Support site - BrightspaceInstructors - English DiscussionsWhich settings and restrictions can I add to discussion forums and topics?

Which settings and restrictions can I add to discussion forums and topics?

In this article, you can read which general settings are possible for the Discussion tool and which settings are possible for a specific forum/topic. At the end of the article you can watch an instruction video about adding restrictions to a forum or topic.

How do I change the general settings for Discussions?

In settings you can choose in what way topics and posts are displayed, the default manner of rating posts and if you want to automatically subscribe to your own threads. These settings mostly influence only your own view of Discussions. 


  • Go to Course Tools in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Discussions. You will now see the Discussions homepage.
  • Click on Settings (below navbar).

Below Personal Settings you can change how you want to display the discussions. These settings are personal and will not change how the settings for other users.

  • Display Settings: check the box Always show the Discussion List pane if you want to see an overview of all of the discussion forums and topics on the left hand side of the screen if you click on a topic or thread and the box Display deleted posts if you want to see deleted posts when you search within the discussion tool.
  • Default View: select whether you want to see the titles of the posts below each other and open the posts yourself (Grid View) or if you want to view all of the posts in their entirety below each other (Reading View).
  • Reply Settings: check this box if you want include the original post in your reply.
  • Subscription Settings: Check this box if you want to automatically be subscribed to a thread that you created yourself.

Below Org Unit Settings you can select if participants in a post can rate discussions and if so: whether this rating is based on stars or via an upvote/downvote system.

  • No Ratings: nobody can give a rating.
  • Five-Star Rating Scheme: participants can rate the discussion posts on a scale from one to five.
  • Up Vote / Down Vote Rating Scheme: Participants in the discussion can rate posts up or down.
  • Up Vote Only Rating Scheme: participants in the discussion can only up vote posts.

In the settings for the default rating scheme you decide the default when creating a new topic. However, you can always overrule this setting when creating a new topic.  

The Grid View Settings allows you to adjust what you get to see in the grid:

  • Check the Topic Descriptions box if you want to see a short description of the topic. NB: this description is visible for all participants to the discussion!
  • Select Threaded if you want to see all posts in a thread below each other. Select Unthreaded if you want to see all the posts in chronological order.
  • Check the Show the preview pane box if you prefer all the posts to open in the bottom half of the screen instead of in a pop-up.
  • Check the Show the search bar box if you want to have a search bar available which you can use to find a specific post.
  • Check the Post ID box if you want to show the ID of a post.
  • Check the Org Identified ID box to show the ID of the author of a post.
  • Check the Limit the number of characters of the subject to display in the post box if you do not want that long titles of a post are displayed in their entirety. Enter the maximum amount of characters to be displayed in the box.

Click Save and Close to save your adjustments and return to the Discussions homepage.

How do I add restrictions to a discussion forum or topic?

The Restrictions tab allows you to create conditions for the availability and/or visibility of discussion forums in the following ways:

  • Availability is used to state a start and/or end date for the timeframe a forum/topic is visible for students.
  • Locking Options are used to set up whether or not students can start a thread or react to a thread.
  • Release Conditions are used to determine when the forum is available (for example: students can only see the forum if they have achieved a score of 80% or higher on a certain quiz. You can add multiple release conditions to a single forum).
  • Group and Section Restrictions are used to determine to whom the forum is available (for example: only students from Tutorialgroup 1 are able to see the forum).

How to add restrictions:

  • Go to Course Tools in the navbar of your course.
  • Click on Discussions; you will now see the discussions homepage.
  • Click on arrow next to the Forum or Topic title to which you want to add restrictions.
  • Click on Edit Forum or Edit Topic.
  • Click on Restrictions (the second tab).

It is not possible to alter restrictions if students have already started discussions.

Restrictions on a Forum take precedents over restrictions on a Topic. For example, this means that a topic is only visible for students if and only if the forum is visible for students.

Availability

  • 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.

Locking Options

  • Select Unlock forum/topic if you want the forum or topic to always be open for activity. NB: this option is checked as the default option.
  • Select Lock forum/topic if you want to lock the forum or topic. NB: users will still be able to read the discussion but cannot contribute anymore.
  • Select Unlock forum/topic for a specific date range if you want the forum or 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.

Release Conditions

  • Click on Attach Existing to add existing release conditions:
    • Select the condition you want to add,
    • Click Add.
  • Click on Create and Attach to add a new release condition:
    • Select the condition you want to add.
    • Click Create.
  • The dropdown menu allows you to choose whether students have to fulfill only one (Any condition must be met) or all (All conditions must be met) of the attached release conditions to gain access to the forum.

Group and Section Restrictions

  • Check the Restrict this forum to the following groups and sections box to restrict access to this forum to certain groups.
  • Click Add Groups and Sections and select the specific group or section. Click on Add.
  • Click Save and Close to return to the discussions homepage or Save and Add Topic to create a topic.

Video: How to Restrict Access in Discussions

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