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Discussions


 Discussions

In the Discussions area, you can post, read, and reply to messages posted by others. You can use the Discussions area to share thoughts about your course material, ask questions, share files, or work together with your peers.

Accessing Discussions | Reading Messages | Finding New Messages | Posting | Saving a Draft | Replying to Messages
Rating Messages | Searching for Messages | Flagging a Message | Adding Audio | Changing Your Settings | Customize Settings


 Accessing Discussions

Click the Discussions link from the drop down menu under the Communication tab on your Navigation Bar.

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The main Discussions page lists the topics available to you and is organized into Forums. Topics are indented below the Forum titles. Click a topic name to enter the topic and join in the discussion.

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 Reading Messages

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There are two ways of viewing the messages inside a topic -- using the Grid Style message list or the Reading Style message list.

In the Grid Style message list, a list of messages appears at the top of the page, showing the subject, author, and date for each message. Click on a subject to read and reply to; the full message appears either at the bottom of the screen or in a new window which is dependent on your personal settings.

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In the Reading Style message list, the full text of every message is always displayed. To mark messages as read, click the Mark Read link below the message's header.

In either style, use the View drop-down list at the top right of the page to switch between Threaded View (messages are grouped with their replies), and Unthreaded Views (which gives you the options of All Message, Unread Only, Flagged Only) where you can sort messages any way you like.

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 Finding New Messages

Once a discussion is setup, replies can be very quick and overwhelming. To keep you organized, D2L helps you identify new messages in a number of places including the Updates widget and the main Discussions page.

On your course homepage, the Updates widget lists the total number of unread messages for all discussion topics in your course.

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On the main discussions page, the number of unread messages appears beneath each topic. Note: To see only topics with new messages, select "Topics with Unread" from the Display drop-down list at the top of the page.

Inside a topic's message list, the Discussions List at the left of the screen displays topics with unread messages in bold.

 

 Posting a Message

1. Enter the topic where you want to post a message.

2. Click on the Compose icon at the top of the message list.

3. Type a Subject.

4. Type a Message.

5. Set any other message options as desired. Note: These options may not be available, depending on the course and the topic.

6. Attach Files:

In the attachments area, click on the Add a File icon and locate the file you want to attach. You can attach as many files as you wish.

7. Click on the Post button.

If the topic is moderated, your message does not appear until it is approved. Moderated topics are indicated by the Messages Require Approval icon beside the topic name at the top of the message list.

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 Saving a Draft

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. Remember, do not forget to go back and Post your draft to the Discussions area.

1. Click on the Save as Draft button instead of the Post button.

To find a saved draft, view the message list for the topic in which you created the draft from and select "Drafts" from the View drop-down list in the top-right corner of the page.


 Replying 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 message list, click the subject of the message you want to reply to, and then click on the Reply icon at the top of the message.

If you are using the Reading Style message list, click the Reply link below the header of the message you want to reply to.

3. Type your reply in the Message field. To include the original message in your reply, click the Add Original Message Text link.

4. Set any other message options you want. (These options may not be available, depending on the course and topic.)

Attach Files:

In the attachments area, click on the Add a File icon and locate the file you want to attach. You can attach as many files as you want.

5. Click on the Post button.


 Rating Messages

Some of your courses may use message ratings. If you can rate messages, a row of five orange stars will be displayed above the message.

1. Click on the number of stars you think the message deserves. Your rating is anonymous.

Each message's Average Rating is displayed as a row of five blue stars. The filled-in stars indicate the average rating.

You can search by average rating to find the highest rated messages. In a large discussion, this is a great way to find the best messages.


 Searching for Messages

1. Enter the topic you want to search.

2. If the Search For field is not visible at the top of the message list, click on the Show Search icon at the top of the page.

3. Enter the terms you want to find in the Search For field and click Search.

4. To perform an advanced search:

Click on the Show Search Options link to the right of the Search button.

Specify additional search criteria from the options displayed beneath the Search for Field.

Click on the Search button.

To See all messages again, click Clear Search at the top or bottom of the message list.

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 Flagging a Thread and Marking Messages as Read

Flagging Thread is a good way to mark a Thread if you want to read it again later or monitor replies.

1. To flag or unflag a Thread, click the Not Flagged - Click to Flag this item or Flagged - Click to Unflag this item icon next to the Thread's subject.

You can quickly find your flagged Thread by selecting "Flagged Only" from the View drop-down list at the top-right of the message list.

 

In order to most efficiently mark all posts as read you simply select the drop down menu by the thread's title and select Mark All Posts as Read.

Adding an Audio File

To record an audio file to go along with your message, use the following steps:

1. When in the main discussion area, click the "compose" button at the top of the page

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2. Click the "record audio" button underneath "attachments."

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3. Before you can create a recording, you must allow D2L to access you microphone by clicking the boxes next to "allow" and "remember" when this message appears:

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4. On the pop-up screen, select the record (red circle) button and begin speaking into your microphone.

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5. Click to play button to right right of the record button to listen to your recording. If you are not satisfied with your message, repeat step 4.

6. When you are finished, click the "add" button.

7. Click "post."

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 Changing Your Settings

Personal settings let you customize the appearance of the Discussions tool to suit your reading style and screen resolution.

To modify your settings, do one of the following:

1. Click on the Settings link at the left of the main discussions page or the top of the message list within a topic.

2. From the My Settings widget on the My Home (your login launch page), click on the Preferences link and then click on the Discussions tab.


 Customize Settings

1. Show the discussion topics list
Use this setting to show or hide the list of topics at the left of the screen when you're reading messages. Hide it to save space or show it to switch between topics quickly.

2. Message List Style
Select either Reading Style, where you can see the full text of all messages, or Grid Style, where the subject and author are listed in a grid and you select messages to read their full text. Try both to see which one you prefer. (If you are using a slow connection, Grid Style will load faster than Reading Style.)

3. Show the Preview Pane
If you're using the Grid Style message list, you can read messages in a preview pane at the bottom of the screen by turning this setting on. Turn it off to read message in a pop-up window.

4. Reply Settings
Select this option to automatically quote the original message when you reply to another user's message.

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