Create Discussions

Discussions encourage students to think critically about their coursework and interact with each others' ideas. Course instructors can create course and group discussions, make discussions count for a grade and organize discussions in folders.

Create and Grade Discussions

The discussion tool is one of the more flexible ways to build a sense of community with students for assessed or non-assessed coursework. Course instructors can observe as students demonstrate their grasp of the material and discuss ideas or misconceptions. Discussion forums allow course instructors to extend "office hours" and reach students more often during the week so that learning is continuous. Group discussions also allows specific members of the group to access discussions, communicate within their course.

Using Discussions in your Course

Tutorial  Course Experience
Create Discussion Original
Grade Discussion Original
Create Discussion Ultra
Grade Discussion Ultra



By nature of their flexibility, discussions often need further guidance of how students will contribute and work towards a learning goal. Some considerations include:

  • Being clear about your expectations on student participation and how you will evaluate them. For example, in the instructions, list the required number of posts to a discussion.
  • Define different types of behaviors and responses in the various contexts students may encounter. For example, define graded versus ungraded activities or if formal versus informal language is required.
  • Establish an environment of respect and acceptance for all participants. Discuss the rules for online etiquette, often called netiquette, to avoid potential problems.
  • Be available and responsive to your students on a regular basis. Inform them how long it will take you to respond to questions or comment and grade.