The Discussion is the interactive space where you will post your work and discuss the course. Think of it as the online classroom. It is divided into topics. Generally, there will be new topics in each module, some for assignments and some for discussion. The dates for each topic appear at the top of the page, under the title of the topic.
When your work in a topic has been graded, you will see your assignment grade in the big blue button near the top of the page. (Or, if this is a discussion, the button will simply say Activity.) Clicking this button will show you private comments from your instructor as well as a snapshot of your participation.
Just below the topic dates, you will see the instructions for a topic. You can hide this description--and show it again. Whether you leave it open or closed, the system will remember your preference for next time.
In an assignment, you might find that your teacher has posted additional information in an Instructor Update. As with the description, you can hide this update once you have read it. The box will open again automatically if your teacher adds new information, so you won't miss anything.
(Note: Different instructors may choose to manage activity in the Discussion in different ways. Always be sure to pay attention to the guidelines for each class.)