Reply to a discussion

In a course, select the Discussions icon on the navigation bar to access the discussions page. Select a discussion to join in. Some discussions may also appear on the Course Content page.

When someone contributes to a discussion, an icon appears next to the item's title on the Course Content page.

The Course content page, with a discussion highlighted that has a blue icon next to it

Each time you open a discussion, new responses and replies appear with "New" to show any activity that's happened since your last visit. You can add a response, reply, or even reply to a reply.

You can use the options in the editor to format text, attach files, and embed multimedia. If you view the editor on a smaller screen, select the plus icon to view the menu of options. For example, select Insert/Edit Local Files—represented by the paper clip icon. Browse for a file from your computer. A status window appears to show the progress of the file upload.

To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

Your instructor can hide discussion activity until you post a response.

More on editing and deleting in discussions

Find a participant

You don't have to sift through all of the course discussions to find the one you need. You can filter by participant name and see a list of contributions.

You may see a user in the Participants list with your instructor's last name appended with _PreviewUser. Your instructor has added a preview user to review the course content from a student's perspective.

Group discussions

Your instructor may assign you to a group to help focus the discussion. The first time you're assigned to a group discussion, a message appears on the Course Content page to let you know. On the Course Content and Discussions pages, your group name is listed after the group discussion title. The name of your group appears when you open the discussion, along with the list of your group members.

When you respond to a group discussion, only your group members and your instructor can view your posts.

More on group discussions

Save a post as a draft

If you're not quite ready to post, you can save your response or reply as a draft. Select Save Draft after you've typed content. Your draft shows in the discussion panel but is only visible to you. After your draft is saved, select Edit Draft to continue working. Your draft also appears in the participants menu.

Word count for discussion responses

As you create discussion responses, the word count appears below the editor. After you save your response, the word count no longer appears.

These items are included in the word count:

  • Individual words
  • Web links
  • Text in bulleted or numbered lists, but the bullets or numbers themselves aren't included
  • Superscript and subscript text not part of another word

These items and formatting elements don't affect the word count:

  • Images, videos, and file attachments
  • Math formulas
  • Blank spaces and lines
  • Alternative text

When you use punctuation to attach words or numbers, the count is affected. For example, "We went...without you" is counted as three words. The words or numbers on either side of the punctuation are counted as one word.