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4.14. Discussions


Most courses utilize discussions as a method for creating class interaction and student engagement with the material and each other. In some cases, instructors assess student responses through the discussion board and provide feedback. Understanding how to manage the Discussions page is very important for students.

To access Discussion threads, choose Discussions from the NavBar.

Discussions highlighted from the navbar.

However, some instructors may also embed a link to the Discussion thread as part of an activity for the module. This embedded link will direct students to the appropriate thread. Discussions can be accessed by going to the course homepage if there is a problem.


Discussion posted within the Table of Contents.

If the course instructor uses Discussions as an activity in the class, students will probably see one or more discussion forums on the page. There may also be one or more topics under each forum. As with other online forums you may have used, the forums can be sorted and filtered in a variety of ways. However, students are warned about using these too carelessly. Often students think they have "lost" their post when the filter was set in a way that would "hide" their new post.

The small menu arrows next to forum and topic names can be used to Subscribe to either the entire forum or to specific topics. This allows students to receive a notification in the top bar next to the student's name when a new post or reply has been added.

Sample discussions presented. Start a New Thread highlighted.


Some instructors will set dates of availability on the Discussion forums or individual topic threads. If a discussion forum or topic is supposed to be available, but not displaying correctly, there could be a mistake availability date setting. Please check with the instructor first to ensure the dates are correct. Date restrictions may limit when items display and when posts can be made.

After opening the topic link, choose Start a New Thread to post your response to the topic. Choose any response already posted and select Reply to respond to another student. When finished, choose Post.

Post is highlighted.

Updated Editor

The Brightspace editor is largely the same but there are some changes to tool sets. The Check Accessibility, HTML Source Editor, Preview, and Toggle Full Screen functionalities have now been placed in the top bar. The editor also has an improved color picker, improved keyboard navigation, advanced table options (all WCAG compliant), word count, drag and drop images, improved mobile user experience, and a full set of Emojis.

Old toolbar items, check accessibility, spell check, edit HTML, and Preview moved to top bar.

Discussion Grades

The requirements for discussions vary by course. Students should refer to the course syllabus or specific instructions for each discussion topic. Contact the instructor for more specific information.



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