The Discussions tool allows you to facilitate active discussions with your members on important issues concerning your organization or campus. Online discussion forums provide a collaborative environment for members to reflect on organization initiatives, express opinions, share thoughts and resources, and engage in community-wide discussions. To access the Discussions tool, choose this option on your portal's toolbar. Click here if you do not see this as an option.
The first thing you see when you access the Discussions tool is a list of the existing discussions created in your portal and also those shared down by the umbrella portal. Umbrella discussions are unique because they allow for users within your community to communicate across organizations, as opposed to portal discussions, which are internal.
As a basic user, this module is no different from an online forum. Within the application, there are three defined levels: forums, topics, and discussions. Forums exist at the top level and represent a broad category. Within each forum, there are topics, which are also categorical, but more specific. Within each topic, there are discussions, where the real collaboration takes place. When contributing to a discussion, you are provided a basic text editor that allows you to customize your response. After posting, you will retain the ability to edit your post or remove it entirely.
As an administrator accessing the Discussions tool, you are provided the option to create a new forum in the top right of the page. For each forum, you can define a name, description, and who can see it. Once in a forum, you can post a topic, which requires you to enter a name and the first post under that topic. You will receive a notification for each post made after yours. As an administrator, you have the ability to remove other user's posts but you cannot edit them.