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How do I create a discussion in Brightspace?


Discussions in Brightspace consist of forums, topics, threads, and replies.  A forum can be thought of as a way to organize discussion topics.  A topic is where the discussion prompt will reside and where the conversation will take place through threads and replies.  A thread is created when an Instructor, TA, or student responds to the original discussion.  Instructors, TAs, and students can also reply to the threads of others.

An example of this structure might look like a Week 1 forum containing three discussion topics for the week.  Within a discussion topic, students would create threads to respond to the initial prompt and would create replies to respond to the threads of their peers.

Create A Discussion Forum

  1. From the course navigation bar, click Course Tools and select Discussions from the drop-down.
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  2. Click New and select New Forum from the drop-down.
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  3. Enter a Title for the forum and, optionally, a Description.
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  4. Scroll down and review the forum Options. Options set at the forum-level will apply to all topics within the forum.  Similar options will be available at the topic-level when creating individual topics.
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  5. Click the Restrictions tab to review the availability of the forum. Similar options will be available at the topic-level when creating individual topics.  When finished, click Save and Close.
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Create A Discussion Topic

  1. Navigate to the Discussions, click New and select New Topic from the drop-down.
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  2. Select the forum that will house the topic you are creating or click [New Forum] to create a new forum for the topic. Then, select the Topic Type. An open topic is a topic in which all learners in the course can contribute.  A group or section topic will create a separate discussion space for each group in the specified a group category or course section.
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  3. Enter a Title and, optionally, a Description. Most often, the description box for a topic is used to indicate to students what criteria should be included in their responses to the prompt and/or the question prompt itself.
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  4. Select your preferred options from the Options.
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  5. Click the Restrictions tab to review the availability of the discussion topic.
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  6. If students will receive a grade for this discussion, click the Assessment tab. Click [New Grade Item] to create the column in the gradebook where scores for this discussion will appear.  If a grade item already exists, click the Choose a grade item drop-down and select the corresponding grade item.
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  7. Name the grade item how you would like this discussion to appear in the gradebook to students. Optionally, enter a short name, which is how the discussion will appear to you in the gradebook.  If you are using gradebook categories to organize your gradebook, select the appropriate category from the drop-down.
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  8. In the Maximum Points field, enter the number of points this discussion will be worth. Review the remaining options and then click Save.
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  9. Enter the number of points the discussion will be worth in the Score Out Of. Add a Rubric if desired.
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  10. When you are finished, click Save and Close.
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  11. The topic will display within the designated forum in the discussion list.
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Add The Discussion To A Content Module

The Discussions area under Course Tools lists all of the discussions in the course.  You can insert them into any Content module to list them with related content.

  1. From the course navigation bar, click Content and navigate to the module location where the discussion should reside.

  2. Click Existing Activities and select Discussions from the drop-down.
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  3. Locate and click the discussion forum in which the topic resides.
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  4. Click the name of the discussion topic you would like to insert.
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Last Updated: 1/8/2022