You can use Groups to divide students within your course in groups and to allow them to discuss different topics. You can also give each student an own group (with one group member) and a discussion topic to allow them to keep a journal or blog.
You can only link discussion topics to a certain group if no other forum is linked to this group.
- Go to Administration in the navbar of your course.
- Click Groups. You will now navigate to the Groups homepage.
- Do you want to create a new Group? Please read the instructions in the manual How do I create Groups?
- Use the drop-down menu below View Categories to select the Group Category to which you want to add a discussion topic (the image above shows that the group Lecture is selected and consists out of two groups of students).
- Click the fold-out arrow behind the name of the group.
- Click Edit Category.
- Scroll down and the check the Set up discussion areas box (below Additional Options). More options will now appear.
- Select from the drop-down box below Forum to which forum you want to add the discussion topic. You can also create a new forum by clicking New Forum.
- Select Create new topic if you want to create new discussion topics for the groups within the group category. If you want to create a new thread within an existing topic for the group category, select Attach to existing topic.
- Click Save.
- Choose between:
- Create one topic per group if you want to create a discussion topic for each group within the group category. (In the example the group category Lecture contains two groups which means that this option creates two topics: one for Group 1 and one for Group 2. If you choose to create a different topic for each group, it is possible to make certain groups visible only for specific groups. This way students will not see the topics of different groups).
- Create one topic with threads separated by group if you want to create one topic in the forum but with separate threads for each group (members of one group are not able to see the threads created by other groups).
- Give the topic(s) a title and give them a description if needed.
- Click on Create and Next (or on Add another to add an additional discussion topic).
You will now see a summary of the changes you have just made.
- Click Done.
You will return to the Edit Category page again.
At the bottom of the page you will now see the heading Existing Workspace and below that you will find the Discussion(s) you have created. (In the example only a single discussion topic has been created: Lecture Group Discussion: The Supergreens Showdown.)
- Click (one of) the link(s) to edit the discussion topic(s). You will be redirected to the Edit topic page in Discussions where you can further customise the topics. You can change whether you want to:
- allow anonymous messages, include a grade system or give the topic a start and/or end date;
- attach restrictions to the topic;
- assess the topic, and if so how you want to do it.
- Click Save to return to the overview page of the group category for which you have created the discussion topic.
The column Discussions will show you whether you have linked a discussion topic to your group(s). Click the name of the topic to view it (the image above shows that the two groups Group 1 and Group 2, within the group category Lecture, both have a discussion topic. If you click it, you can view it).