This section provides information about managing discussions when cohorts are enabled in your course.
In courses that have cohorts enabled, every post has an indicator of who can read it: either all learners, or only the members of a single cohort. For learners, this is the only noticeable difference between discussions in courses that include cohorts when compared to courses that do not.
Course team members who have the discussion admin, discussion moderator, or community TA role see the same indicator of who can read each post. Unlike the learners, however, team members with discussion privileges can read and contribute to every post, regardless of the cohort assignment of the learner who posted it.
Course team members must have the Discussion Moderator or Discussion Admin role in addition to the Staff or Admin role to be able to view posts that are divided by cohort. For information about assigning discussion moderation roles, see Assign Discussion Administration Roles.
Learners who have the Community TA role can read and contribute to all posts.
In courses with the cohort feature enabled, course team members who have discussion moderator or admin privileges can also:
All of the other options and features described in the Managing Course Discussions section continue to be available to the discussion moderation team.
In a course that includes cohorts, all posts include a cohort indicator above the title. This indicator appears after any student or team 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 learners 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 learners 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 might find it necessary only to explicitly identify topics that have a unified audience for all posts.)
For more information about adding and configuring course-wide discussion topics, see Create Course-Wide Discussion Topics and Specify Whether Course-Wide Discussion Topics are Divided by Cohort.
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 team 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.
Learners do not choose the visibility of their posts. The visibility of learner posts is determined by the configuration of the topic they post in. See Identifying Who Can Read a Post.
Posts that discussion team 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 learner cohorts, you can view posts and monitor discussion activity for one cohort at a time. You can also view all posts.
Course team members must have discussion moderator or admin privileges in addition to their course team privileges to be able to view posts that are divided by cohort.
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.