Using Discussion Forums, you can discuss issues, pose questions, provide feedback, even work on group assignments in small or large groups. The Discussion Forums area is a tool for asynchronous interaction, meaning you send and receive messages according to your own schedule — much like email. Unlike email, however, all communication in the Discussion Forums is public — messages posted to a forum can be viewed by others in your course, and others can respond to your messages in a very public way. While there are "private" areas for discussion in the Discussion Forums, most communication is public.

The Discussion Forums are located in the Communication Center area of each course website.


  • Messages: Messages are the basic units of communication in the Discussion Forums. You create a message by typing the information you wish to share and then "posting" the message.
  • Categories: The individual messages in each course Discussion Forum are organized in general directories — or categories — based upon a general topic. For example, you may have a course with categories labeled "Exercise 1," "Exam Study," and "Module 1." To help keep the Discussion Forums organized as clearly as possible, you should post messages pertaining to different topics in the appropriate categories.
  • Topics: Subtopic — or "threads" — of discussion further categorize messages in each category. For example, in an "Exercise 1" category, a discussion of how the exercise will be graded might constitute one topic; another topic in the same category might pertain to ideas for completing the exercise. There are usually multiple topics in each category.
  • Bookmarks: You can bookmark specific posts for review at a later time.
  • Email notifications: You can elect to receive notification by email of any new messages posted to a specific topic or an entire category.
  • File attachments: Messages can include attachments such as graphics, Microsoft Word files, and PowerPoint files.
  • Emoji reactions: Similar to Facebook's "Like" button, you can quickly react to an existing post by selecting one of nine available emoji.
  • Searching: You can search across the entire course Discussion Forums for messages containing a specific word or phrase.

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