Defining Discussion Settings

  1. The General Tab will open automatically after you’ve clicked to add a discussion. This is where you will define the Subject and Message, which are both mandatory fields. You can also define discussion details, and calendar settings from this tab.
  2. The discussion will automatically be published in Released mode but can be changed to Draft mode under the Availability Tab which contains the publish and release status of the discussion.
  3. The Availability Tab also allows you to set a Released Date, Expiration Date, and whether or not the discussion should be displayed in Course Content.
    • Selecting a Released date sets the date/time that the discussion becomes available to students. If the discussion is released and the released date is set to a future date/time then the discussion will not be available until that date/time.
    • The Expiration date sets a date/time in which the discussion becomes unavailable. Once a discussion expires it will no longer be visible to students.
    • If you want to show the discussion in Content you must first submit the discussion creation then return and edit the discussion. The Show in Course/Site Content checkbox will now be located on the Availability Tab. Click the checkbox to create a content item in Content for the discussion.

      This is not available during the creation of the discussion and will only become available if you edit an existing discussion. You can also create the discussion from within Content.

  4. All students have access to the discussion unless restrictions are made. The Access Control Tab can be used to set restrictions based on your user list and preset roles. To enable restrictions, select any of the three Add Restrictions buttons within this tab.
    • Add User Restrictions - click this button to display the User List and Add/Remove specific users to/from the access list.
    • Add Small Group Restrictions - click this button to display the Small Groups List and Add/Remove Small Groups you have created to/from the access list.
    • Add Role Restrictions - click this button to display the Role list and Add/Remove Roles to/from the access list.
  5. The Learning Objectives tab allows you to assign learning objectives to the Discussion. Please visit the SOLE Help pages on Learning Objectives to learn more about using this tool.
  6. The Dependent Release Tab allows you to release a discussion based upon the completion of set criteria. For example, you can set the discussion to be released once a user has scored at least an 80% on a previous exam or submitted an assignment.
  7. On the Gradebook Tab there are two ways to link the discussion to the Gradebook. When you click the tab you are first given the option of creating a new Gradebook assignment. To create a new Gradebook assignment you will need to define the following:
    • Maximum Points – Setting a number of maximum points is mandatory even if you do not want to include the discussion grade in the total grade calculation. You must enter points here in order to create a Gradebook assignment but it is not mandatory to use these points in grade calculations.
    • Gradebook Group – If the Gradebook is Grouped than you must use the drop down menu to choose which group the discussion will appear in within the Gradebook. If the Gradebook is not grouped then this will not be an option.
    • Scale - If the Gradebook is set up with Additional Grading Scales than you must use the drop down menu to choose which grading scale will be used to grade this Discussion.  Additional Grading Scales must be defined through Gradebook settings.
    • Grading Method – You can grade the assignment by entering points, using a grading scale (drop down menu of letter grades which awards the upper end of the selected percentage range defined within the Gradebook), or using a rubric (must be defined through Gradebook settings).
    • Is Used in Calculations – Uncheck this box to exclude the discussion grade from the final grade calculations. This will still create a Gradebook assignment (column in gradebook). The points are not calculated but are still mandatory so you may enter a random number.
    • Is Extra Credit – Discussion grades can be added to the Gradebook as Extra Credit instead of a regular graded assignment by clicking this checkbox. The Is Used in Calculations box must be checked in order to include the discussion as extra credit.
    • Due Date - This field is located under the Advanced Settings tab only when a discussion is linked to the Gradebook.  You will be required to place a due date and time in this field. Utilizing Due Date also means that you cannot manually lock/unlock a Discussion. It will lock according to the Due Date.
  8. You may also link the discussion to the Gradebook by selecting an already existing assignment from the Gradebook. The assignment must have been created from within the Gradebook beforehand. To do this, select Attach to existing gradebook assignment and use the drop down menu to select the assignment you wish to link the Discussion to.  You will also need to enter a Due Date from the Advanced Settings tab.
  9. You can also detach a discussion from the Gradebook on the Gradebook Tab by placing a check next to the Detach from Gradebook option.

    If you detach a discussion from the Gradebook the assignment will still remain in the Gradebook but will be unattached. You will need to delete the Assignment from the Gradebook itself to fully remove it. See the Gradebook Help pages to learn more on how to do this.

  10. The Advanced Settings tab lets you define these additional settings:
    • Users can add more than one post – this is automatically checked upon creation of the discussion but if you want to restrict users to one post you can uncheck this box.
    • Users can see others’ posts before they post – this is automatically checked upon creation of the discussion but you can uncheck this box if you’d like users to post before viewing others’ posts.
    • All user posts and comments are anonymous – check this box if you want the discussion to remain anonymous. In order to protect anonymity, you will not be able to change this setting once there are posts for this discussion.
    • Users cannot edit or delete their posts or comments – this removes the option for the student to edit or delete their discussion replies or comments once they have posted them.