Forums in D2L

This tutorial describes a method to implement group-based forums.

D2L uses specific terms to refer to different parts of the Discussions area, including the following:

  • Forums are used to house discussion topics that are similar. For example, there might be several discussions in the first week of the course, so create a forum titled “Week One Discussions” for them.
  • Topics are where the discussion actually takes place. This is where students can post threads in response to a discussion prompt.
  • Threads are the initial comments added to a discussion topic.
  • Replies are responses posted to a specific discussion thread.

Setting up a discussion is a two-step process: first create a forum that can hold one or more discussion topics, then create discussion topics within that forum.

Create a Discussion Forum

  1. Select Discussions in the course navigation bar.
  2. Select the New button.
  3. Select New Forum from the dropdown menu.
  4. Enter a title [A] (required).
  5. Enter a description [B] (optional).
  6. Select the Save and Close [C] button.

Screen 1

Create a Discussion Topic

  1. Select the New button.
  2. Select New Topic from the dropdown menu.
  3. Select a forum from the Forums dropdown menu (or select the New Forum to create a new forum.)
  4. Choose a Topic Type [A]:
    • Open topic: everyone can access the topic and it’s contents.
    • Group or section topic: everyone can access the topic, but students only see threads from their group or section (course must have groups set up before setting up group- or section-based topics).
  5. Enter a title [B] (required).
  6. Enter a description [C] (optional).

Screen 2

  1. Select options [A] for the topic (optional):
    • Allow anonymous posts: Select this option to allow students to anonymously post to this topic (not recommended).
    • A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the topic: Select this option to approve posts before students are able to view them (or to have a TA review and approve them.)
    • Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads: Select this option to force students to post to the topic before they can read and reply to other students’ posts (recommended).
  2. Select option for Rate Posts [B] (optional; default No Ratings)
  3. Select the Save and Close [C] button.

Screen 3

Creating Groups in D2L

In D2L, instructors can divide students into small groups for activities such as discussions and submissions.

Create a new set of Groups

  1. Choose Groups from the More dropdown menu.

Screen 4

  1. Select New Category.

Screen 5

  1. Enter a name for the category.
  2. Choose how students will be added to the groups from the Enrollment Type dropdown menu.
    • # of Groups - No Auto Enrollments: Manually add students to a set number of groups.
    • Groups of #: D2L automatically enrolls student to groups, capped at a set number of users per group.
    • # of Groups: D2L automatically enrolls students to a set number of groups.
    • Groups of # - Self-Enrollment: Students enroll themselves into a group, but groups are capped at a set number of users per group.
    • # of Groups - Self-Enrollment: Students enroll themselves into one of a set number of groups.
    • # of Groups, Capacity of # - Self-Enrollment: Students enroll themselves into one of a set number of groups that are capped at a set number of users per group.
    • Single user, member-specific groups: D2L automatically creates one group per student, where they are the only user in the group.
  3. After selecting an enrollment type, enter the number of groups to create and/or the number of students per group.
  4. Select Save.

Setting up Group Discussions in D2L

Discussion topics can be restricted to a group that has been set up in the course site. Only the students enrolled in the group will be able to see and participate in the discussion topic.

Note that groups must be created before creating group discussion topics.

  1. Go to Discussions.
  2. Select the New button.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select New Topic.
  4. Select an existing forum or select the New Forum link to create a new forum.
  5. Select the topic type “Group or section topic, everyone can access this topic but students only see threads from their own group or section”.​
  6. Choose the group under “Group or Section Category”.
  7. Enter a title in the text box.
  8. Add a description in the “Description” text box (optional).
  9. Attach files to share with the group.
  10. Select Save.

References