DePaul University Teaching Commons > Teaching Guides > Technology > Desire2Learn > Tools > Discussions > Creating Discussions

Creating Discussions in D2L

D2L uses specific terms to refer to different parts of the Discussions area, including the following:

  • Forums are used to house discussion topics that are similar. For example, you might have several discussions in the first week of your course, so you would create a forum titled "Week One Discussions" for them. You would also create a forum for group discussions, with each group having its own discussion topic. You must create a discussion forum before you can create a discussion topic.
  • Topics are where the discussion actually takes place. This is where you and your students can post threads in response to a discussion prompt. 
  • Threads are the initial comments added to a discussion topic. 
  • Replies are responses posted to a specific discussion thread.

Setting up a discussion in your course is a two-step process: first you create a forum that can hold one or more discussion topics, then you create discussion topics within that forum. 

Create a Discussion Forum

  1. Click Discussions in the course navigation bar.
  2. Click the New button, then select New Forum from the dropdown menu.
    discussions_select-new-forum
  3. Enter a title (required).
  4. Enter a description (optional).
    discussions_title-forum
  5. Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the page. You'll return to the Discussions List page, and your new forum will be added to the list. Now you can create a topic to add to this forum.

Create a Discussion Topic

  1. Click the New button, then select New Topic from the dropdown menu.
    discussions_select-new-topic
  2. Select a forum from the Forums dropdown menu (or click the New Forum link if you need to create a new one.)
  3. Choose a Topic Type
    • ​​Open topic: everyone can access the topic and all of its threads.
    • Group or section topic: everyone can access the topic, but students only see threads from their own group or section (must have groups set up​ before setting up group- or section-based topics).
  4. Enter a title for your discussion topic (required).
  5. Enter a description (optional).
  6. Select options for your topic (optional):
    • Allow anonymous posts: Select this option if you want to allow students to anonymously post to this topic (not recommended).
    • A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the topic: Select this option if you want to approve posts before students are able to view them (or if you want to have a TA review and approve them.)
    • Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads: Select this option if you would like students to post to the topic before they can read and reply to other students’ posts (recommended).
      discussions_topic-options
  7. Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the page. You will return to the Discussions List page, and your new topic will appear under its forum.

NEXT STEPS

Once you've created a discussion, you can add restrictions to it, like making it available during specific dates or restricting it to groups of students within your class. View the Setting Dates for Discussions guide for more information.

You can also post the first thread to your discussion topic and require your students to begin adding threads and replies to it. View the Participating in Discussions guide for more information.

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