Discussion Forums

Before allowing your students to post in a discussion forum it is important to understand a few quick concepts about forums work in Heights.

If you have moderated forums on the internet in the past, our system is similar in many ways. Topics can be stickied to the top of a messageboard, they can be locked to close a discussion, and individual posts can be moderated and edited.

Post Moderation:

By default, a student's first post in your discuss area can be viewed by everyone, but will appear in your moderation queue for you to decide how to handle it, and this student is considered to be in a "pending moderation" state. 

  • If you approve this student's first post, this post and all future posts will appear automatically without requiring approval (though you can still block posts if you need to). 
  • If you block this student's first post, this post and all future posts will be blocked automatically and will not appear unless you explicitly approve them each time. 

Additionally, students always see their own posts regardless of the post moderation state. For blocked students, this means they might not realize they have been blocked right away. Blocked students cannot send private messages.

Should you not have a need for, or wish to launch your program faster without worrying about learning the discussion area, you can disable the discussion area from your Account Settings page.

Discussions Structure:

Content in your discussions section is organized in the following way: 

Messageboard Group (optional) > Messageboards > Topics > Posts

Only admins can create a messageboard or messageboard group. Students can post topics inside a messageboard and can reply to topics with posts. 

The most basic setup would require the creation of a single messageboard. You could name this "General", or have it match the name of your course. Students will then be able to make topics inside the messageboard and reply to each other's topics to discuss them. 

Messageboard Post Content

Messageboard posts and topics can be formatted with "markdown" (https://www.markdownguide.org/cheat-sheet/), and you will be able to see how this formatting looks in a live preview below the post input field. If an image/gif link, YouTube link, or Vimeo link is inserted into the post content it will automatically embed inline for easy viewing. 

This screenshot shows an example of the post input with a preview of how some markdown shortcuts will appear: 

Students and creators can choose to "follow" topics. Students will receive email notifications for new posts on topics that are followed. Additionally, both creators and students have the option of @mentioning other users in their posts in order to notify them about the post (this notification will be sent via email as well). 

You can delete a topic by scrolling to the very bottom and clicking "Delete Topic".

Messageboard Access

By default, students can access all of the messageboards inside your program, regardless of what courses or digital products they own. 

If you wish to completely hide a specific messageboard from students unless they only own the associated course or digital product, you can do so by adding the messageboard to a Bundle Payment Plan. Adding a messageboard to a bundle, also gives you the option of selling messageboard access on its own.

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