Creating Discussions

You can pose a question or topic for students to respond to and have a discussion.  

To create a new Discussion Question, make sure you are in Edit Mode and click on the “Add” icon within the instructional unit you want to add the discussion question (you can also create within the Repository and add it to the Learning Path later)

Once you are in the add assessment area, to create a new Discussion, click on “Discussion Question” and then “Author New” at the bottom.



  1. Name: be as descriptive as you can, so students will know what the assessment will include.
  2. Description: this area will provide the question or topic that you want the students to discuss.  
  3. Create / Add File: you can add a file for students to view and download.
  4. Meta Tags: allows you to include tags for the content you want to include.  You will use comma to separate tags if you have more than one.


Within the course, you can add visibility dates to assessments.  This allows you to determine when the students can view the content.  In addition to visibility, you can also add attempt dates to assessments.  To apply these to any assessment, when you expand the ‘Dates’ area you will see that the assessment is always visible, always attemptable, and it is added to the student’s calendar by default.

As you see by the red asterisk, Dates are mandatory.  The default for dates is “Always Visible.” If you want to apply specific visibility dates, select “Visible From.”  

You can also set a specific time for your date.  The default is 00:00:00, which means the resource will open at midnight.

If you add a visibility date you will automatically need to add an attempt date.  Along with an attempt date, which is the first date they can submit the assessment, you also have the ability to put a due date on it.  This can be the end of the semester or on a specific date.

You can also allow for late submissions.  The students will never see this information, but it will tell you and the student that they submitted it late.  You can set it to the end of the semester (which is the default) or offset it by so many days.

NOTE: If you want to add a grade to all the students who have missed the submissions, you can do that after the due date (or at the end of the semester if there is no due date).  If you allow for late submissions, you won't be able to apply the same grade to late submissions until after the end of late submission or the end of the semester.

You also have the option of adding to the student calendar.  Students don't see the calendar in their view, so you can ignore this option.


Within Display Options you have some decisions to make regarding how your students see their grade.

  1. Students may view score: if you want students to be able to see the score of the quiz, then you keep this at yes.  If you want them to see how they did, but don’t want them to see a score, select no.
  2. Display Name in Gradebook: If you want to change the name of the discussion for display within the gradebook, write what you want to be shown.
  3. Hide from Student in Gradebook: if you don’t want the students to see this grade, select this box.
  4. Display Grade As: at this moment in the student interface, they will only be able to see numeric grades.  So, for students to see their grade you must check the ‘Numeric Grade’ option and decide if you want it to be absolute value or percentage value.


Within Learning Objectives area you can align the learning objectives within the course to your new discussion.  All assessments that are native to the course are already aligned.

  1. Manage: allows you to add your learning objectives to the discussion.
  2. Aligned: will show what learning objectives are aligned to the discussion.


Grading allows you to set how your discussion will be graded.  


  1. Exempt From: when you are creating your discussion, you can decide to make this a non-graded discussion by exempting from grades.  You can also decide to not use it to achieve a learning objective, so you exempt from achievement.
  2. Set Achievement Scale: allows you to determine how you want to set the achievement of the learning objectives.  You can do it based on the individual learning objective, so the students can see how they are doing on each learning objective separately, or you can to it on the total score.  This will give the students an understanding of how they did on the full discussion, but not on the individual learning objectives, unless there is only one aligned.
  3. Achievement Scale: allows you to determine how well they did by determining what score shows that they met the learning objective and what shows they have exceeded it.
  4. Viewing Posts: gives you the option to not allow students to view other posts until you have given them a grade or after they have done their first initial post.
  5. Grading Category: if you want to put this assessment into a category to make it easier to score within the gradebook, you can add it here.
  6. Rubric: you can grade the posts using a rubric.  If you want to do this, you will select “Apply Rubric” and then set up the rubric.
  7. Grading Key: if you want to upload a grading key to help you remember how you want to evaluate the students you can do that here.

NOTE: If you created the assignment in the Repository, then you will need to go to the Learning Path and, in edit mode, click on the add tool where you want to insert the assignment, click on assignment, select “Import From” and then “Content Repository.”  You will find your assignment, select it, and then click on “Add.”


Additional Resources:

How to Navigate Courseware

Editing within Courseware

How is Courseware Setup

Reordering the Learning Path

Or any of the content type resources:

Creating an Electronic Resource

Creating an RSS Feed

Creating a LoudBook

Creating an Assignment

Creating a Quiz

Creating a Question Bank

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