Quick Guide - Discussions: Understanding the Structure of Discussions in MyCourses


Video Tutorial:

Understanding the Structure of Discussions in MyCourses (5:09)



It is important to understand how discussions are structured in MyCourses. This understanding will allow you use this tool to its fullest extent. The discussion tool is made up of three parts: Forums, Topics, and Threads. Each is explained below:

  • Forum - used to organize your discussions into categories.
  • Topics - used for the individual subjects within the forum that you create.
  • Thread - the conversations that occur within a topic by students or you.

In most cases, you will have only one forum in your course. You must have at least one forum in order to create topics. Having more than one forum can be confusing for students. You will also in most cases not change any settings at the forum level since it will affect all the topics created within the forum. Topics are the most important part of the discussion tool because this is where you put your question prompt or instructions of what you want the students to discuss. In most cases, you will use the topics to set your properties for the discussion. These can include post first, start and end dates, etc. You may wish to view the tutorials on the settings on topics to learn more. Topics are also the items that get linked to the Course Content area. Students then create threads within the topic based on your question prompt. Students and you can then reply to a thread or the posts within the thread. Think of the thread as a conversations within the discussion tool.


The graphic below I believe explains these concepts well. Think of the discussions tool as a file cabinet. The draws are the forums. Within the draws are the many manila folders which are the topics. You create the subjects on each of the manila folders (topics) like you would within topics of a discussion forum. The topic is what is linked to the course content area. Finally, the threads are the pieces of paper within the manila folders (topics). You can have many papers (threads) within the manila folders (topics).




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