Brightspace Learning Environment simplifies the management of group discussion topics starting in January 2017 (Version 10.6.9).

New Topic workflow - from the Discussions area

When you are creating a new topic, on the Properties tab, the topic type defaults to Open topic. Administrators and instructors can select the new Group or section topic option instead. Once you create and save the topic, you cannot change the topic type. If you selected the topic type as open, you can access the original Group Restrictions area on the Restrictions tab.

D2L created screenshot - New topic Properties tab
New topic Properties tab

New Group Category workflow - from the Groups area

To create group categories the new way, select the Create one topic with threads separated by group radio button.

D2L created screenshot - Create group discussion - default
Create group discussion - default

D2L created screenshot - Create group discussion - new option
Create group discussion - new option

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Creating / reading / participating in group discussions

One discussion topic is created for an entire group and posts within it are associated with specific groups. As a result, instructors observe less scrolling on the discussion list. Instructors can use the new All Groups filter on the topic to view all posts or to only view posts for a specific group. Inside a discussion thread, users can see which group the thread belongs to.

D2L created screenshot - New thread - choice of group
New thread - choice of group

D2L created screenshot - Groups filter
Groups filter

D2L created screenshot - View discussion thread
View discussion thread

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Only one grade item is required. This makes assessing discussion topics faster as instructors do not have to navigate in and out of topics to complete an assessment.

Copying groups

Now, when instructors copy groups to new courses, the group setup (grade item, assessment option, etc.) is also copied over.

Workflow for learners

Note: There is no change in workflow for learners as they can only see one discussion topic and the posts within it that are associated with their group, as expected.

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CD 201909