D2L Brightspace: Discussion Creation Layout

The image below shows the new user interface used by faculty to create new discussion topics.

New interface for D2L discussion topics. Topic Title, Grade and Description take up the majority of the screen real estate with Availability Dates & Conditions, Post & Completion, and Evaluation & Feedback in accordions along the right side of the screen.

The new user interface looks very similar to the quiz and assignment interfaces.

Instead of tabs across the top, accordions are now down the right side for the different options that are available for discussions.

It is worth noting that this interface change is only for topics. Forums remain the same tabular interface as before.

Title, Forum, Grades, and Description


Enter the title for this discussion topic.

Change Forum

New with this user interface is the ability to create a forum from the topic. Select the Change Forum link to change the forum name OR point to an existing forum. This is a new workflow and will most likely replace the need to use the New Forum workflow.

Grade out of

This piece to the new interfaces has been a point of confusion with Assignments and Quizzes and D2L remains consistent in bringing that same point of confusion to Discussion Topics grades.

If you select into the Grade Out Of form field the default says “Ungraded” you will have to enter a number. OR, from the dropdown menu that will appear to the right of the form field, you will have to select Reset to Ungraded to get back to default (Ungraded).

By default, when you enter a number in the Grade Out Of field, D2L will have “In Grade Book” as the option. D2L will create a grade item in the gradebook with the same title as the topic title. This is expedient if you do not have a grade item already in place.

Please note: technologists often receive phone calls from faculty asking to remove duplicated grade items—this workflow (which is the same for quizzes and assignments) is often the root cause for the troubles.

If you already have a grade item created, once you entered the point, select the dropdown that shows In Grade Book, and select Edit or Link to Existing where you will be able to choose “Link to an existing grade item.”

If you do not wish to attach the topic to a grade item but you want to be able to easily assess the students for their participation/communications, simply select “Not in gradebook” from the same dropdown menu.

Finally, as previously stated, if you don’t want points or an assessment on the discussion topic, select the Reset to Ungraded to return the topic to not being graded.

Availability Dates & Conditions

Find the start and end dates for discussions as well as the Release Conditions link under the Availability Dates & Conditions accordion.

The group restrictions are also available in this accordion group.

Post & Completion

Now radio buttons instead of checkboxes, select how the discussions is to be used by students:

  1. Default participation is just that. Students can interact within the discussion without limitations other than groups and dates as set forth in the previous accordion.
  2. Allow learners to hide their name from other learners (and faculty), will allow a student to post anonymously.
  3. Learners must start a thread before they can view or reply to other threads. Standard first-post selection

Finally, there is a checkbox still available if you need to moderate your discussions before posting: Posts must be approved before they display in the topic. (The instructor would approve each discussion post before it would go live to the class.)

Evaluation & Feedback

Add a rubric. Rubrics have may good qualities and reasons for using them. Here you can attach a D2L rubric.

Add a Learning Objective -- Metro State does not use the competency tool and so the learning objective is unused.

Allow evaluation of individual posts—which allows the instructor to grade both original post and replied-to posts separately. Once you select the checkbox, a dropdown menu will appear with the calculation methods to help you choose what to do with your individual post evaluations.

Allow learners to rate posts. If you select this checkbox you can choose from a couple options that allow learners to give feedback: 5 Stars, Up/Down, or just Up.


You will find the visibility switch on the line with Save and Close, at the very bottom of the edit screen.

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Article ID: 143456
Thu 4/27/23 7:11 AM
Fri 7/19/24 7:33 AM