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6.19. Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums

Brightspace uses discussion forums to organize discussion topics into categories. All topics must be nested in a forum. Your course may have multiple forums and topics, but you must create a forum before you can create a topic. 

Create a Discussion Forum

All discussions are organized into forums. Select Discussions from the NavBar. Choose New Forum from the New menu on the Discussions page.

From the navbar, Discussions is highlighted. From the Discussions page, the New menu is expanded to New Forum.


Enter the Title and Description.

There are posting options below the description textbox. If students should post their responses prior to reading responses of their peers, select the Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads in each topic checkbox.

*Please note, selecting options at the forum level will apply the setting for all discussions in the forum. This can be a step-saver if the same options are used every time, but it may be confusing and produce unexpected results if a variety of settings are used for individual discussions. It is not recommended to make forum level choices unless all discussions will be the same.

Properties tab of the new forum window with the title and description text boxes highlighted. Discussion forum options located below the description textbox on the new forum page.


Availability in Brightspace is synonymous with visibility. Previously, this function in Brightspace used Locking Options. They are now consolidated with the Availability date options. Making availability choices in Forums is discouraged unless all topics will have the same settings. Discussion topic settings cannot be edited once they are set in Forums.

From the Restrictions tab, the Display in Calendar option is now consolidated with the Availability Start Date and End Date options, which adds the start date and end dates to the calendar. Previously, the tool decided which calendar event should be added to the calendar. The Availability Start Date and End Date options and display as the following new options:

Availability options under the Restrictions tab. Has Start Date and End Date options described in the text.


Forum Level Settings

While forum settings are universally applied, users will not see the configuration settings at the individual discussion level. Checkboxes and date ranges will be blank, but configurations will be applied through the forum settings. The example below is a discussion with the highlighted topics selected. Each is setting is blank in the discussion, but will be applied as described in the discussion forum settings.


Restrictions may be configured during this stage in the process. Choose to Attach Existing conditions or Create and Attach new release conditions. Choose Save and Close when finished. The page will refresh and return to the discussions list where the new forum will be displayed.

From the Restrictions tab Attach Existing, Create and Attach and Save and Close highlighted.


Edit a Discussion Forum

Navigate to the forums list and choose Edit Forum from the menu of the discussion forum to edit. The Edit Forum window will open. Make any changes, then select Save and Close when finished.


Forum menu expanded to the Edit Forum option. Dotted arrow pointing to Save and Close highlighted.

Delete a Discussion Forum

Navigate to the discussions list and choose Delete from the menu of the forum to delete. A confirmation window will open to confirm the deletion of the forum. Select Yes to continue.

Forum menu expanded to the Delete option. Delete forum confirmation window with the Yes highlighted.

Restore a Discussion Forum

When a forum is deleted, all topics within the forum are also deleted but can be restored. Choose Restore under the menu for More Options.

More Actions menu expanded to highlight Restore.

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