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How do I create a topic in a discussion forum?

Click here to watch a video on how to create a topic in a discussion forum.

Topics can be found within a forum and are usually named after the subject up for discussion. A forum can include multiple topics (for instance: a forum with the title Democracy vs. Dictatorship can contain a topic called Arguments in favour of democracy/dictatorship, and a topic Arguments against democracy/dictatorship).

  • Click on Course Tools in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Discussions.
  • Click on New and after that on New Topic.

If there is already a forum on your Discussions homepage, you are able to click on the arrow next to this forum and select Add Topic. Both routes lead to the same Topic menu. See the article How do I create a discussion forum?.

  1. Select the forum to which you want to link the topic or click on New Forum to create a new forum.
  2. Below Topic Type you choose if everyone in the course gets access to this topic (Open topic) or if all students can view the topic, but within the topic they can only see threads from the group they belong to (Group or section topic).
  3. Add a title.
  4. Add a description.
  5. The following boxes can be checked below Options:
    • Select Allow anonymous posts if you want to enable anonymous posting. Students will not see the names associated with a message. Messages will only be anonymous for students but the moderator (you) can still see the names.
    • Select A moderator must approve… if you want to approve every message before it is posted.
    • Select Users must start a thread before… if you want every student to first post a thread before they can read the other posts and/or post replies.

Below Rate Posts you can choose whether or not students are able to rate posts. You can choose:

  • No Ratings if students are not allowed to rate posts;
  • Five-star Rating Scheme if students can rate posts on a five-star rating scheme;
  • Up Vote/Down vote Rating Scheme for a voting system;
  • Up Vote Only Rating Scheme for a voting system with only upvotes.
  • Click on Show topic visibility options if you want to restrict the visibility of the topic in any way.

Note: visibility settings of Forums will always preside over visibility settings of Topics. 

  • Check the Hide from Users box if you want to hide the topic.
  • Check the Topic Has Start Date box if the topic only needs to be visible starting at a specific date and time, then fill these in.
  • Check the Topic Has End Date box if the topic only needs to be until a specific date and time, then fill these in.
  • Check the Display in Calendar box if you want these dates to be visible in the calendar of the students.
  • Check the Unlock topic box if you want the topic to always be open for activity. NB: this option is checked as the default option.
  • Check the Lock topic box if you want to lock the topic. NB: you as the moderator can still read the discussion.
  • Check the Unlock topic for a specific date range box if you want the topic to be available for contributions for a specific period: 
    • Fill in a start and/or end date.
    • Check the Display in Calendar box if you want these dates to be visible in the calendar of the students.
  • Click Save and Close to return to the Discussions homepage. Click Save and New to create a new topic or scroll up to add RestrictionsAssessments and/or Objectives.

You can also create discussion topics per group if you have not already linked a forum to your groups. You will find how to do this in the manual How do I create a discussion topic per group?

Video on how to create a topic in a discussion forum

This video is made by Brightspace supplier D2L. Some screens might have a different look and feel to the Universiteit Leiden Brightspace environment.