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D2L Discussions

The Discussions tool is a collaboration area to post, read, and reply to messages on different topics. You can share thoughts about course materials, ask questions, share files, or work with your peers on assignments and homework.

To access the Discussions tool:

  1. Select the Activities drop-down menu in the navbar at the top of your screen.
  2. Select Discussions.

Reading Messages

There are two ways to view messages inside a topic. See Discussions settings below to learn how to change your view.

  • Grid Style
    In this view, a list of messages appears at the top of the page, showing the subject, author, and date for each message. Select a message’s subject to read the message; the full message appears at the bottom of the screen or in a new window, depending on your personal settings.

  • Reading Style
    In this view, the full text of every message always displays. You can select the Mark Read link below a message’s header to tell the system when you’ve read a message.

In either style, use the View drop-down menu list to switch between Threaded view (messages are grouped with their replies) or one of the Unthreaded views (messages are grouped into All Messages, Unread Only, Flagged Only).

Following a Discussion Forum, Topic, or Message Thread

You can receive email and SMS notifications for discussion forums, topics, and message threads that you subscribe to. Ensure your Notifications settings are set up properly.

To subscribe to notifications:

  1. Select the Subscribe link beside the forum or topic to receive notifications of new posts.
  2. If you do not have an email address set up in your user profile, you will be prompted to enter your System Password and New Email in a pop-up window.
  3. Select Save.
  4. In the Customize Notifications pop-up window, select your Notification Frequency.
  5. Select Subscribe.
    Note: To subscribe to individual messages inside a topic, select the Subscribe link for the message, then click Subscribe.

To unsubscribe from notifications:

  1. Select the Subscribed link beside the forum or topic to stop receiving notifications.
  2. In the confirmation pop-up window, select Yes.
    Note: To unsubscribe to individual messages inside a topic, select the Unsubscribe icon for the message, then select Yes.

Posting a Message

To post a message:

  1. Select the topic where you want to post a message.
  2. Select Start a New Thread.
  3. Enter a subject.
  4. Enter your message.
  5. Set any other message options you want. (Look below for details about your message options. These options may not be available, depending on the course and the topic.)
  6. Select Post.

Message Options


Do This

Keep the message at the top of the list

Select "Pin message".

Post your message anonymously

Select "Author anonymously".

Receive updates on the thread via your selected notification method

Select "Subscribe to updates to this thread".

Attach a file

In the Attachments area, select "Add a File" and locate the file you want to attach. You can attach as many files as you want.

Attach an audio recording

  1. In the Attachments area, select "Record Audio".

  2. Ensure your microphone is set up correctly and select "Record".

  3. Select "Flash Settings" to make adjustments to your microphone selection and volume.

  4. Select "Play" to listen to your recording before posting.

  5. Select "Clear" if you need to erase your recording and start again.

Post your message to more than one topic simultaneously

  1. Select "Show the posting options".

  2. Select "Add Topics" and select the topics you would like your message to appear in. To post in every topic simultaneously, select the field at the top or bottom of the topic list.

Saving a Draft Message

You can save your message as a draft instead of posting it right away. Saving a draft lets you return to the message later to edit it before posting it to the topic. To save a draft, select Save Draft instead of Post.

To find a saved draft:

  1. View the message list for the topic where you created the draft
  2. Select “Drafts” from the View drop-down list
  3. Select Apply.

Replying to a Message

To reply to a message:

  1. Locate the message you want to reply to.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you’re using the Grid Style view, select on the message you want to reply to, then click Reply.
    • If you’re using the Reading Style view, select Reply beneath the header of the message you want to reply to.
  3. Enter your reply in the Message field. To include the original message’s text in your reply, click the Add Original Message Text link. (This option may already be enabled by your course administrator.)
  4. Set any other message options you want (see more in the Message Options section above).
  5. Select Post.

Printing a Message

You can view messages in a printable format and send the messages to your printer when using the Grid Style message list.

To print a message:

  1. In the Grid Style message list, select the messages you want to print.
  2. Select Print.
  3. In the Printable View pop-up window, select Print.

Further Resources

If you were unable to resolve your question by viewing this tutorial, contact the Helpdesk.