions

As the moderator of the discussions you can determine whether messages (posts) created by students can be posted immediately or only with your permission. This can be changed for all messages at once or per message.

For all messages

When you are creating a new forum or topic you can check a box to allow messages to only be visible to students after you have reviewed these messages. This can be done for all topics within a forum (when creating/editing of a forum) or per topic (when creating/editing of a topic).

  • Click New Forum/Topic or Edit Forum/Topic.

Check the box below Options. This option allows a post to only visible to other students after you have approved it.

Per message

You can also edit or remove every individual message on both the thread and post level.

  • Go to the Discussions homepage.
  • Click a Topic
  • Click the fold-out arrow next to the name of the thread or the author of the post.
  • Click Delete Thread/Post to delete the thread/post.

Other options

Besides editing and deleting threads/posts there are a few more options you can use to streamline your use of discussions.

  • Mark All Posts as Read/Unread. This can be done for all the posts in the forum topic, but it’s possible to mark individual posts as Read/Unread in the topic itself as well. This can be done through usage of the posts own drop down menu.
  • Flag Thread/Post. Flagging threads/posts can be useful  if you want to return to a thread/post at a later time, or if you want to monitor replies to the thread/post. Flagging threads/posts is individual and cannot be seen by other users. You can easily find your flagged threads/posts by clicking Flagged in the Filter by tool. Think of this as a bookmarking feature.
  • Pin Thread. You can pin a thread to the top of its forum by selecting the Pin Thread option. This is particularly useful for upping the visibility of your important threads – such as graded discussions – as they won’t get crowded out by other threads in the same forum. Pinning threads is a powerful tool for maintaining your forum’s clarity.
  • Copy Thread. Copying a thread creates a new thread with the exact same properties as the original. Links to grade items are not copied.
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