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Post, Read and Reply to Discussion Threads

Intended Audience: Students


The Discussions tool in Brightspace enables students to collaborate by posting, reading, and replying to threads on various topics. It serves as a space to share ideas about course materials, ask questions, share files, or work with peers on assignments and homework.


  1. First, within the Lessons page, tap a discussions tile (indicated by chat icon and/or “Discussion” text in title) to open.
    The lessons accordion style menu structure is shown with an arrow pointing to a discussion item.
  2. Then review the instructions for this topic and tap “Discussion Board Rubric” for details on how you will be graded.
  3. Next, a majority of discussion threads will not be visible until you have created your initial response (discussion thread). To create a discussion thread, tap the Start a New Thread button and complete the following steps:
    The bottom area of a discussion is shown with an arrow pointing to the Start a New Thread button.
    1. First, insert text for the Subject line.
    2. Next, insert text in the open text area below the Subject line. Use the top editor tools to add formatting, links, pictures or videos as desired. Then use the bottom tools to check spelling, use HTML and more.
    3. Then expand Add Attachments to include a file with this post. You may upload, record or choose an existing file.
    4. Finally, tap Post to submit your discussion thread.
      The form to start a discussion thread is shown. An arrow points to the post button at the bottom of the form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I reply to a discussion?
    Once you have followed the aforementioned process to view a post, you can find the thread you wish to reply to by scrolling down the page. Then, click on the blue highlighted discussion title and select the Reply to Thread button. This will open a form where you can type in your response in the provided text area. The subject will be automatically filled. After composing your response, click on the Post button to submit your reply. Note that if you prefer to reply to discussions through the Discussions page accessed from the Navbar, you should first scroll through the list of discussions to find the one you wish to reply to. You can then either click on the linked title or select the drop-down menu on the right and choose View Topic. Once the thread is displayed, you can scroll down to view all the existing responses. To reply, click on the linked topic created by a peer and then click on the Reply to Thread button. Finally, type in your response in the open text area and click on the Post button to submit your reply.
  • What is the difference between viewing threads in Lessons verses Discussions?
    As students progress through the course Lessons, they will encounter an activity that requires them to participate in a discussion. To earn a grade based on a rubric, students will need to create a discussion thread. Afterward, students can use the Discussions page to view all the discussions within the course and read responses to threads of interest. To streamline navigation, students should collapse all discussions and then expand only the threads they want to read.
  • How can I be notified of activity on discussions?
    Students have the option to follow a discussion thread using the subscriptions feature. On the Lessons page, each thread contains a start button located to the left of the linked text "Subscribe." Simply click this button to subscribe and select your preferred notification method. You can choose from the following options: (1) Show notifications in minibar only if you prefer to have an indicator displayed over the Update Alerts (bell) icon. (2) Send me an instant notification if you prefer to receive a message on your phone. Note that you will need to set up your phone information in your profile settings. (3) Click Include in my summary of activityto add this thread notification to the Summary of Activity report that will be sent to you by email.

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