In a discussion board forum, you can start new threads to begin a conversation. A thread includes the initial post and all replies to it. When you create a forum, you can allow or not allow members to start threads. Generally, the purpose of the forum dictates whether members can start threads. A moderated, graded forum used to evaluate student performance is usually tightly controlled, and members cannot create threads. Other forums are designed for members to share opinions and thoughts on tangential or unrelated topics. In this case, you might allow members to create threads and spark discussions.
To help organize your view, you can change the status of existing threads and determine which threads appear in a forum.
Instructors and students create threads in the same way. If you enabled grading, you can also set the thread to be graded.
You create a forum that addresses a broad subject, such as "Addicted to Oil." Next, you create two threads containing the specific issues to be discussed, such as replacing oil usage with nuclear power, and the pros and cons of conservation. To ensure students post only to existing threads, consider disallowing thread creation in the forum settings.
You create a forum and ask a question or provide the instructions or details in the description, such as "How can we reduce our reliance on oil?" Then, students create threads for each solution to the problem of oil addiction. All members post to existing threads to comment on given answers or create new threads to present new solutions. In the forum settings, be sure you select the Allow Members to Create New Threads option.
If you enable thread grading, members cannot create new threads.
In the following example, you create a graded thread.
Files uploaded by students are not saved to Course Files or the Content Collection.
If you choose three posts from the drop-down list and a user submits two, the in progress icon appears in the Grade Center cell and the discussion board until the specified number of posts is met. You can also associate a rubric to use for grading by pointing to Add Rubric.
The newly created thread appears in the forum.
If you enabled thread grading, two functions appear in the Grade column:
You can change the status of a thread to keep students focused on relevant discussions and to help organize a forum containing many threads. When a user creates and submits a thread, it is assigned the Published status.
The following table describes which thread status to select to accomplish various objectives.
|Status||Goal for Thread|
|Publish||Make a thread available to all users.|
|Hide||Hide a thread from immediate view, but still allow users the option of reading the thread. Unneeded content is hidden from view, helping users find relevant content. Users cannot reply to or edit hidden threads even if editing is enabled for the thread. |
Users can view hidden threads using the Display drop-down list on the action bar.
When you do not want the thread hidden, change the status to Publish.
|Make Unavailable||Hide a thread from view of all users except forum managers.|
|Lock||Allow users to read a thread, but not edit or add to it. Locking a thread allows you to assign grades without users updating or changing posts.|
|Unlock||Unlock a locked thread to select another status.|
Use the following steps to change the status of a thread or multiple threads at one time.
Alternatively, access a thread's contextual menu and select a thread status.
The status for each thread appears in the Status column. If you save a draft of a thread to edit in the future, Draft appears in the Status column. To access your drafts, you must select Show All or Drafts Only from the Display drop-down list on the action bar.
If you have many threads in a forum and assign different statuses to the threads, you can choose which threads appear in a forum. For example, if you start several threads and save them as drafts, you can choose to show only those drafts and select the threads to edit and publish.
The forum page displays only those threads that have the status selected from the Display drop-down list.
The Save Draft function is available if you need to return to your post at a later time. This function saves your comments and files on the page.
To access your post later, return to the forum page. Point to Display on the action bar and click Drafts Only to view the saved post. While viewing your post, point to it to view the functions for Edit and Delete. When you click Edit, the content editor opens.
After making your updates, click Submit to publish the post.