When you access the Discussions tool from the Communication dropdown menu on the course navigational bar, you are taken to the main screen for the Discussions tool. The Discussions screen lists all of the forums and topics that are available to you.
For each topic, the Discussions screen lists the total number of threads, posts, and unread messages.
Reading Messages in Discussions
Above is an example of a Discussion topic showing the Discussion List Pane.
There are two ways of viewing the messages inside a topic—using the Grid View message list or the Reading View message list. See the Discussions section in Setting Your Preferences to learn how to change your view.
- In the Grid View message list, a list of messages appears at the top of the page, showing the subject, author and date for each message. Select a message’s subject to read the message; the full message appears below the message list.
- In the Reading View message list, the full text of every message is always displayed.
In Grid view, use the View dropdown list at the top right of the page to switch between Threaded view, where messages are grouped with their replies, and one of the Unthreaded views (All Messages, Unread Only, Flagged Only) where you can sort messages any way you like.
You can reply to any of the listed messages. Your reply will be added to the thread of that message.
Posting a Message in Discussions
To post a new discussion thread within a topic, select the Start a New Thread button at the top of the View Topic page. The discussion editor appears, where you can enter its title and text, and select Post to post the discussion. When the discussion is posted, it will start a new thread.
You may also wish to add a file or audio recording to your posting. You can do this in the Add Attachments area by doing the following:
- Select Upload and locate the file you want to attach or drag and drop a file into the Upload window. You can attach as many files as you want.
- Select Record Audio. Ensure your microphone is set up correctly and choose the Record button. Select Flash Settings to make adjustments to your microphone selection and volume. Select Clear to erase your recording.
Marking a Discussion Message as Unread
From either view of your message list, messages are automatically marked as read when you open them, but in some cases you might want to manually mark a message as unread—for example, if you open the message but do not finish reading it.
Mark a message unread
Do one of the following:
- In the Grid View message list, select one or more messages from the list and choose theMark Unread icon at the top of the list.
- In the Reading View message list, navigate to a message and select the Mark Post as Unread option from the dropdown menu next to the message header.
Rating a Message
To increase engagement in the Discussion forum, your instructor may allow you to rate messages using a five-star, up vote/down vote, or up vote only system. This rating system does not have any automatic grading functions and is not related to the Grades tool.
Flagging a Message in Discussions
Flagging messages is a good way to mark a message if you want to read it again later or monitor replies.
To flag or unflag a message from the Reading View, select theFlag Post or Remove Flag icon from the dropdown menu next to the message’s subject. In the Grid View, simply select the grey flag icon to flag a message, or the blue flag icon to remove the flag.
You can quickly find your flagged messages by selecting "Flagged" filter from the Filter by list at the top left of the thread list on the View Topic page.
Printing Messages in Discussions
You can easily view messages in a printable format and send the messages to your printer.
- Select the messages you want to print.
- Select thePrint icon from the dropdown arrow next to the message title.
- Select the Print button.
Or, from the Reading View:
- Select the dropdown arrow next to a thread subject and select Print Thread.
- Select the Print button.
Now that you're familiar with the Discussions tool, let's look at the Chat tool next.