For Administrators, Teachers, and Moderators
Discussion is a vital part of the learning process in-person or in an online course.
Discussions keep learners engaged, invite them to make their own connections, form productive relationships, and help you assess how well everyone's understanding the topic at hand.
Pathwright's unique built-in discussions enable you and your learners to ask questions, share announcements, and start a group conversation from any step or the Community area.
Three ways to prompt discussion
Option 1: Post a discussion prompt within a step
Discussion prompts are designed to encourage discussion about the content of a step – a short lecture, project, or reading – just like you might if you were teaching a live class.
Discussion prompts are part of your course curriculum, so they appear within the content-area of a step and above the "Complete Step" button so learners won't miss them.
Tip: Admins and Editors can add Discussion Prompts to the "Source Path" so that it's shared with all the cohorts taking a course. Also, teachers and moderators may add their own prompts that are only visible to their cohorts.
Here's how to post a Discussion Prompt to a step:
Select the “Post a discussion prompt” button near the bottom of the step.
Add a brief title or prompt. Optionally add more details or files in the text editor under “More information.” Select "Post discussion" to save and post.
Option 2: Post a personal question
If your discussion is more casual - like an announcement, update, or reminder - posting a personal discussion below the step will do the trick.
These kinds of discussion only live within the cohorts where they are posted and are not part of the path.
To post a discussion, start typing in the text box near the bottom of the step while in Teach or Learn mode.
Add a title that fully describes your question or topic.
Optionally use the text editor to add more text, links, images, videos, and more.
If you do not want everyone in the cohort to be notified about your post, then turn toggle the "Notify" drop down to "Don't notify" (see more about notifications below).
Once you're ready, hit "Post."
Option 3: Post a new discussion topic in the cohort-wide Community
If you'd like to start a discussion that's not directly related to a step in your course path, then posting it to the Community area of your course is a good option. Here's how:.
Open your Course and select the Community tab.
Start typing in the text box at the top of the Discussion tab in the same way as you would when posting to a step as described above.
School admins can now create school-wide discussion Topics. Topics help your learners quickly scan and find discussions on topics of interest to them. If an admin has made pre-defined Topics available for a course you're teaching or moderating, you and your learners will have the option to specify one or more Topic categories for your discussion post and filter all discussions by topic.
Discussion post notifications
As a teacher or moderator, you can choose whether or not to notify everyone in the cohort when you post a new question:
Notifications are sent in-app (which means they will appear under the learners' notification bell icon) and by email.
When learners post new discussion questions to Community, only staff members enrolled in the cohort will be notified.
More tips for creating and keeping up with discussions
Edit or delete
Hover over any discussion or post and select the additional actions icon (...) for the options to edit or delete that discussion or individual message.
💡Tip: Deleting a discussion will delete all associated replies. Deleted discussions cannot be retrieved from the platform.
Discussion posts can be "liked" using the heart icon. Each question will display the number of responses and number of "likes."
Sort any discussion with multiple posts to see a certain type of post first.
"Best" shows the most-liked replies first.
"Active" shows replies with the most responses first.
"Active" shows replies made most recently on top.
"Oldest" shows replies made most recently at the bottom, so you can spot people who replied early but perhaps never got any input.
If you are enrolled as a teacher or moderator, you'll be automatically notified when anyone in your cohort...
Asks a question below a step or posts a question to the Community.
Answers a discussion prompt.
Replies to you.
You can follow any notification straight to the original discussion by clicking on it. You can manage discussion notifications for each cohort under your Teach tab, by clicking the down arrow icon and then toggling notifications on or off.
Learn more about how to manage your notifications.
Learners will automatically be notified when someone responds directly to something they have posted.
In some cases, learners may want to subscribe to an individual discussion in order to get every response to that discussion, and not just direct responses to their own posts. To subscribe to a discussion, select the "Bell" icon.
To unsubscribe and stop receiving all notifications, unselect the "Bell" icon.
You can follow any notification straight to the original discussion by clicking on it. To unsubscribe, follow the notification to the discussion and then unselect the "Bell" icon to stop receiving further notifications.
💡 Tip: posts with unread responses will show a colored dot notification.
Ask to respond
Are you working with multiple teachers and moderators in a cohort? Use the "Ask to respond" link under the additional actions icon (...) to send an instant notification to your colleague. This is available for personal questions when there are at least two staff members enrolled in the cohort. The notification message will include a link to the discussion and will indicate that you have asked this teammate to respond.