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Discussions module: How to guide

The Discussion module is a forum for users to read and respond to ideas on various topics as specified by the teacher or administrator. When used in the Virtual Classrooms, they can be a useful tool for extending content interaction beyond the allocated class time.

Users will only be able to contribute to discussion forums if they are logged in.  Discussion forums created on Web Pages displays static content to the all other visitors of the site.

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Getting started

To use the Discussion module, a Web Page or Virtual Classroom page needs to be created, and the Discussions module dragged onto the module layout. The module then needs to be activated, ready for use.

Starting a discussion thread

To create a discussion topic folder, click on “Options” on the top right of the module and select “Create a New Topic”.

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Enter in a title for the topic, and click [Save]. The topic folder will then be visible in the module area, ready for threads to be started by users.

To start a discussion thread, ensure that the correct topic folder has been clicked (if more than one exists) and click on the “Post” button on the far right of the topic title. In the resulting pop-up window, enter a title for the thread, along with the first post content. Some basic formatting tools have been provided for this content.

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Click [Save] to submit the first thread entry.

Existing threads can be opened by clicking on its title under the relevant discussion topic folder. Each post can then be read in sequence, with the most recent post in a thread appearing at the bottom.

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To reply in this thread, or add a new post, simply click on [Reply] in the top right corner.  A ‘Make a new post’ box appears at the bottom of the thread, including some formatting tools.  Click [Update] when the contribution is ready to submit.

To quote a previous post in a reply, click on the “Quote” text button below the particular entry, and it will be included in the ‘Make a new post’ box.

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Teachers and Administrator Teachers have the ability to delete a topic, a thread, or an individual post.

  • To delete a topic, click on the Settings icon, and click [Delete Topic].

  • To delete a thread, hover over the thread and click on the trash can icon on the right side.

  • To delete a particular post, click the “Delete” text button below the entry.

By default, students are only able to delete the post they have contributed. They will also not be able to delete threads they created.

Moderating discussions

Teachers and Administrator/Teachers are able to edit any post, whereas students cannot. If a post is edited, it is recorded and displayed as having been done so. If edited multiple times, only the last edited time is displayed.

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Student can be assigned as moderators of a topic. This means those students will be able to edit and show/hide posts as required. They will also be able to edit the thread title. To add student moderators, click on the Settings icon on the discussion topic folder and click on the second Moderators tab. Clicking the [Add/remove users] will enable you to search for the students you wish to give this responsibility to.

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If necessary, students can also be added to a ‘View Only’ list or the ‘Blocked’ list, done in the same way as adding Moderators. Those in the ‘View Only’ list will only have viewing and print functionality, and those in the ‘Blocked’ list won’t see the discussion topic folder at all when they log in and view the page.

Teachers, Administrator/Teachers and any Student Moderators have the ability to hide (and subsequently show) threads. To do this, simply hover over the thread in question and click on the green arrow on the right hand side. You will be prompted to complete this action.

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Hidden threads will display a grey tick when hovered over, as opposed to a green tick.

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