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Understanding the Discussion Tool

This guide serves as an introduction to using the Discussion tool. This tool can be confusing with its verbiage and how it functions. We will explain what the terms mean, and how to organize your discussion area.

If you’d like to learn how to set up group discussions, follow this link.

Discussion forums, topics, threads, and responses

The discussion tool is set up with Forums, Topics, and Threads.

Discussion Forum – This is a heading or category that discussion topics will live inside. Students can’t do anything in an empty forum. It must have topics inside of it for discussion to take place.

Discussion Topic – The topic is where you state what is to be discussed. Students will then reply by starting a thread. You must designate what forum your topic is to reside in.

Discussion Thread – When a student posts their response to a topic, it will start a thread. This allows the instructor and other students to react to what they have said.

Here are two examples of how Forums and Topics are displayed in Brightspace.

Example One:


Example 2: