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EIU D2L Solutions

How to Create a Discussion

Written Tutorial Video Simulation (2:43)


All discussions in D2L require a forum and a topic. Many options exist for creating and setting up a discussion. The method listed below is the simpliest (fewest steps), most commonly used, and recommended method for creating a new discussion. In this example, you will create a separate discussion forum for each discussion topic.

To Create a Discussion Topic and Forum

Forum = Used to organize topics
Topic = must belong to a forum

  1. On the navbar in your course, select "Communication" > "Discussions"

  2. On the Discussions List page, select "New" > "New Topic"
    new topic imagearrow image

  3. On the New Topic page, select "New Forum"
    new forum imagearrow image

  4. On the New Forum pop-up window, enter a title for the forum. The forum title and topic title are typically the same.
    NOTE: Title is the only required field for a forum. You will enter all information and set all options in the topic. There is no need to edit the forum after it is created unless you need to edit the title.
    new forum title image

  5. Do not enter a description and slect the "Save" button. This will close the new forum pop-up window.

  6. Back on the New Topic page, enter a title for the topic. The forum title and topic title are typically the same.
    new topic title image

  7. In the Description, enter the discussion question(s) and any instructions for the student regarding the discussion assignment.
    discussion description image

  8. In the Options section, select "Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads" if you want students to post a response to the discussion question before viewing the postings from other students. This option encourages original thought in student responses to the original discussion question.
    post first option image

  9. In the Availability section, select the preferred visibility option.
    Visibility = when the topic is visible to the students and students can post or reply to others (as long as the topic is not locked)
    If this is a weekly discussion or a discussion with specific availability, select the options below. (If the topic will be visible all semester such as a course question and answer topic or a student lounge topic, select "Topic is always visible" instead of entering a specific date range.)
    • Select "Topic is visible for a specific date range."
    • Select "Has Start Date" and enter the start date and time.
    • Select "Has End Date" and enter the end date and time.
    • If you want the topic listed in the calendar on the date available, Select "Display in Calendar."
      availability image

  10. Locking options.
    Locked = students are unable to post or reply to others, however, students can still view the discussion (based on availability/visibility.)
    If you set start and end dates under availability, there usually is no need to "lock" the topic. A topic would typically only be locked after the discussion has ended and the instructor wanted the students to be able to view the discussion thread but not post or reply. We recommend leaving the topic unlocked.
    locking options image

  11. If the discussion will not be graded, select "Save and Close" and the setup process is complete.
    If the discussion will be graded, select "Save" and continue to step 12.

  12. For a graded discussion, Select the "Assessment" tab at the top of the page.
    assessment tab image

  13. Choose an existing Grade Item or create a new Grade Item.
    For more information about Grade Items, see the Assessment tutorial for "How to Create a Grade Item."
    grade item image

  14. Enter the "Score Out Of."
    score out of image

  15. Select a Rubric if you have already created a rubric for assessing discussion.
    For more information about Rubrics, see the Assessment tutorial for "How to Create a Rubric."

  16. Select the "Save and Close" button.

How to Create a Discussion

Video Simulation (2:43)

The written tutorials and video simulations on the D2L Solutions site are developed and brought to you by the

Faculty Development and Innovation Center

phone 217-581-7051 :: email :: web

Contact the FDIC for questions about the tutorials, to suggest topics for new tutorials, or to schedule a consultation appointment. The FDIC staff can recommend integration solutions using D2L and other instructional technologies for your online, hybrid, and face-to-face courses.


For Help with D2L

Call 217-581-HELP (4357), email, or
contact the Instructional Support Specialist (ISS) for your department.

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Contact Information

Faculty Development and Innovation Center

1105 Booth Library

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