Grading Discussion Forums

Grading Discussion Forums

You can assess learners’ participation in discussion topics from within threads for topics to which you’ve added an assessment. Once you attach a topic to a grade item, you will find the Assess Post pop-up, with a link to the original discussion post. You can use this link to see more information about why the user posted a reply or what other learners replied to the post.

Click on the ‘+’ to see how to use each feature:

  1. On your course home page, click the icon Discussions
  2. From the context menu of the discussion topic you want to attach a grade item to, click Edit and Edit Topic.


  • In the Assessment tab, select an existing grade item from the Grade Item drop-down list, or click New Grade Item to create a new one.
  • Choose a Score that suits you.
  • Add a Rubric if you want to use Rubrics to grade the discussion.
  • It is also possible to allow assessments of individual posts and to include unassessed posts in the calculated topic score as zero.


  • When you are done, click Save and Close.
Grades entered in Discussions and Grade Book are synchronized.

There are two ways you can assess the discussions forums:

  1. via the Discussion Forum;
  2. via the Grade section;


Note: If your topic is moderated, you must approve posts before you can assess them. To assess individual posts, you must edit the topic to enable the Allow assessmen of individual posts check box in the Assessment tab.


Assessing via Discussion Forum

    1. On the navbar, click collaboration and then Discussions.
    2. Once you are in the Discussions List page, click the topic you want to assess.
    3. Instructors can select either the thread or reply for a post. Click the More actions button and then select Asses to assess the individual learner.
    4.   A pop-up window will open, you may do any of the following:
      • If assessment of individual posts is enabled and you are in Reading View, enter a score in the Score column beside each post you want to assess.
      • If assessment of individual posts is enabled and you are in Grid View, add the assessment in the Post Score field.
      • If assessment of individual posts is not enabled, enter a score in the Topic Score field. This score is the assessment you are providing to the learner for participation in the topic.


    1. Complete each rubric, choosing a level and entering feedback for each criterion or choose an overall score. Note that the calculated or chosen Overall Score (if there is one) is automatically populated in the Topic Score field. To return the Topic Score to the calculated score from the rubric, click Clear Override.
    2.  In the General Feedback field, you may enter feedback comments.
    3. Select the Publish or Save Draft check box. This check box is only available when the topic is associated with a grade item.Save Draft feature provides instructors the option to save feedback on assessments in draft state prior to publishing it to learners. Publishing the feedback after it has been saved as draft can be done for multiple students at a time using the Publish Feedback button. This button can be found when you click on Assess Topic.


  1. Click Save and Close.
    Feedback can be retracted. Go to Assess Topic and select the Retract Feedback button.


Assessing via Grades

  1. On the navbar, click the Grades icon.
  2. Under Enter Grades find the student you want to assess.
  3. You may click directly on the discussion icon corresponding to the student you want to grade. Another option is to click on the arrow next to the category associated with your discussion topic and select grade all. In your students list you will find the same discussion icon, click on it.
  4. A pop-up window will open, follow the options from step “4” as explained in the previous section “1. Assessing via the Discussion Forum”.

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