How to Grade a Discussion Topic

This article assumes that you have already created a discussion topic, and a grade item, and linked the two together. When you are ready to enter scores, follow these steps. Scores entered in the discussion topic should be automatically transferred to the grade book.

Enter Student Scores

  1. Click on Activities and then Discussions, from the course navigation bar.
  2. Find your topic in the list, and click the context menu to the right of the title.
  3. Click Assess Topic from the list.
  4. Find the student you want to grade in the list, and click on the Topic Score link underneath their name.
    Note that you can also use the View By drop down to sort by Group rather than User, at the top of the page.
  5. Review the student's posts in the body of the page. Use the General Feedback box to provide text comments as needed.
  6. When you are ready to enter a score, click the numbers next to the Topic Score field in the upper right hand corner of the page.
      • Click here first:

      • And then enter a numeric score here:

  7. Click the Save and Close button. Continue to the next section to publish scores to your students when you are finished entering scores.

Publish Student Scores to Grade Book

  1. Click on Activities and then Discussions, from the course navigation bar.
  2. Find your topic in the list, and click the context menu to the right of the title.
  3. Click Assess Topic from the list.
  4. Click the Publish All Scores to Grades button.
  5. Click Yes to confirm. 

Set Up Grading for a Discussion Topic

Once you have a discussion topic set up, you can link each topic to a grade item in the grade book.

NOTE: You can only connect one topic to one grade item, and you can't link discussion forums to grade items, just topics.

Create a Grade Item in the Grade Book

  1. Click on Grades and then Grades from the navigation bar in your course.
  2. Click the New button, and then choose Item from the list.
  3. Choose grade item type Numeric by clicking on the blue link.
  4. Enter a Name in the textbox.
  5. Enter the Maximum Points value in the Grading section.
  6. Click the Save and Close button to exit.

Link Discussion Topic to Grade Item

Now that you have a grade item created, you can link it to a discussion topic.

  1. Click on Activities and then Discussions from the navigation bar.
  2. Find your discussion topic in the list, and click the drop down menu to the right of the title.
    This is just an example. Your topic and forum titles will be different. 
  3. Click Edit Topic from the list.
  4. Click on the Assessment tab at the top of the page.
  5. Choose a Grade Item from the drop down menu.
  6. Enter a point value in the Score Out Of field. This point value should match the point value you entered for the grade item in step 5 in the section above.
  7. Click Save and Close  to exit.

Once you have completed these steps, grades entered in the discussion tool will automatically transfer to the grade book.


Set Up a Group-Restricted Discussion

D2L includes a Groups tool, which can be linked to the Discussions tool. The first section of this tutorial includes instructions for creating class groups. You can then create a restricted discussion topic, where students can only interact and see posts from members of their group.

Create Student Groups

NOTE: If you have already created discussion groups, you can skip to the next section.

You will have several different options about the kind of groups you can create (number of groups, number of members, how enrollment works, etc), and it can be a bit tricky. If you're not sure about how to set up your groups, contact the OAI faculty support desk for help. It is much easier to correct group issues before students start posting in your linked discussion forums.

  1. Click on the People tab in the navigation bar, and then Groups
    from the dropdown list.
  2. Click on the New Category button.

    • A category is a specific configuration of your students into groups. Multiple categories allow you to have multiple kinds of groups setup. For example, you might want to divide your students into large groups for one activity, and into smaller groups for another assignment, during the same course.
  3. Enter a Category Name into the text box.
  4. Pick an Enrollment Type from the list.
    • This step is important; you can't change the group type after you save.
    • Self-enrollment means that students sign up for a group themselves, by clicking on People then Groups.
  5. Depending on the type you select, either enter the Number of Groups or the Number of Users per group.
  6. Under Advanced Properties, you can optionally select to have D2L auto-enroll new users, and randomize users in groups.
  7. Click the Save button.

Create Group-Restricted Discussion Topics

As of Spring 2017, the Discussions tool has a new feature that makes it much easier to link groups to discussion topics. You no longer need to have a topic for each group, you just need one group-type topic. All students can access the same topic, but they can only see and interact with posts from members of their own group.

Create a Discussion Forum

Before you can create a discussion topic for students to post to their groups, you need a discussion forum. A forum is just an organizational tool, used to separate topics. A discussion topic is where students can actually interact with each other. You need
at least one forum, and each forum can have multiple topics.

Note that many of the same settings can be configured from both the forum level, and the topic level, such as date restrictions. In this case, you will want to configure additional settings in the topic, not the forum.

  1. From the navigation bar in your course, click Activities, and then click Discussions.
  2. Click on the New button, and choose New Forum from the list.
  3. Enter a descriptive Title in the text box. No further settings are required.
  4. Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the page to finish.

Create a Group-Restricted Discussion Topic

  1. Click on Activities and then Discussions from the course navigation bar.
  2. Click the New button, and then New Topic from the list.
  3. Choose a Forum from the dropdown menu.
  4. Choose Group or section topic from the Topic Type options. Select the group category that you set up in the previous section from the list.

    This is just an example, your group category may have a different name
  5. Enter a Title for the topic in the text box.
  6. Review additional Options and Availability settings.
  7. Click the Save and Close button to finish.

 

 


Set Up a Discussion Area for Your Entire Class

These instructions will guide you through setting up a discussion topic that your entire class can access and participate in.

To set up a discussion, there are two components that you'll need: forums, and topics. A forum is an organizing feature; it works like a folder. A topic is where students can actually start posting. You need at least one forum, and each forum can have multiple topics. Here's an example of one forum, with two topics, from the instructor view:

Create a New Discussion Forum

Note that many of the same settings can be configured from both the forum level, and the topic level, such as date restrictions. In most cases, you will want to configure additional settings in the topic, not the forum.

  1. From the navigation bar in your course, click Activities, and then click
    Discussions.

  2. Click on the New button, and choose New Forum from the list.

  3. Enter a descriptive Title in the text box. No further settings are required, you can skip to step 6, or look at optional settings.
  4. OPTIONAL: Click the question mark icon  next to settings for more details. Configure additional settings from the Options section as needed.
  5. OPTIONAL: Review the Availability settings, and configure as needed.
    • Visibility options determine when students can view and access the entire forum; if the forum is hidden, students can't see any part of the discussion.
    • Locking options control whether or not students can post to any of the topics in the forum. When a topic is locked, students can view, but can't post.
  6. Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the page to finish.

Create a New Discussion Topic

  1. From the navigation bar in your course, click Activities, and then click Discussions.

  2. Click on the New button, and choose New Topic from the list.
  3. Choose a forum from the Forum drop down menu.
  4. Enter a descriptive Title in the text box. No further settings are required, you can skip to step 7, or look at optional settings.
  5. OPTIONAL: Click the question mark icon  next to settings for more details. Configure additional settings from the Options section as needed.
  6. OPTIONAL: Review the Availability settings, and configure as needed.
    • Visibility options determine when students can view and access the topic; if the forum is hidden, students can't see any part of the discussion.
    • Locking options control whether or not students can post to the topic. When a topic is locked, students can view, but can't post.
  7. Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the page to finish.