Discussions | How to create a Discussion Topic

Lecturers can create Discussion Topics within the Discussion forums for students to interact. These topics make up the content of a discussion forum.

This article will explain how to:

Create a new topic from Discussion List

1. Navigate to Communication in the navigation bar

2. Click on Discussions. This will take you to the Discussions homepage

Click Communication in the green navigation bar then discussion

3. Click on the the Discussions List tab

4. Click on New. A drop-down menu will open

5. Click on New Topic. This will take you to the page to create a new topic

Click new and then new topic to create new discussion topic from discussion list

After you created a new topic from the discussion list, your landing page will be discussion's setting page where you can set a title, description, and link it to grade book. On the right side panel, you can adjust additional settings such as Availability Dates & Conditions, Post&Completion, Evaluation&Feedback. These can be also edited at a later stage.

Landing page of discussion settings

Adjust Discussion Settings Page

set topic title, change forum, link to gradebook by grade out and write a description.
  1. Topic Title: Enter a title for the discussion topic. If no title is entered, the topic will be created as "Untitled'' by default
  2. Change Forum: Click Change Forum to change the forum that your topic will be created. Here a pop up will appear where you can either create a new forum or choose an existing forum your topic.
Change forum either create a new forum and give a title or choose an existing forum
  1. Click Create a Forum if you want to create a new forum for your topic. You can then give a title to your forum. If no title is entered,'the forum name will be ''Untitled'' by default.
  2. Or click Choose an existing forum to select the topic from an existing forum.
  3. Click Apply Changes when you are done with choosing the forum.
  1. Grade Out Of: Click to box under Grade Out Of to set the points for the Discussion. Here you can create or link to an existing grade item, unlink from the gradebook or reset to ungraded.

Please visit following articles for step-by-step instructions on how to link and/or unlink a Discussion in Grade Book:

  1. Description: Write the description for the discussion such as the purpose, goal or information of the discussion topic. The description will be visible at the place where topic is attached.

Set Advance Setting Options

1. Availability Dates & Conditions

Here you can enter the start and end date of your topic, choose a release condition by which the topic will be released to your students. You can also release a certain discussion forum to a specific target group only. This may be a convenient feature when you have multiple groups that are all working on a different topic.

The availability dates& conditions menu
  1. Click the box under Start Date and End Date to enter the availability dates
  2. Click Add Release Conditions to create a new release condition or add an existing release condition
    • Click on Create New if you do not already have Release Conditions
    • If you have already created Release Conditions, click on Attach Existing
    • If, after setting up the Release Conditions, you do not want to have them installed after all, click Remove All Conditions

More information on release conditions: What are Release Conditions and how to use them


  1. If you want to have the group restriction enabled and you have groups created, click on Restrict this forum to the following groups and sections and select the preferred group by clicking on Add groups and Sections.

More information on groups: How to create a Group

2. Post & Completion

Here you can select if the discussion posts can be anonymous, or if students needs to post before viewing the other threads and/or whether posts will require approval before displaying in the topic.

The default setting when you are creating a topic is for the topic to be visible.

Post&Completion menu
3. Evaluation & Feedback

When expanding this tab, further options such as Rubric and Learning objectives can be added to your discussion topic.

  1. Click Add Rubric to attach a Rubric to a topic for the evaluation, here you can also create a new one for this topic directly.
Evaluation&Feedback menu to add rubric, Learning objectives
  1. You must have learning objectives created before you can link them to discussion topics. For further detail you can review the information of D2L on the topic here.

Now you know how to create a Discussion Topic.