Cobra Learning - Creating discussion forums and topics

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Creating discussion forums and topics

Use forums to organize your discussion topics into categories. Your course can have multiple forums and topics, but you must create a forum before you can create a topic since all topics belong to forums.

  1. Create a new forum
  2. Create a new topic
  3. Understanding forum and topic restrictions
  4. Understanding topic assessment
  5. Understanding topic objectives

Create a new forum

  1. On the navbar (our under Course Admin), click Discussions.
  2. On the Discussions List page, from the New button drop-down menu, click New Forum.
  3. Enter a Title (required) and Description (optional) for your forum.
  4. In the Options section, select any of the following check boxes (optional):
    • Allow anonymous posts - To enable users to post anonymously.
    • Note  You cannot evaluate anonymous posts.

    • A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the forum - To ensure that posts are approved by a moderator before they display in a forum.
    • Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads in each topic - To ensure user participation.

      Note All topics in this forum will require the user to start a new thread before viewing or replying to other threads

    • Display forum descriptions in topics - To provide instructors the option to display a discussion forum description within a discussion topic description.
  5. In the Availability section, select Visibility options for your forum.

    Note  If you select Forum is visible for a specific date range, select the Has Start Date and Has End Date check boxes to set your availability. You can also have dates Display in Calendar.

  6. Select Locking Options for your forum.  Locking your forum prevents users from accessing it until it is unlocked.
    • Select Lock forum to the lock the forum upon creation. It remains locked until you select Unlock forum.
    • Select Unlock forum for a specific date range to open the forum within a date range. Select the Has Start Date and Has End Date check boxes to set your forum availability.
  7. Click Save and Close.

Create a new topic

  1. On the navbar (our under Course Admin), click Discussions.
  2. On the Discussions List page, click New Topic from the New button.
  3. From the drop-down list, select the forum you want to put your topic in.  If you want to create a new forum for your topic, click New Forum.
  4. To grant everyone access to the topic or restrict learners to only see threads from their own group, under Topic Type, select Group or section topic.

    Note:  You cannot edit the topic type once you save the topic.

  5. Enter a Title and Description for your topic.
  6. In the Options section, select any of the following check boxes (optional):
    • Allow anonymous posts - To enable users to post anonymously.
    • Note  You cannot evaluate anonymous posts.

    • A moderator must approve individual posts before they display in the forum - To ensure that posts are approved by a moderator before they display in a forum.
    • Users must start a thread before they can read and reply to other threads in each topic - To ensure user participation.

      Note All topics in this forum will require the user to start a new thread before viewing or replying to other threads

  7. Select a Visibility option for your topic.

    Note  If you select Topic is visible for a specific date range, select the Has Start Date and Has End Date check boxes to set your availability. You can also have dates Display in Calendar.

  8. Select topic Locking Options:
    • Select Lock topic to the lock the forum when it is created. It remains locked until you select Unlock topic.
    • Select Unlock topic for a specific date range to open the topic within a date range. Select the Has Start Date and Has End Date check boxes to set your topic availability.
  9. Click Save and Close.

Understanding forum and topic restrictions

Release Conditions

To make a forum or topic available to users only after they fulfill other specified tasks, click Attach Existing or Create and Attach in the Restrictions tab. Examples of release conditions include completing a dropbox submission, scoring a specified grade in a particular quiz, completing a survey, or being enrolled in a particular section. You can edit and change release conditions by clicking the Remove icon beside an individual condition or Remove All Conditions.

Group Restrictions

Select the Restrict this topic to the following groups and sections check box to restrict a forum or topic so that it is only accessible to members of a specific group or section. Click Add Groups and Sections and select the group you would like to be able to access the forum or topic in the Group Category drop-down list. This enables you to:

  • Create group discussion areas where members of a group can collaborate on assignments or discuss course material in small teams.
  • Create separate forums or topics for each section in a course offering.

Note  You must create groups or sections before you can set group or section restrictions.

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Understanding topic assessment

You can evaluate users' individual posts and have Cobra Learning automatically calculate a topic score for each user, or you can assign a topic score directly to each user. If you choose to assess individual posts, you can specify how you want the system to calculate each user’s overall topic score in the Posts section of the Assessment tab when you edit a topic.

See Cobra Learning - Assessing (evaluating) a discussion topic or Cobra Learning: Discussion Grader for more information on grading discussions.

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Understanding topic objectives

Associate a topic with learning objectives to measure a user's mastery of skills, abilities, and knowledge. You can use a rubric to evaluate a user's success at meeting the learning objective. See Evaluating discussion topic activities for information about assessing learning objectives linked to discussion topics.

Associate a topic with learning objectives

  1. On the Discussions List page, click Edit Topic from the context menu of the topic you want to associate with learning objectives.
  2. In the Objectives tab, click Associate Learning Objectives.
  3. Browse or Search for the learning objectives you want to associate with the discussion topic.
  4. Select the check boxes beside the learning objectives you want and click Add Selected.

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See Also:


Tech Service Desk: Contact and Hours

Room A184 * 217-353-3333 * techhelp@parkland.edu * 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. M-Th. / 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Fridays

Satellite location * Parkland Library * 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. M-Th. / 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Fridays




Keywords:discussions forum topic   Doc ID:47816
Owner:Bob R.Group:Parkland College
Created:2015-02-27 15:44 CDTUpdated:2018-07-23 09:11 CDT
Sites:Parkland College
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