Loyola Support Documentation

How do I add a new topic?

Updated on

A Forum must contain a Topic in order for users to create a post. (See also How do I create a new Forum?)

Select Discussions.

Select Discussions

Select Discussions from the site Tool Menu.

Select New Topic.

Select New Topic

Select New Topic to the right of the forum to add a topic to.

Enter a Topic Title.

Enter a title

Enter a title in the Topic Title field. Topic titles are required for every topic.

Enter a Short Description. (Optional)

Enter a short description

Enter a short description of the topic in the Short Description field. This short description only allows a maximum of 255 characters.

Enter a detailed Description.

Enter a detailed description

Enter a detailed topic description in the Description field. This description field allows the use of the Rich Text Editor.

Add Attachments. (Optional)

Select Add Attachments

Additionally, you may add file attachments to the topic. Select Add attachments to browse for and select a file.

Select Topic Posting options.

Choose posting options

There are several topic posting options from which to choose. Any settings selected here will apply to this topic only.

  • Lock topic. This option locks the topic so users can no longer post messages. However, they can continue to read existing messages.  
  • Moderate topic. This option means all messages posted within the topic must be approved by the instructor before other students can see them.
  • Require users to post before reading. Selecting this option requires users to post their own response first, before they can view other messages posted previously.  This option promotes original content creation and academic integrity, as students must post their own thought before viewing other student responses.
  • Posts are anonymous. Select this option if you want site participants to be able to post without displaying the name of the post author.

Note: The anonymous setting cannot be changed once the topic is created, so be certain that you want anonymous postings before saving!

Select Availability.

Select availability

The default option is to Show Immediately. To release the topic at a later date, select the radio button for Specify dates to open (show) and/or close (hide).

Select Notifications.

Select notifications

Select to Allow email notifications for new messages whenever a new message is posted. Select to Include contents of messages in email notifications when email notifications are enabled.

Select Read options.

Select read options

The default option is unchecked, allowing the user to mark each post as read after reading. Checking this option will mark all messages within a conversation, or thread, as read.

Specify Gradebook item.

Specify the Gradebook item

When grading topic posts, select a specific item for the grades to be included in the Gradebook calculations.

Note: You must first create the Gradebook item in the Gradebook tool before you can select it to be associated with a topic.

Automatically Create Topics for groups.

Automatically create topics for groups

To create multiple private group topic areas:

  1. Select the radio button for Automatically create multiple topics for groups.
  2. Then, check the box next to each group for which a topic should be created. Each group member will be set to "Contributor" in their group's topic and "None" in other automatically created topics. The default Student role will also automatically be set to the permission level of "None."

Permissions for non-group topics.

In most cases, the default topic permissions are appropriate. By default, instructors (and Teaching Assistants and Course Builders, where applicable) are forum Owners, and all other site participants are Contributors.  The topic owner may add and delete topics, modify permissions, edit the topic settings and topic descriptions, etc. Contributors may only read, post, and reply to messages.

To modify the default permissions, select Customize to expand the permission settings.

Modifying Permissions

Modify permissions
  1. Select the dropdown menu next to each role/group to choose one of the pre-configured options (i.e., Author, Contributor, None, Nonediting Author, Owner, Reviewer, or Custom).
  2. Forum permissions may be customized for different user roles, or for groups within the class. Select Customize to further expand the options for a particular role and define more granular custom permissions.

Note: Groups must already exist in order for group role permissions to display.

Save and add topic.

Select Save

Once completed, scroll to the bottom of the page and select Save. Or if you would like to add more topics to the same forum, select Save Settings & Add Topic.  

Note: All forums need at least one topic in order to be active.

Previous Article How do I create a new forum?
Next Article How do I organize forums and topics?