This article outlines the process of creating Group Discussion topics. Group discussions allow the instructor to break a large class into smaller discussion groups to make online discussions more manageable and engaging. Group Discussions also provide students with a centralized area for collaboration on group projects. This is beneficial because it allows the instructor to monitor group member contributions.

If you have not already done so, create the desired groups. For more information on creating groups, see the Group Setup article.

Creating Group Discussions

Navigate to the Discussion tool by clicking “Communications > Discussions" in the course navigation menu.

Create a new forum that will house the group discussions by click “New” and selecting “New Forum.”

Enter a title for the forum and set any other desired properties as normal. When you are finished, click “Save and Close” to return to the “Discussion List.”

Hint: For group discussions, it is best to set locking and availability dates at the forum level. That way, you don’t have to go back and set them for each group topic.

Navigate to the "Group and Section Restrictions” tab at the top of the Discussion tool. Select the “Group or Section Category” that you wish to use to create the Discussions.

Select the “Forum” that you created for the group discussion.

Then, click “automatically create restricted topics.”

On the next screen, confirm the “Group Category” and “Forum” and click “Create.”

The system will automatically create a restricted topic for each group. Click “Save” to return to the Discussion List page.

On the “Discussion List” screen, as the course instructor, you will see each group’s topic.

A student will only see the discussion topic associated with his/her group.