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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Desire2Learn - Student Resources



Using Discussion


If you have access to discussions, you can click the Discussion link on your course navigation bar:

Discussion link

Main Discussion Area

Discussion BoardThe main discussion area displays a list of current, active discussions.

Select the discussion you want to join from the displayed list.

The Discussions tool can be used for online discussions between you, other students and/or your instructor.

You may be asked to create messages about the course readings, class activities, group projects, or useful resources you think might be of interest to other students. 

Be sure to read the instructions from your instructor so that you are clear what is expected on each discussion topic. 

Add new message

  1. Go into the Topic (blue link) and Click Compose button to add a new message. The Add Message box displays at the bottom of the main Discussion page.
  2. Give the message a Subject title and type the text in the larger box. (To include anattachment, refer to the section below.)
  3. Click Post button to add your post and view it as a yellow highlighted item in the main discussion list.

Reply to a posting

To reply to an existing post, click on the existing posting from the list of messages in the Topic to open and read it. Click Reply for the post you want to reply to.

The Add Message: portion of the discussion panel displays, allowing you to reply to the posting much like you would to an email.

Set Your Settings

Discussions SettingsIn the upper left corner of the Discussions page, click on the Settings Link.Settings Link

You may want to try different settings to see which ones you prefer. Take a look at the "Message List Styles".

Grid Style is the style used by many discussion boards.

*This is the default Style. The Reading Style allows you to see multiple messages on one screen without having to click to open each one. However, after reading the messages, be sure to click on the link (Mark As Read) at the top of the screen. This will mark each message as being read so that you know which ones you have already read when you return to the board and it also ensures that you will receive credit for reading it (if your instructor is grading the discussion this way). This clicking is automatic in the Grid Style.

Search for a posting

1. Click Show Search button to display the search fields.

The Search field displays: Discussion Search Bar

2. Type the words you want to search for and click Search. The search tool cannot search through attachments but only the text of postings.

Post an attachment

To a new message:

  1. Click Compose button to add a new message as described in the previous section. Scroll down the screen until you see the Add a File button.
  2. Click Add a File button and then click Browse to locate the file that you want to upload (either from PC or from a network location).
  3. Click Upload in the lower right corner.
  4. Finish filling in the Subject and Message boxes and click Post in the lower right corner.

To a current discussion posting:

  1. If in grid style, select the posted message to which you want to add an attachment. The View Message window displays.
  2. Click Reply button to add a new message as described in the previous section. Scroll down the screen until you see the Add a File button.
  3. Click Add a File button and then click Browse to locate the file that you want to upload (either from PC or from a network location).
  4. Click Upload in the lower right corner.
  5. Finish filling in the Subject and Message boxes and click Post in the lower right corner.

Download an attachment

  1. Select the postings with the attachment you want to download.
  2. Right Click (Command Click for a Mac) on the link to the attachment and choose Save Target As.

Flag message

"Flagging" a message allows you to make a particular discussion post (time-sensitive or important) more visible for the next time you return to the Discussion Topic. A flag icon displays to the left of the Subject text.

Flag Message

Change ViewView only Flagged or Un-read messages

To view only the messages you have flagged or have not read yet, use the View drop down box. Select either Unread Only or Flagged Only. Click Apply.

Print posting

In Grid Style:

  1. Select the postings you want to print by checking their check boxes.
  2. Click the "view selected messages in a printable format" icon ( Print button) to view the selected messages.
  3. A window pops up, click Print in the lower right corner of the screen.

For more information, review the Discussion Quick Start Guide for Students.