About Discussion

The Discussions tool is a collaboration area where you can post, read, and reply to messages on different topics, share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, or work with your peers on assignments and homework.  Discussion topics are organized into forums, which are collections of related topics.

Below is a preview of commonly used features and functions of the Discussion tool. For a complete detailed desription of the features and functions, see the Desire2Learn Help. (Click Learning Environment > Discussions)

Accessing Discussions
To access Discussions from the Course Navigation, click Discussions. At any time, click Help for specific details about Discussions. Image of navigation for my home on the discussions page
From the Forums & Topics List, you may click Settings (A) to set how you view the forum. Introduction (B) is the topic title. Click on the post title, Class Introduction to read the 12 messages in the forum (C). Forums & Topics List
In Settings (A), you will note that you have control over several views. These include, Display Settings (1), Default Message List View (2), Message List Style (3), Message Fields to Display, Character Limits (4), and Reply Settings (5).
Discussion settings
Reading Messages in Disucssion
There are two ways of viewing messages inside a topic--using the Grid Style message list or the Reading Style message list.
In the Grid Style message list, a list of messages appears at the top of the page, showing the subject, author, and date for each message. Click a message’s subject to read the message; the full message appears at the bottom of the screen or in a new window, depending on your personal settings. Grid Style discussion view
In the Reading Style message list, the full text of every message is always displayed. Click the Mark Read link below a message’s header to tell the system when you’ve read a message. Reading Style discussion view

In either style, use the View drop-down list to switch between Threaded view, where messages are grouped with their replies, and one of the Unthreaded views (All Messages, Unread Only, or Flagged Only) where you can sort messages any way you like.

Posting a Message in Discussions

Click the topic where you want to post a message.

Click Compose at the top of the message list.

Enter a Subject.

Add your Message.

Set any other message options you want. (These options may not be available, depending on the course and the topic.)

Click discussion topic to begin a post

Click compose to start a message

Composing a message -- adding a Subject, typing message, selecting message options

Replying to a Message in Discussions

Locate the message in which you want to reply.

Do one of the following:

If you’re using the Grid Style message list, click the subject of the message you want to reply to, and then click Reply at the top of the message.

If you’re using the Reading Style message list, click the Reply link below the header of the message you want to reply to.

Type your reply in the Message field. To include the original message’s text in your reply, click the Add Original Message Text link.

Set any other message options you want. (These options may not be available, depending on the course and the topic.)

Viewing messages in grid style

Replying to messages in grid style


Replying to messages in reading style

 

Adding original message to text

Office of Instructional Technology, April 2012