Archive of ‘Discussion List’ category

online discussion Reddit style

BLEND-ONLINE] Looking for private, Reddit-style vote up/down discussion tool

From: The EDUCAUSE Blended and Online Learning Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:BLEND-ONLINE@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] On Behalf Of Sharon Strauss
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2016 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: [BLEND-ONLINE] Looking for private, Reddit-style vote up/down discussion tool


Thanks for all the online and offline responses. A quick summary of where I am with this project, and the various solutions offered.

Piazza–Piazza will integrate with our LMS via LTI and we do have it. As far as I can tell, after some initial enthusiasm for it a few years ago, nobody here has been using. Thus, I cannot speak to the spam issue that Nina raised. Still, I looked at it and do not see any vote up/down option on it. It is structured more as a Q & A organizer. There is an option for professors to rate an answer as good or bad, but that it is different from a popular vote.

WordPress Theme or Plugin–I found a couple of vote up/down WordPress solutions. However, as far as I can tell, none are actively maintained. The most recent I saw is a couple of years old.

Google Moderator–This looks like it may have been just what we want, but Google retired the program last year. Currently you just get the message, “We’ve retired Google Moderator. The site is no longer available in any form, but you can get to data from past Moderator series through our “Download your Data” tool.

Brightspace–May work for those that have it, but we do not.

Canvas–Perhaps another area where it beats Moodle. However, we do not have it and I’m not sure we want to get it at this time.

Drupal–This might work! I did not see an up/down vote option with, but it seems there are a few options.  I’m looking into this further.
Commercial options–I got suggestions for commercial software such as and Both seem like they could work, but I don’t know if we have a budget for this.

FYI, I got more detail from the professor about the project. I learned he is not looking for a classroom solution. He is looking to lead a potentially sensitive and controversial campus-wise conversation. Thus, this might not be the best place to have posted. Still, maybe someone else on the list will also find this useful.



Sharon Strauss
Instructional Technology Services
Haverford College

Learning Spaces and Instructional Technology

Special Interest Group: Learning Spaces and Instructional Technology (SIG) webinars are FREE and open to anyone. Please feel free to share this with others at your institution.

Dynamic Discussion Artifacts: Moving Beyond Threaded Discussion


This session will describe an approach to online discussions that moves beyond the threaded message boards of D2L Brightspace, yet still maintained an asynchronous online delivery. Using teams, discussions were differentiated by product to allow students to turn in an artifact that represented their shared understanding during specific online course modules.  Strategies, Technology guides, rubrics, and student feedback will be shared.

Presenter: Michael Manderfeld
Senior Instructional Designer
Minnesota State University Mankato

Where (link to virtual room)



Notes from the previous session available here:

Active Learning Classrooms

Discussion Boards, Blogs and Wikis

Differences between Discussion Boards, Blogs and Wikis


Discussion Forums are TOPIC centred.

  • discussions are organised into topics by ‘threads’
  • anyone in the community can start a thread on a topic of their choosing
  • all participants have an equal voice
  • posts require someone to reply for a discussion to take place
  • you can follow through a thread on a particular topic
Blogs are AUTHOR centred.

  • posts are made by the blog’s author only (may be a group)
  • posts are usually opinion pieces and written in the authors voice
  • readers can add comments to the author’s post
  • organised in reverse chronological order so the most recent posts show on the entry page
  • reflect the authors identity in the tone, look and feel and content
Wikis are CONTENT/DOCUMENT centred.

  • wikis are for group authoring
  • editable website with a complete version history kept
  • aim is to reach a consensus or compromise on the content of the page
  • the focus is the content produced, not the individual authors
  • usually neutral and objective
  • discussion/comment is separated from the wiki content

147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups

147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups

44. Teaching in an online environment should be a team effort. You should be
able to call upon technology specialists, instructional designers, and many
others to help you develop and implement your course.


Google Chrome issues with D2L discussion: Scroll window is small and have to scroll down to see all the posts

Customer was having problems with D2L in Google Chrome. Client was not able to see discussion posts in D2L. However, it seems to be fine in Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

Scroll window is small and have to scroll down to see all the posts


This is a known issue with Chrome.

To display the full discussion screen, simply grab the vertical frame divider (click and drag it) and move it a little.  The rest of the screen will sort itself out.

Here’s a short screen recording about this issue which shows the workarounds in action:




D2L statistics: discussion list and content

How do I access Report capabilities so that I can see how many students, and which students, entered a particular content topic as well as discussion list?

A (for statistics with discussion list, please scroll down to the bottom):
To view the how many users have visited a topic, please go

materials content

Select “Table of Contents”


to access stats for discussion list, please go

locate statistics and press


D2L groups’ discussions: only students in the group can see the discussions

Q: the instructor does not want the students to see each other D2L discussion entries across groups

A: When creating the groups and after selecting “New Category” look down for a checkbox “Set Up Discussion Areas.”
If the box is not checked, students will be divided into groups, but continue seeing each other posts.
Selecting the areas will constrain the discussion to be seen only within the group.



What’s new for students in the last update of D2L?

What’s new for students in D2L v. 10.1?

Please consider the following outline: (includes video)


  • Layout and navigation
  • Course Overview
  • Upcoming Events
  • Completion Status
  • Download options
  • Content Viewer zoom control



  • Due date
  • Drag and drop


  • Collapsible topics
  • Counter display

next week D2L sessions: CourseBuilder, Competencies, Dropbox and Discussion List

Please consider the following D2L sessions next week:

D2L Course Builder

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 3:00 PM until Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Location: MC 205 also
Instructor: Plamen Miltenoff

Discussion will include the use and efficacy of the tool. CourseBuilder as the focus of other tools: e.g. Content, Manage Files, Discussions, Dropbox, Quizzes, Grades, Competencies

Drag and drop interface and faster organization of the D2L course

D2L Competencies
Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 4:00 PM until Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 4:45 PM
Location: MC 205 also
Instructor:  Plamen Miltenoff

The Competencies tool enables you to assess learning outcomes and determine whether users have really acquired the knowledge, skills or abilities a learning experience is supposed to provide. Competencies track information about the knowledge, skills and abilities the people in your organization acquire as they participate in courses or other learning experiences.

D2L Discussions
Friday, March 01, 2013 at 10:00 AM until Friday, March 01, 2013 at 10:45 AM 
Location: MC 205 also 
Instructor: Plamen Miltenoff

D2L Dropbox
Friday, March 01, 2013 at 11:00 AM until Friday, March 01, 2013 at 11:45 AM 
Location: MC 205 also 
Instructor: Plamen Miltenoff

Bring your D2L questions!


Please share at days and times when you would like additional appointments.
For more and immediate information, follow us on Twitter: @scsutechinstruc #techworkshop