Creating and Managing Graded Discussions

Graded Discussions is a type of assessment that allows instructors to create and publish a discussion post for learners to comment and reply. Based on the learners comments/replies, the instructor can then grade the discussion and give feedback to the learners. The score(s) of the discussion goes to the classroom gradebook along with other assessment types. Lets see how we can create and manage graded discussions.

Note: Graded Discussion is a whitelabelled term and can vary from site to site. We will be using the term 'Discussion' as the whitelabelled  term for the purpose of this documentation.

This article will guide you on:

Creating a Discussion

1. Similar to other material types, the Graded Discussion can be created for a classroom either using the global add button or from the +Add button on a classrooms Materials page. To create from the global add button, click Discussion and fill the classroom/module details that you wish to create the discussion for.

2. To create a discussion in a specific location in a classroom, click the +Add button on a classrooms Materials page.

3. Then click Discussion.

4. Enter the discussion's title and click Create Discussion.

5. The discussion will be created and opened in the expanded form. Similar to other material types, a discussion is created in the draft form by default and will only be available to learners once it is published.

6. Once created, you can add instructions for the discussion and attach supporting documents from your system or Google Drive / OneDrive etc (if configured). If required, you can also format the instruction's text using the available rich text options by selecting the text.

We also have the site-level option to set default text values for discussion instructions. This can be used to provide the creator some guideline on what should be added in a discussion or to add some default text that is used frequently throughout the discussion instructions at the site level. Kindly contact your site administrator or write to us in order to set a default text value for your Teamie site.

7. Then you can change the settings as per your requirements and publish the discussion for the learners to access.

Graded Discussion Settings

1. Once you have created a discussion, you can then change its settings - publishing, submission, grading and sharing settings.

2. Click Published to expand and access the publishing settings.

3. By default the Available From and Due date are not set. The Available From date will be set as the date and time at which you choose to publish the discussion or you can set a specific date and time at which the discussion should be published automatically and become available to the learners by using the date picker.

4. The Due date is the date till which the learners will have access to the discussion and after which the discussion will be unpublished by the system. By default, the due date is left empty and once published the discussion will remain available to the learners until you unpublish it. You can also use the due date picker to select the required date and time after which the discussion will become unavailable to the learners. Any discussion with a due date will be shown as a ToDo in learners' calendar.

5. Click Submission to expand and access the submission settings.

By default, the submission criteria set for the completion of a graded discussion is for learners to post at least 1 comment or 1 reply. Although, you can change the required minimum engagement from the Enforce minimum engagement sub-setting. This will allow you to update the number of comments and/or replies required for the completion of a graded discussion.

6. Click Grading to expand and access the grading settings. By default, an assignment is created with a Score of '1'.

The following three types of grading settings are available for a discussion out of which at least one setting needs to be enabled:

  • Score
  • Rubric
  • Grade Scheme

As an instructor, you can select one, two or all three aforementioned settings as per your requirement.

In case your Teamie site has 'Grading Component' enabled, the Grading Component setting will also be shown under the assignment Grading setting. Take note that the Grading Component setting along with the Summative/Formative settings are independent of the above settings.

7. Click the Score section to change the total score of the discussion.

8. In case you wish to attach rubric to a discussion, click the Rubric setting to open the Assign rubric/objective page.

9. Then, select the required rubric. In case a scoring rubric is selected, the di total score will be changed automatically based on the rubric's maximum score. If a non-scoring rubric is attached, then it will not affect the score of the discussion and the rubric scales will be used only for the feedback without affecting the discussion's score.

10. Click the Grade Scheme setting to open the Grade schemes page in order to set a grade scheme for the discussion. A grade scheme is a set of criteria that measures varying levels of achievement in a classroom. Grade schemes are based on percentage ranges, and each percentage range is given a name (name value could be alphanumeric). A grade scheme can include any number of achievement levels.

You can quickly filter the grade schemes created by you by ticking the Show only mine checkbox.

11. By default a discussion is set as Formative. Click the Summative radio button to make the discussion summative. Then, enter the discussion weightage if you want the scores obtained in this discussion to be considered for evaluation. Take note that the Weightage can be '0%' as well, if required.

12. Click Sharing to expand and access the sharing settings. Then, click the Classrooms/Modules box to select the classrooms, that you are part of, from the dropdown to share your discussion. You can share the discussion with multiple classrooms.

You can also unshare the discussion from any classroom(s) it is shared. Although, keep in mind a discussion needs to be shared with at least one classroom at all time.

13. Parents can have access to all the discussion that are shared with their child when they have access to their gradebook. By default this access is restricted. Under Make visible to parents setting, tick to enable Score and comments.

Once you tick this checkbox, then the score, any assessed rubric criteria, and comments on the discussion will be made visible to the parent(s) when they access their child's gradebook.

14. Click the settings icon of a discussion and then click Make a copy to create a copy of the discussion in the same classroom. The copy will be created in draft state by default.

15. Click the settings icon of a discussion and then click Copy to... to create a copy of the discussion in other classroom. The copy will be created in draft state by default. Click here to learn more about copying/resharing materials.

16. Click Delete Discussion to delete a discussion.

17. A confirmation message appears. Click Yes, Delete! to delete the discussion. Take note that this action cannot be undone.

Publishing/Unpublishing a Graded Discussion

1. By default, a discussion is created in draft state and will not be accessible to learners until you publish it. Click Publish to publish a discussion.

2. Once published, you will be able to view the participation stats of how many learners have started, not started or are in progress for that discussion. You will also be able to view the learners' discussions (comment and replies on the discussion), if any.

3. In case you wish to unpublish a published discussion and make it unavailable for the learners, click Revert to Draft.

Viewing Discussions

1. To view discussions (comment and replies made by the learners), you can click the View Discussions button from the required discussion's collapsed or expanded view on the Materials page.

2. Once you click the View Discussions button you will be taken to the discussions page where you will be able to view all the comments and replies on the comments made by the learners as per the discussion's instructions.

Viewing the People who have Interacted with a Discussion & Sending Reminders

2. Click the Seen by button. The button will show the count of users who have currently seen the post. For ex Seen by 3 indicates that 3 users have seen the post.

3. The People who have interacted with this discussion popup opens with the following details:

  • Name
  • Seen By count (with time)
  • Total number of comments made by individual users
  • Total number of replies made by individual users
  • Last interaction date and time

You can also see the time at which users have seen the post by hovering over the tick mark under the Seen column.

4. The user interaction stats for a discussion includes the list of all the users who are part of the classroom. You can tick the Show only learners checkbox to filter all the learners who are part of the classroom.

5. In case you wish to send reminders to learners who have not yet participated (not made a comment/reply on the post), click Send Reminder.

6. A Send Reminder popup opens. The Subject and reminder body field will be pre-filled with the necessary details to send a quick reminder. You can edit it as per your convenience. The reminder body will also contain the link for learners to access the discussion directly from the email reminder. Click Send Email to send the reminder.

As an instructor, you can also choose to send a cc to yourself for the reminders.

Furthermore, the learner notifications can be sent to their parents as well. This will be practically cc'ing the parents on learners notification and keeping them apprised.

Note: This is an optional feature and can be enabled on your Teamie site on request.

You can also send reminders to learners from the View Participation page of a discussion.

Viewing and Grading Learners' Participation in a Discussion

1. View the required discussion and click View Participation to view learners' participation on a discussion. The View Participation button also shows the count of learner(s) who have completed the discussion by achieving minimum engagement (number of comment/replies) set for a discussion. For example View Participation (1/8) means 1 learner out the total of 8 classroom learners has completed the discussion.

You can also access the View Participation page by clicking the View Participation button from the collapsed or expanded view of a discussion on the Materials page.

2. You can use the filter to quickly narrow down the learners' list as per your requirement (Name, User Status, Review Status, Progress and any meta field applicable).

3. Click View Participation for the required learner to view the submission made by the learner for the discussion.

4. The submissions page of a learner will show all the comments and replies made by the learner for the graded discussion.

5. You can tick the Show entire thread checkbox to view all the comments made by all the learners on the discussion.

The replies made by other learners on the learners comment(s) will also be shown in a grayed out manner and are hidden, by default. Click to expand and view the hidden replies as per your requirement.

6. You can then grade the learners submission as per the set grading settings of the graded discussion (score/rubric/grade scheme). For example, in the following screenshot the submission is being graded using a scoring rubric.

7. You can also share your feedback on the learners attempt in the form of text or audio comments.

8. By default, feedback added by an instructor would be visible to the learners. Click Unpublish Comments in case you wish to unpublish the comments and make them unavailable for the learners to see.

In case a non-scoring rubric is attached to the discussion, the selected scales will be published along with the feedback (comments), by default.

9. Click Publish Score & Rubric to publish the scores and rubric scales (if scoring rubric is attached).

10. You can also individually publish/unpublish the scores and feedback comments for a learner from the View Participation page of a discussion.

11. Learners will be notified once their scores are published or feedback has been shared on their submission.

12. You can also switch between different learners submissions from the drop-down or the previous or next submission buttons on the submission page of a learner.

13. In case the learner has not yet participated in the discussion yet (i.e. not made any comments/replies), the grading options will be disabled by default for that learner. In case you wish to grade the learner without any participation, you can do that by clicking Proceed to Grade button and then grading the submission as per the grading settings.

14. You can quickly filter learners or execute different bulk operations, such as sending email, publishing/unpublishing scores,  comments from the Submissions page.

The graded discussion(s) will be listed in the classrooms' Gradebook and Dashboard along with other assessments and can be filtered accordingly.

Discussion Posts in Newsfeed (on Configuration Basis)

By default the Discussions are only shown on the 'Materials' page of a classroom. They are neither shown in the Global (homepage) newsfeed nor the Classroom's newsfeed.

Although, we have a site-level configuration which can be enabled on request and allows the published discussion posts to show up in the classroom/global newsfeed along with other type of posts (thought, question and task).

Viewing Discussion Posts in Newsfeed

1. On the Global (homepage) newsfeed, the Discussion posts will be shown similar to how other type of posts are shown. The discussion post will have an additional label at the top, above the creator's name, with a Discussion icon and title. The instructions of the discussion along with any attachments will be shown in the discussion post.

The discussions will start showing up in the newsfeed only after they are published by an instructor.

2. Similar to other post types, you can lock comments and hide comments, if available, for discussion posts from the global newsfeed. You can also view these settings while Viewing Discussions from the Materials page.

3. You will also be able to view all the comments and replies on the comments made by the learners as per the discussion's instructions.

In case the parent feature is enabled on your site, then the Make visible to parents option will also be available.

4. You can view the users who have interacted with a discussion post & sending them reminders as well. Click the Seen by button. The button will show the count of users who have currently seen the post. For ex Seen by 5 indicates that 5 users have seen the post. Click here to learn more.

5. On the required discussion post, click View Participation to view learners' participation on a discussion. Click here to learn more.

You can access the discussion from the Materials page of the classroom and edit the title and content from its expanded form.

6. The discussion posts are also shown on the classroom's newsfeed that they are shared with .

7. In addition to the  lock comments, hide comments and Make visible to parents options, the Pin post option will also be available for discussion posts in the classroom newsfeed.

Filtering Discussion Posts

1. In case you wish to filter discussion posts in the global newsfeed, click Discussion under the POST TYPE filters.

2. All the discussions across your classrooms will be filtered and shown on the global newsfeed. Click Reset in order to reset the filter and view all the posts.

3. In case you wish to filter discussion posts in a classroom's newsfeed, click to expand the MORE FILTERS section and select Discussion to view all the published discussions shared in that classroom.

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