Set Up a Group-Restricted Discussion

D2L includes a Groups tool, which can be linked to the Discussions tool. The first section of this tutorial includes instructions for creating class groups. You can then create a restricted discussion topic, where students can only interact and see posts from members of their group. 

Create Student Groups

NOTE: If you have already created discussion groups, you can skip to the next section.

You will have several different options about the kind of groups you can create (number of groups, number of members, how enrollment works, etc), and it can be a bit tricky. If you're not sure about how to set up your groups, contact the OAI faculty support desk for help. It is much easier to correct group issues before students start posting in your linked discussion forums. 
  1. Click on the People tab in the navigation bar, and then Groups from the dropdown list. 

  2. Click on the New Category button.
    • A category is a specific configuration of your students into groups. Multiple categories allow you to have multiple kinds of groups setup. For example, you might want to divide your students into large groups for one activity, and into smaller groups for another assignment, during the same course. 
  3. Enter a Category Name into the text box. 
  4. Pick an Enrollment Type from the list.
    • This step is important; you can't change the group type after you save. 
    • Self-enrollment means that students sign up for a group themselves, by clicking on People >> Groups. 
  5. Depending on the type you select, either enter the Number of Groups or the Number of Users per group.
    • Under Advanced Properties, you can optionally select to have D2L auto-enroll new users, and randomize users in groups.

    • Click the Save button

    Create Group-Restricted Discussion Topics

    As of Spring 2017, the Discussions tool has a new feature that makes it much easier to link groups to discussion topics. You no longer need to have a topic for each group, you just need one group-type topic. All students can access the same topic, but they can only see and interact with posts from members of their own group. 

    Create a Discussion Forum

    Before you can create a discussion topic for students to post to their groups, you need a discussion forum. A forum is just an organizational tool, used to separate topics. A discussion topic is where students can actually interact with each other. You need at least one forum, and each forum can have multiple topics.

    Note that many of the same settings can be configured from both the forum level, and the topic level, such as date restrictions. In this case, you will want to configure additional settings in the topic, not the forum. 
    1.  From the navigation bar in your course, click Activities, and then click Discussions.

    2. Click on the New button, and choose New Forum from the list.

    3. Enter a descriptive Title in the text box. No further settings are required. 
    4. Click the Save and Close button at the bottom of the page to finish.

    Create a Group-Restricted Discussion Topic

    1. Click on Activities and then Discussions from the course navigation bar.

    2. Click the New button, and then New Topic from the list.

    3. Choose a Forum from the dropdown menu.
    4. Choose Group or section topic from the Topic Type options. Select the group category that you set up in the previous section from the list.

        This is just an example, your group category may have a different name

    5. Enter a Title for the topic in the text box.
    6. Review additional Options and Availability settings. 
    7. Click the Save and Close button to finish.

    This webpage is created and maintained by the Office of Academic Innovation (OAI) at Portland State University.

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