Loyola Support Documentation

What is the Discussions tool?

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The Discussions tool allows instructors or site leaders to create an unlimited number of discussion forums, and is integrated closely with other tools such as Resources and Gradebook.

A Forum is a mandatory category or grouping for topics. Topics, which are created within forums, are where participants can post conversations. A Conversation is the thread of messages in which participants post their contributions. A conversation can be created by instructors or students inside of a topic.

Some the features in the Discussions tool include the following:

  • Grading: Interactions can be assigned a point value and sent to the Gradebook with comments.
  • Availability dates: Forums and topics can be released according to specified dates.
  • Moderation: Instructors can choose to moderate messages posted to topics.
  • Counts of unread posts at a glance: On a site Home or Overview page, unread forum posts can be displayed. From Home, the total unread forum posts for all associated sites can be displayed.
  • Email notifications: Site members can elect to receive no email notification, notification for all new postings in a site, or notification for responses to conversations they've posted in. The default is to receive notifications about new postings in conversations to which you have contributed.
  • Statistics: Discussions statistics are available for site owners to determine the participation level of individual participants. Individual participant posts can also be read using Forum statistics.
  • Post before reading option: The site owner (or another participant with the appropriate role) can enable participants to submit their posts to a topic before they have permission to read the responses of others.
  • Group awareness: Site leaders can change forum and topic settings in combination with predefined groups to allow or deny access to specific discussions per group.
  • Direct link to individual messages: Site leaders can copy a direct link to individual messages to use elsewhere.
  • Composing messages: A Rich Text Editor allows rich text, plain text, and HTML editing. You can add attachments to any message by linking to files or web links in Resources.
  • Quoted text: Use the Insert Original Text option to insert the previous post into a response.
  • Email the author of a message: Site leaders can directly email the author of a posting from within the Forums tool.

Note: A forum with the name of the site and a topic titled "General Discussion" are created by default.

To access Discussions, select Discussions from the site Tool Menu.

Select Discussions
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