Online discussions provide unique benefits. Because students can take time to ponder before they post ideas, you may see more thoughtful conversations. You can observe as students demonstrate their grasp of the material and correct misconceptions. You can extend your office hours and reach students more often during the week so that learning is continuous.
A sense of community among students is crucial for a successful online experience. With online discussions, course members can replicate the robust discussions that take place in the traditional classroom.
For smaller course groups, you can also offer group discussions where only members of the group may access the discussion.
Create a Discussion Board
- From the Control Panel, expand Course Tools
- Select Discussion Board
- Click on Create Forum
- Type a name and optional instructions or a description. On the main discussion board page, the description appears after the forum name. The forum description appears when students create a thread and when they encounter a thread with the post first setting. Forum descriptions are often used as prompts and are visible where students post.
- In the Forum Availability section, select Yes. You can create forums ahead of time and set the availability to No until you want the discussion to start.
- Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Display restrictions affect when the forum appears.
- Select the Forum Settings based on your specific needs.
Viewing Threads/Replies: To promote originality, creativity, and a variety of responses, you can choose Participants must create a thread to view other threads in this forum, which is the post first setting. Students must respond before they can read their classmates' posts. In Standard View, everyone can see all previously created threads in the forum.
Grade: You can create a graded forum or thread and a column is created automatically in the Grade Center.
Select Grade Discussion Forum and type a point value to evaluate participants on performance throughout a forum.
If you set the points possible to a non-whole number, letter grades may not be assigned correctly.
Select Grade Threads to evaluate participants on performance in each thread.
If you're grading posts and want to retain the posts as they were at the time of grading, clear the check box for Allow Author to Edit Own Published Posts in the Create and Edit settings.
If you enable grading for the forum, select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and select the number of posts from the menu. Applying this setting displays the Needs Grading icon in the Grade Center and places the posts in the queue on the Needs Grading page after students make the specified number of posts. If you select a grading option and do NOT select the check box, the Needs Grading icon doesn't appear in the Grade Center and posts don't appear on the Needs Grading page.
If you choose three posts from the menu and a student submits two, the in progress icon appears in the Grade Center cell and the discussion board until the specified number of posts is met.
Due Date and Rubric: When you enable grading, you can provide a Due Date. Due dates are used to organize and assign gradable items to grading periods in the Grade Center. Graded posts made after the due date are marked LATE on the Grade Details page in the Grade Center and on the Needs Grading page.
Point to Add Rubric to open the menu and associate a rubric to use for grading.
Subscribe: You can allow students to subscribe to this forum or threads within the forum. Students who subscribe to a forum or thread receive notifications when activity occurs.
Create and Edit: Choose the student's ability to create and edit within the forum.
Additional Options: Enable students to tag or rate posts within the forum.
- Select Submit.
On the Discussion Board page, the new forum appears at the bottom of the list.