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Overview: Class Discussion


    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.)

    Order By

    Next, you will find all the posts made by your instructor and your classmates, along with a series of tools that let you display and organize these posts any way you want. To make a new post of your own, click the Create New Post button.

    You can select either a list view or a grid view for any topic. You may find that different topics are presented by default in one view or the other. In most cases, for example, assignments are presented in the grid view. But you can choose the view that you prefer.

    If there are a lot of posts in a given topic, you may see links to additional pages.

    Sorting tools allow you to reorder posts in a variety of ways. The default sort is chronological, with the oldest posts at the top and the newest ones at the bottom; this order is also reversible. The New/Unread sort brings everything you haven't yet looked at comes to the top of the page; this includes new posts as well as old posts with new comments.

    New posts are marked in green; late work is marked in red.

    Grid View

    In the grid view, every post is represented by an individual card or tile.

    Clicking the name of the person who made the post opens a menu that includes links to check out their profile or send them a message through the Mailbox.

    Activity in the post is indicated by numbers next to the icons at the bottom of the card. New activity is indicated in the red bubbles. They indicate the number of attached files; how many comments the instructor has made, including whiteboard markup; and how many comments there are in all, from the instructor or from other students.

    If a post has attached images, you'll see a thumbnail of one of them here. If there are no attachments, you'll simply see the profile picture of the person who made the post.

    Grid Post

    In the grid view, you click a post to open it and then scroll down the page to see its full content.

    Images and other attached files are displayed in thumbnails. Click on an image to enlarge it, or open it in a new tab to see it full size. Files that your browser can't read must be downloaded for review.

    If your instructor has marked up an image or a video, you will see an alert here. Click on the apple icon to see the feedback.

    Every post starts a new thread, or a new conversation. A response to a post is called a comment, and all the comments relating to a given post are gathered under that post in chronological order. To add your own comment to the thread, click the Add Comment button.

    You can move from post to post by using the Previous Post and Next Post buttons.

    The Return to All Posts button will always take you back to the main page of the topic.

    List view

    This list view is a different way of looking at the same information. It allows you to view all posts and comments at once.

    You can expand the comments post by post or use the Expand All button to open them all with a single click.

    As new posts and comments scroll into view, the system registers them as read. When there are no more NEW markers, you will know you have seen everything in this topic.