1. Topic Visibility and Access
  2. Moderating Discussion Threads 
  3. Hiding Discussion Forums and Topics 

There are a few settings that can be applied at the discussion forum and topic level to manage discussions within a course, including:

Topic Visibility and Access

The Availability Conditions options can prevent users from accessing Forums/Topics, creating or editing threads and replies in Topics, or even seeing the Forums/Topics on the Discussions page. These restrictions only affect those users who do not have permission to create or edit content (e.g., Learners, and observer roles). You can assign specific Start and End Dates for when a Forum or Topic (un)locks and customize students’ access to them outside of this timeframe.

Setting availability conditions is an effective way of closing a conversation while allowing users to refer back to threads. Consider setting the Topic to “Visible with submission restricted” after the End Date, and then pinning a summary thread of your own within the Topic so that it appears at the top of the list for viewers.

To lock a discussion topic:
  1. Log in to Brightspace with your MyCarletonOne credentials.
  2. On the Brightspace homepage, locate your course in one of the following ways:
      • Click on the course tile under the My Courses widget.
      • Click the Course Selector Grid  and select the course from the drop-down menu. If you are enrolled in more than 20 courses, you can search for the course name using the search bar.
  3. In the navbar, click Tools.  
  4. In the drop-down menu, select Discussions. 
  5. From the context menu of the forum or topic you want to lock, click Edit.
  6. Under the Restrictions tab, enable any of the following Availability options:
    • Start Date: Specify the date/time after which students can access the Discussion activity.
    • End Date: Specify the date/time until which students can access the Discussion activity.
    • Visible with access restricted before start / after end: Outside of the Start/End timeframe, students can see that the Topic exists but cannot enter it. Only the Topic title, Start/End Dates, and restrictions will be visible to the students.
    • Visible with submission restricted before start / after end:e., read only. Outside of the Start/End timeframe, students can enter the Topic to view the description and attached rubrics and to read threads and replies. But they cannot post new threads or replies.
    • Hidden before start / after end: Outside of the Start/End timeframe, students will not be able to see that the Topic exists, and it will not appear in the Calendar.

  7. Click Save. 

You have now successfully locked a discussion.  

Moderating Discussion Threads 

If a topic requires post approval or moderation, posts only appear to users with permission to approve them. You must manually approve threads to make them visible to all users. Users with permission to approve threads in a topic can create approved threads automatically. 

You can enable and disable thread approval from the Propertiestab when creating or editing a forum or topic. Once you enable thread approval, a  Moderatednotification appears beside the forum or topic name. 

If a thread is not appropriate for the topic and you do not want to approve it, you can do any of the following: 

  • Leave the thread unapproved. 
  • Edit the thread before approving it. 
  • Delete the thread. 
  • You must manually approve threads in topics that require approval. Once you approve a thread, it is visible to all users. To hide the thread, you must unapprove it. 

To moderate a discussion thread:

  1. On the course navbar, click Tools then Discussions.
  2. Do any of the following: 
    • Beside the post you want to approve, click the Approve Post link. 
    • From the context menu of the post you want to approve, click Approve Post. 
    • To approve all posts in a thread, click Approve All Replies in Thread. 
    • From the context menu of the post you want to unapprove, click Unapprove Post. 
    • From the context menu of the thread you want to unapprove, click Unapprove Thread. 

You have now successfully moderated a discussion topic and the posts associated with the topic.  

Hiding Discussion Forums and Topics 

Hidden topics do not display on the Discussions List page, except to users with permission to see hidden forums and topics or permissions to manage discussions. By hiding topics, you can control which topics users can access at different times throughout the course. For example, you can create weekly discussion topics for users to reflect on the material covered in each week of the course and make each topic available for one week only. 

You can specify start and end dates for when a forum or topic is visible so you can set up visibility ahead of time to match your course’s calendar. 

Instead of scheduling a topic to disappear as soon as you want the discussion to end, consider locking the topic at that point and keeping it visible for another few days. This allows users to review the discussion after it closes so that they don’t miss the last posts added. 

WARNING: Hiding a forum is a “higher level” than topic. If you hide a discussion forum, all associated topics will also be hidden subsequentily.

To hide a forum or topic:

  1. In the course navbar, click Tools.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Discussions. 
  3. From the context menu of the forum or topic you want to hide, click Hide from Users. 


You have now hidden a discussion forum or topic.  

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