Posting in Discussion Forums

Article Last Updated April 2020

The following article contains features, steps, or screenshots that are updated for the new version of eClass that will be available May 4th, 2020. If you have questions before that time please contact IST eClass support.

Discussion forums on eClass can be used for course announcements or to facilitate discussion amongst students and/or instructors. Details on setting up forums can be found in Adding Forums.

Inside of a forum, new topics can be added by selecting Add a new discussion topic at the top of the page.

Pointing to where you can add a new discussion topic

For students:

Showing students where to post a subject and a message for their discussion topic

When creating a new forum topic, you must include a Subject and Message. Depending on how your instructor has configured the forum, you may be able to attach a file and/or subscribe to receive email notifications of replies to your newly created topic. To access where you can attach a file and subscribe to your topic's discussion, click on the Advanced link below the message text box and right of the cancel button.

The Advanced hyperlink below the message box

This will take you to a new page where you will see a checkbox for Discussion subscription and a box where you can add attachments.

The checkbox for showing the discussion subscription checkbox and the attachments dropbox.

You can see which discussion topics within a forum you have subscribed to in the list of topics (for more information see: Receiving Notifications from Forums.)

Pointing to if you are subscribed or not to a discussion topic.

You will receive a confirmation notification once your topic has been posted. It is good practice to review your post immediately once complete as you have 30 minutes to correct any errors you may find - after that point no edits are possible.

A message saying that a post has been successfully added

Starred Posts (new in 2020):

Any user in a forum can star a post to prioritize it to the top of the list of discussion topics. Starred posts will appear below any posts that the instructor pinned at the top of a forum and are user-specific - if a user stars a post, it will only be starred for them, not anyone else in the course.

To star a post, click on the star icon to the left of the title of the post.

Three posts in a forum, with an arrow pointing to the star icon next to the second post.

Starred posts will then appear at the top of the forum in reverse chronological order, with the most recent starred post first, followed by the non-starred posts.

The three posts in a forum, with the second post made that got starred at the top.

For Instructors:

The Instructor advanced view for a post, including the Add to mail queue now option.

The display period options for instructors, with Display start and Display end options

When posting to a forum, under the Advanced options, instructors are given some additional options, beyond what is available to students.

"Pinned" - Pinning a post will keep it at the top of a forum to make it more visible to students when they access the forum. Pinned topics will display with a pin icon next to the subject. Topics may be pinned or unpinned at any time. Instructors can also pin student posts.

"Add to mail queue now" - By leaving this box unchecked, you are given a 30 minute grace period to make edits to your post before it is emailed to students. If this box is checked, your post will be emailed as-is at the next running of the mail queue.

"Display period" - When enabled (checked), these settings will determine a visible time range for the post and can be used to delay the publication of a forum post and to hide a topic from students after a selected date.

The time stamp on the forum post will always to correspond to the time the post was authored - regardless of whether or not it was published at that time.

Group Forums

When posting in a forum with visible or separate groups, instructors will have the following additional options when writing a post:

The Group forum posting options for instructors.

"Post a copy to all groups" - This setting will create duplicate individual posts for each group that you have access to. This allow each group to respond to the post separately. If you post to All participants in a Separate groups forum and leave this box unchecked, students will be unable to reply to the post. Be careful when using this option as edits and deletions must be performed for each duplicate post individually.

"Group" - Select a group to post to or All participants to post to everyone.

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