In courses that have the cohort feature enabled, every post has an indicator of who can read it: either everyone, or only the members of a single cohort. For students, this is the only noticeable difference between discussions in courses that include cohorts when compared to courses that do not. You can share the examples in the Read the Cohort Indicator in Posts section with your students, along with the Participating in Course Discussions section of this guide.
Staff members who have the discussion admin, discussion moderator, or community TA role see the same indicator of who can read each post. Unlike the students, however, the discussion staff members can read and contribute to every post, regardless of the cohort assignment of the student who posted it.
Students who have the Community TA role can read and contribute to all posts.
In courses with the cohort feature enabled, members of the discussion staff can also:
All of the other options and features described in the Managing Course Discussions section continue to be available to the discussion staff.
In a course that includes cohorts, all posts include a cohort indicator above the title. This indicator appears after any student or staff member adds a post. Other than naming the cohorts carefully when you add them, no configuration is necessary to include this identifier.
Optionally, you can name your discussion topics to show students who will be able to view their posts. See Apply Naming Conventions to Discussion Topics.
Every post includes a sentence that identifies whether everyone can see and contribute to it, or only the members of a cohort in the course. Examples follow.
You see this identifier after you add your post. All of the responses and comments that other contributors add to a post are visible to the same group of people as the post itself.
Optionally, course team members can give students the audience context of their posts before they add them. Indicating who will be able to read posts in the names of the topics themselves can be useful when a cohort is particularly sensitive about the privacy of their conversations.
For example, you add “(everyone)” to the names of the unified course-wide discussion topics in your course.
When students visit the Discussion page and use dropdown lists to select a course-wide topic, the topic names indicate who can see the posts, responses, and comments.
(In the illustration above, every topic name includes either “(everyone)” or “(private)”. You may only find it necessary to explicitly identify topics that have a unified audience for all posts.)
For more information about adding and configuring course-wide discussion topics, see Creating Discussion Topics for Your Course or Example: Configuring Course-Wide Discussion Topics As Divided.
If desired, you could also apply a naming convention to the content-specific discussion topics that you add as Discussion components in Studio. For example, you could include an identifier like “(private)” or “(small group)” in the Subcategory name of every Discussion component that you add.
If you have the discussion admin, discussion moderator, or community TA role, you can make posts to divided discussion topics visible to everyone who is enrolled in the course or to the members of a selected cohort only. When you add a post, the Visible to dropdown list appears above the Title field.
This example shows a new post being added to a content-specific discussion topic.
As a discussion staff member, you can choose the visibility of your posts in topics that are divided by cohort. This means that you can add a single post with information that you want everyone to see, rather than having to write a separate post for each cohort. It also means that it is possible for you to unintentionally share information with a different audience than you intended.
Students do not choose the visibility of their posts. The visibility of student posts is determined by the configuration of the topic they post in. See Identifying Who Can Read a Post.
Posts that discussion staff members add to unified discussion topics are always visible to all students, regardless of cohort assignment.
It may be helpful to keep these additional considerations in mind when you edit posts in a course that includes cohorts.
When a course includes student cohorts, you can view posts and monitor discussion activity for one cohort at a time. You can also view all posts.
Above the list of posts on the Discussion page, the in all cohorts filter is selected by default. You see every post when you make this selection, as shown in the illustration on the left. To limit the list so that you can view the same set of posts as the members of a cohort, select the name of that cohort as shown on the right.
Note that both of these lists include posts that are visible to everyone. When you filter the list by cohort, you see the same, complete set of posts that the members of the cohort see.
For other options that you can use to view posts, see Find Posts.