In this article:
The Discuss Tool is built into objects within BlueQuill to allow students and instructors to communicate in a forum like fashion. Instructors and course designers can create discussion topics that students can then reply to. Instructors and students can also reply to any post within the discussion forum. Let's take a look at how the different levels of discussions work.
There are 4 different levels of discussion posts within a discussion object. The first level is where course designers can create the main topic. Second, instructors then have the choice to add a sub-topic or information regarding how they'd like responses to be filled out. The third level is where all responses happen to the topic. The last level consists of replies to posts from the third level of discussions. You cannot reply to a reply, but you can reply to the same post another person replied to in order to hold a conversation on that post. Here is a diagram to help you visualize how the levels are broken down:
So, for reference, this is what a post would look like with all levels of discussions present (note that course designers are not required to create a topic, instructors may do so instead):
Posting in Discussions
Now let's take a look at how to post within a discussion forum. From your course's home page, discussion objects will typically look like this:
The left object is what your discussion objects will look like when there are new posts to read, while the right object is what a discussion object will look like when there are no new posts to read. Note that the icon for discussion objects can vary, but you can tell that an object has a discussion attached to it by opening it up and seeing the "Discuss" button.
To participate in discussions:
- Click the "Discuss" button to go to the discussion topic. From here you can then click the plus sign to view all of your classmate's posts.
- After opening the discussion forum, you will see the text editor where you can post your replies. The text editor offers many common text formatting options. Type your response in the text editor and make sure to click "Respond to Topic" to save your response.
- It is highly recommended that you type up your discussions in a text editor first so that you have a copy of your post if there is an issue saving your post.
- If you use Word to type your post first, make sure you use the "Paste from Word" button at the top of the editor.
- After you have responded to the topic, your post will look something like this (make sure your post shows up):
- From here, you can click the pencil icon in the top right of your post to edit your post if needed.
- NOTE: Students can NOT delete their posts after submitting them. If you would like to start a new post, though, you may delete the old text and create a new post.
Replying to a Post
Sometimes your instructor may require you to respond to another classmate's post as part of the graded discussion assignment. To do this:
- Open up the assignment that requires you to submit replies.
- Click the "Discuss" button:
- Click on the plus sign to open up all of the discussion posts:
- Find a classmate's post that you would like to respond to and click the "Reply" button:
- You will then see the text editor appear where you can then create your reply. Make sure to click the "Reply" button to save your response (make sure your response shows up):