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Create Minerva Discussions - Staff Guide

Discussions are a good way to encourage students to think critically about their coursework and interact with each others' ideas asynchronously. As the instructor, you own the discussions.

You can create Discussions from the Create option within Module Content. Select the + icon wherever you want to add content. You may need to hover beneath content items to make the + icon appear. To add content to folders/learning modules, click on the folders and learning modules to open them. Then look for the + to add content to your folder or learning module.

Click Create and select Discussion  in the Participation and Engagement section.

Module level default settings for Discussions

When Discussions are first created, they are hidden from students, you will need to make them available in your module.

By default, students can only reply to Discussion topics you have created. You can decide to allow your students to create topics, by turning the Allow students to create topics setting on - this will apply to your entire module. It is not possible, for example, to allow students to create topics for a Discussion created within one folder/learning module, and not have the permission to create topics in another folder/learning module. The Allow students to create topics setting applies at a module level. Topics created by students will be labelled 'Created by student'.

Guidance on how to allow students to create Discussion topics can be found at the bottom of this page.

Settings for individual Discussion topics

To access individual Discussion topic Settings, create your Discussion and give it a name. You will then see a cog icon appear. Click on this to review all settings.

It is possible to grade Discussion posts you have created, (not topics created by students). You can set a participation due date after which students can no longer add responses and replies or edit their previous posts. Grades are based on each student's total contributions, not each individual post. It is also possible to create Discussion groups and grade their contributions.

When you create a new Discussion Topic, you will have the option to:

  • Display on Module Content Page, this is the default - if this is unselected, students will only be able to see the Discussion through the Discussions Page. You also have the option to create a Discussion in a Folder or Learning Module, so that you can organise them (e.g. by topic or by week).
  • Post first - if you select this option, students have to create their own post before they can see anyone else's posts.
  • Prevent editing - if selected, students can't edit or delete their posts.
  • Allow anonymous responses and replies - if this is selected, students can post anonymously. It is not possible to grade a discussion that has anonymous posts enabled.
  • Grade Discussion - if this is selected, Discussions will be added to the Gradebook.
  • Assign to Groups - if this is selected, you can make a Discussion visible only to certain groups.
You cannot assign these options to topics created by students. Topics created by students will only appear on the Discussions page.

When you create a Discussion topic from either the Discussions page or from the Module Content area, you can access the above options by clicking the Discussion Settings cog icon that is displayed in the New Discussion panel.

Read - Create Discussions

For step-by-step written guidance, see Create Discussions on Blackboard's website.

Watch - Create Discussions

Learn how you can easily create and manage a discussion (3:00 minutes).


Allow students to create Discussion topics

If you want to allow your students to create topics:

1. Go to the Discussions page.

2. Click on the cog icon in the top right corner. This will open the Discussion Settings panel.

3. Check the Allow students to create discussion topics checkbox and click Save.

When your students go to the Discussions page for your module they will see a + icon and can use this to create a discussion topic.

Topics created by students will only appear on the Discussions page.

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