Q. How do I create a discussion board?
Creating a Discussion Forum
Earlier you added a link to the discussion board in the Getting Started content area. Now, create a discussion forum.
Forum settings allow you to use the discussion board in different ways. For example, to control a forum, you create all threads, and moderate and grade the posts. For a student-led discussion, allow students to create new threads with the option of posting anonymously.
NOTE: You can also access the discussion board from the Course Tools section on the Control Panel or from a discussion board link you add to the course menu. The process for creating forums is the same regardless of how you access the discussion board.
QUICK STEPS: Creating a Discussion Forum
1. On the course menu, click Getting Started to access the Discussion Board link you created in the content area.
2. On the Discussion Board page, click Create Forum on the action bar.
3. On the Create Forum page, type a Name. Users click this name to access the forum.
4. Optionally, type instructions or a description in the Description box. You can use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, external links, multimedia, and mashups. Files you upload from your computer are saved in Course Files or the Content Collection in the top-level folder. Attachments you upload using the editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment. The Description appears below the forum name on the Discussion Board page.
5. In the Forum Availability section, select Yes to make the forum available to users.
TIP: You can create forums ahead of time and set the availability to No until the discussion is ready to start.
6. For Enter Date and Time Restrictions, you can set forums to display on a specific date and time and to stop displaying on a specific date and time. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Use the pop-up Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times or type dates and times in the boxes. Display restrictions do not affect the forum availability, only when it appears.
7. Select the Forum Settings based on your pedagogical requirements. For example, if you are grading posts and want to retain the posts as they are at the time of grading, do NOT select Allow Author to Edit Own Published Posts. Learn more about forum settings at the end of these steps.
8. Select a grading option:
· No Grading in Forum
· Grade Discussion Forum: Select to grade overall participation in the forum. Provide the Points possible. A column is created automatically in the Grade Center.
· Grade Threads: Select to grade individual threads in the forum. If you enable thread grading, members cannot create new threads or respond anonymously. As you create threads, you decide whether to grade the thread and provide the Points possible. A column for each graded thread is created automatically in the Grade Center.
9. If you chose to grade the forum or threads, you can determine when posts go into needs grading status. Select the check box for Show participants in needs grading status and select the number of posts from the drop-down list. Applying this setting displays the Needs Grading icon ( ) in the Grade Center and places the posts in the queue on the Needs Grading page after users make the specified number of posts. If you select a grading option and do NOT select the check box, the Needs Grading icon does not appear in the Grade Center and posts do not appear on the Needs Grading page.
NOTE: If you choose three posts from the drop-down list and a user submits two, the In Progress icon ( ) appears in the Grade Center cell and the discussion board until the specified number of posts is met.
10. Click Submit. The new forum appears at the bottom of the list on the main Discussion Board page.
Suggestions for Settings
The following list describes the settings you can select for various types of forum requirements.
- If you want to create effective social forums, select the Allow Anonymous Posts and No Grading in Forum options. Allowing students to post anonymously is important at the beginning of a course when they are still becoming comfortable with discussions. If quality is a concern, assign a moderator to review each post before making it public.
- If you want to create forums where students have control of the discussion, allow them to edit, delete, and rate posts. Also, you can allow students to create new threads and direct the discussion.
- If you want to have a tightly controlled forum, select the Force Moderation of Posts and Grade Discussion Forum or Grade Threads options.
- When you want your students to focus on the existing threads, do not select Allow Members to Create New Threads.
- If you allow authors to edit their published posts, consider locking the thread when you are ready to grade. Students cannot change locked posts.
- You cannot select some settings in combination. For example, if you are grading forums or threads, anonymous posts are not allowed. Also, if you enable thread grading, members cannot create new threads.