Dear TLT: Why can’t my students post to my discussion board?

Dear TLT,

I have created a discussion board in OAKS but none of my students can post to it?  What’s going on?


Professor A. Van Helsing
Vampiric Studies

Dear Professor Van Helsing,

This is a common problem, especially for those who are new to the OAKS Discussion tool.  More than likely you have created a discussion FORUM but not a discussion TOPIC within that Forum.  Just like in the Content tool where you have to have at least one Module before you can add content, you have to have at least one Forum before you can add discussion topics.  A FORUM is just an organizational folder that holds the actual discussions.  The TOPIC is where the actual discussion takes place.  To fix this issue, just navigate to the Discussions area in your OAKS course and choose New > Topic.  Select the Forum in which the topic will reside and then place your instructions or discussion prompt in the Description area.

Once you’ve done this you will notice that the Topic is clickable whereas the Forum is not.  Your students can now post to your discussion.  Remember, you can add multiple Topics to one Forum so don’t think you have to create a new Forum every time.

If this does not resolve your problem then contact your TLT Instructional Technologist for assistance.