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Create a New Forum or Topic

Before you create a discussion topic you must create at least one Forum. You can use forums to organize your discussion topics into categories.

Your course can include as many Topics organized into Forums as you would like. Topics are where discussions actually take place, where users post and read messages, but each Topic must belong to a Forum.

Create a New Forum

  1. On the Discussions List tab, click New Forum on the drop-down menu
  2. Enter a Title for the forum.
  3. If you want to automatically create a topic with the same name, select the Create a new Topic in this Forum with the same title checkbox.
  4. If you want to create a description, enter it in the Description field.
  5. Select any desired Options (optional):
    • Select the Allow anonymous messages check box if you would like to allow anonymous messages to be posted to topics created within this forum. Anonymous messages are displayed with the message author 'Anonymous' in the Message List.
    • Select the Messages must be approved before being displayed check box if you would like to require messages posted to topics created within this forum to be approved before they are displayed to all users in the Message List.
    • Select the Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads checkbox if you would like for users to start a new thread in the topic before they are able to view or reply to other threads.
  6. Click the Show forum visibility options link to set the Availability for this forum.
  7. Set any other options you want and click Save to save the forum, or Save & Add Topic to save the forum and create a new topic within it.

Create a New Topic

  1. On the Discussions List tab, click New Topic on the drop-down menu
  2. In the Forum drop-down list, select the forum in which you want to create the topic, or create a new forum by clicking the New Forum link.
  3. Enter a Title for the topic.
  4. Enter a Description.
    1. Depending on your discussions settings, topic descriptions might be displayed in the message list where users read and post messages. If this setting is enabled, you should keep descriptions short and avoid using large images.
  5. Select any desired Options(Optional):
    1. Select the Allow anonymous messages check box if you would like to allow anonymous messages to be posted to this topic. Anonymous messages are displayed with the message author 'Anonymous' in the Message List.
    2. Select the A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the topic check box if you would like to require messages posted to this topic be approved before they are displayed to all users in the Message List.
    3. Select the Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads checkbox if you would like for users to start a new thread in the topic before they are able to view or reply to other threads
  6. Set the Visibility:
    1. Topic is always visible (users can see topic and posts)
    2. Hide this topic (users cannot see topic or posts)
    3. Topic is visible for a specific date range:
      1. Select the Has Start Date check box and set a start date and time
      2. Select the Has End Date check box and set a start date and time
      3. Select the Display in Schedule check box to display this topic in the schedule
  7. Set the Locking Options:
  8. Unlock topic (users can post)
  9. Lock topic (users cannot post, but can see posts)
  10. Unlock topic for a specific date range:
    1. Select the Has Start Date check box and set a start date and time
    2. Select the Has End Date check box and set a start date and time
    3. Select the Display in Schedule check box to display this topic in the schedule
  11. Click Save to save the topic, or Save and New to save the topic and create another one.

Link a Discussion Topic to a Content Module

  1. First, you must have created Discussion in the Discussions tool.
  2. Go to Content and locate or create a Module where you would like to place a link to a discussion topic.
  3. Click the Add Existing Activities button.
  4. In the drop-down list, Select the Discussions icon.
  5. Select which Discussion Forum you would like to add to the module or create a new Forum.
  6. Select which Topic you would like to add or create a New Topic.
  7. The students will then be able to click on the link and view any threads in the given topic.

Setting Options for Forums and Topics

The following settings are available when you create a new forum or topic. Any settings you apply to a forum apply to all the forum’s topics; for example, if you have several topics in which you want to allow anonymous messages, you can put these topics in a single forum and enable anonymous messages for that forum.

Options for Forums and Topics

To

Do This

Enable users to post messages anonymously

Select Allow anonymous messages. Note that you cannot evaluate anonymous messages.

Require messages to be approved

Select A moderator must approve individual posts before they are displayed in the topic.

Hide the forum

In the Availability section:

  • To hide the forum, select Hide this forum. It remains hidden until Forum is always visible is selected again.
  • To make the forum visible within a date range, select Forum is visible for a specific date range and specify a Start Date when the forum becomes visible and/or an End Date when it is hidden again.

Lock the forum

If the options in the Locking options section are not visible, click Show locking options, then do one of the following:

  • To lock the forum when it is created, select Lock forum. It will remain locked until Unlock forum is selected again.
  • To open the forum within a date range, select Unlock forum for a specific date range and specify a Start Date when the forum is unlocked and/or an End Date when it is locked again.