Discussion Forums are probably to most used group tool. In simple terms, someone starts a Topic and others Reply.  Group admins can decide which members are allowed to start topics and which are allowed to reply to topics based on members’ role code.  Replies can be directed to the topic, or be nested underneath, and directed to another member’s reply to the topic. If you want a topic to “stick” to the top, your can make your topic sticky (see below).  Otherwise, the most recent topic is displayed at the beginning of a discussion forum.

Both topics and replies can include links, images, videos, etc.  Members of a group can use email notification settings to determine how they are notified of new topics and replies.

Keeping Important Topics On Top

By default, the most recent discussion topic is displayed in the discussion forum.  Group Admins can override this, and make important topics display first.  This is especially useful if you are using the Commons to teach a class.  You may want to post important contact information and class links in one post, and make it easy for your students to find, and comment on if they need help.    When an admin posts a new topic, topic type is enabled.  Click on the drop-down and select “sticky” to keep the topic at the top.

Under Topic Type, choose Sticky if you’d like your announcement to stay at the top of the forum topics.

If you want your group to be able to reply to your announcement within the forum, leave the Topic Status as Open.

Clicking the “Send an email” box  ensures that your group members will receive the email right away, even if they have set their preference to daily, weekly, or none.

“Quoting” Replies

The Commons displays Forum Posts in chronological order, with the most recent post at the bottom. Most often when you reply to a post, it is right above yours or perhaps only one or two before that. There are times, however, when it is handy to reply to an old post. When this happens, it helps to refer back to the old post, which you can do by “quoting it.” Simply find the post that you need to reply to and click the quote link as shown below.