Management of group discussion topics has been simplified.
When creating a new discussion topic, the Properties tab now has a Topic Type option. The option defaults to an Open topic, but instructors can select the new Group or section topic option instead. Once you create and save the topic, you cannot change the topic type. If you select the Group or section topic option, you can associate the topic to a grade item for all groups or sections.
Create Group/Section Discussions from the Discussions Tool
The steps below assume that groups have already been created via the Groups tool, or that your shell contains multiple Sections. If you have not yet setup your groups please review: Create a group category.
Go to your course and select Activities, then select Discussions.
Select New, then click New Topic.
Select a Forum or Create a New Forum.
Select the topic type: Group or section topic, everyone can access this topic but students only see threads from their own group or section. Note: If you choose Open topic, you can access the original Group Restrictions area on the Restrictions tab. This will not, however, allow you to assign the group discussion topic to a single Grade Item.
Then select Sections (if you have multiple sections shared in your course) or the name of a Group Category that you set up in the Groups tool.
Under the Assessment tab, associate to your Grade Item as desired.
Continue adding a title, description and setting options and preferences for your discussion topic. Click Save and Close.
Create Group Discussions from the Group Tool
To create a new group category the original way, select the Create one topic per group radio button. To create group categories the new way, select the Create one topic with threads separated by group radio button.
Go to your course and select People, then select Groups.
Select New Category, then fill out your Category Name, selecting the enrollment type*, and number of groups.
*If you want to create a journal-type solution, select “Single user, member-specific groups” for the enrollment type.
Under Additional Options, check the box to Set up discussion areas.
Instructors can now associate existing discussion topics to a new group or section during the group or section creation process. In addition, users can associate existing discussion topics to groups or sections not associated with any other discussion topic. Note that users can only choose existing discussion topics that have no existing discussion posts for association. This feature is useful for creating groups or sections after copying a course, or if discussion topics are accidentally created before groups or sections.
Set any other preferences you have, then click Save.
On the page that follows, either select an existing Discussion Forum or click New Forum. In the example below, a new forum called Weekly Discussions was created.
Select your topic type. Default is “Create one topic per group” This would require the instructor to setup separate grade items in the Grades tool. The second option is “Create one topic with threads separated by group.” We recommend using this new option if you want to have only ONE grade item for the discussion topics with group members only seeing their group member responses. In the example below, I selected Groups Weekly Discussions, then created a topic titled Week 1 Discussion.
Click Add Another to create an additional discussion topic (such as Week 2 discussion, etc) or click Create and Next to complete the group setup.
To associate your new discussion topics to a Grade Item:
Go to Activities then select Discussions.
Select the context menu next to the discussion topics you created, and select Edit Topic.
Select the Assessment tab, then associate to your Grade Item as desired.
Save and Close. Repeat for other Discussion Topics.
View and Participate in Group Discussion
One discussion topic is created for an entire group and posts within it are associated with specific groups. As a result, instructors observe less scrolling on the discussion list. Instructors can use the new All Groups filter on the topic to view all posts or to only view posts for a specific group. Inside a discussion thread, users can see which group the thread belongs to.
When an instructor selects a discussion topic, they will have a dropdown menu to select which group they want to post a thread response.
Instructors can also filter discussion threads by groups.
Thread posts will indicate which group the response was posted to.