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The information in this guide is intended for Instructors, Teaching Convenors and Tutors

How-To Guide: Using Discussions

You can set up online discussions in your VU Collaborate space to encourage online socialisation, provide a central repository for questions and collate FAQs.

Setting Up Discussion Forums and Topics


Step One: Getting to Discussions

To get to Discussions select the Communication tab then select Discussions.

Discussions List

Step Two: Setting up a Forum and Topic

You can create a New Forum or New Topic. You use forums to organise your discussion topics into categories. You must create a forum before you can create a topic as all topics belong to forums. The example illustrates a forum called Week One and within the Week One Forum there are discussion topics relevant to that week.

creating a forum

Step Three: Setting up a Forum

From the Discussion area click on new forum, give the discussion forum an appropriate title and basic description. Please see the How-To Guide on restrictions for information on how to utilise this feature. When finished click save and close.


Step Four: Setting up a Topic

From the Discussion area click on new topic, give the discussion topic an appropriate title and basic description. Please see the How-To Guide on restrictions for information on how to utilise this feature. Select which forum you would like to attach the topic to.

availability options

Step Five: How to set Availability options

You can select different Visibility and Locking Options in the Availability section.
Visibility settings control when the forum or topic can be viewed by the users.
Locking Options control when users can contribute to the forum or topic.

You can change the visibility and locking options manually or you can use the specific date range options to make changes automatically.

Discussions list more actions

Step Six: How to Reorder or Copy Discussions

The More Actions function allows you to

  • copy
  • reorder and
  • and restore previously deleted messages

You can reorder the forums and topics by selecting the Reorder button.

How to Moderate Comments

Start New thread

Step One: Responding to students' discussion board comments

Select the discussion topic you wish to view. Click on Start New Thread to respond to the students’ discussion board message.


Step Two: Writing your response

You can write your response like an email when responding to discussion board messages. All the functions of the HTML editor are available (insert links, images, video). Once you have composed your message just click Post.

Adding Discussions to Your Content Area

adding to content

Step One: Adding Discussion Activities

You can add your discussion forums and topics to you content area of your VU Collaborate Space. This helps students find the relevant discussion board and also helps you plan where within the content you want it to be displayed.

First, select where in the content you wish the discussion forum or topic to be linked. Click on Add Activities and select the Discussions option.

Select the discussion forum or topic to embed

Step Two: Selecting the Discussion Forum or topic

From the discussions menu, click on the discussion Forum and Topic you wish embedded into your content area, it will appear at the bottom of the content module.


Step Three: Edit Discussion Properties and Add Restrictions

To edit or add restrictions to the discussion topic, choose Edit Properties in the dropdown menu.

Further Support

Visit the VU Collaborate Help site[https://blendedlearning.vu.edu.au] for up to date information and resources on blended learning. Provide feedback on this help resource by visiting the Help Site Feeback forum [https://blendedlearning.vu.edu.au/forum/helpsite-feedback.html].

Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service[http://servicedesk.vu.edu.au] for further technical support.



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