Discussion/Q&A: Ed Discussion


Ed Discussion is a Q&A platform that supports equations, multimedia, runnable code snippets, and polling.  Student responses can be “endorsed” and marked with instructor feedback. Handy analytics help with grading when desired. The tool is available in Brightspace.




3 Threading Options

  1. Question
    1. Reserved for queries seeking an answer; can be marked as resolved.
  2. Post
    1. Best for general topic discussions and interests.
  3. Announcement (only for instructors and teaching/staff team roles)
    1. Sharing messages with all participants. Includes an option to email notifications. 

Searching &Filtering

Users have access to a search bar and 2 different filtering options.

  • The search bar targets specific content; e.g. words, student’s name.
  • 2 filtering options target and isolate broader content.
    • Left menu “categories” and optional subcategories filter threads.
      • Search can be used in isolated categories.
    • The “Filter” option underneath the search bar includes:
      • All, Unread, New replies, Unanswered, Unresolved, Endorsed, 

Watching, Starred, Private, Public, Staff, and Mine.

Note: Unresolved can be a handy to-do list of

questions left unchecked/resolved. If students wish to 

Follow-up, they can uncheck their post.


Users can change the timing of notifications sent to their NYU emails (e.g. if you’re “watching” a thread, someone responds to you, or you’re “@mentioned”. 

  • Visit your Ed Discussions.
  • Select your circular name icon in the far top right corner.
  • Select “Settings” in the dropdown menu.
  • Select “ Notifications” in the right-side menu.
  • By default, notifications are set to “instant”; however, other options range from none - weekly.
  • Note: you’re not notified of your activity. The filter options can isolate your activity if you need to revisit or confirm the content posted.

Tips & Tricks

  • Analytics has 2 options: Discussion and Contributors.
    • Discussion breakdown broad activity.
    • Contributors isolate users into an accessible list.
  • Change or Add Categories by visiting Settings > Discussion. Note: categories support only 2 subcategories.
  • Checkmarks can be selected next to students’ posts to represent being resolved.
  • “Duplicate” marks a post with duplicate in its title. This helps sift through posts.
  • “Endorse” is only for instructor and teaching team/staff roles only. “Endorsed” appears next to a student's post representing a stamp of approval/quality content.
  • “Lock” closes the forum to students posting. Instructors and teaching/staff team roles can still post and reply.
  • “Mention” another user to notify them by email.
  • Threaded Templates are available in Settings > Discussion. This creates a “model” of an ideal post for a specific category. 
  • “View Profile” provides an overview of specific students’ activities. Select students’ names to find the option.


The Editor

The editor appears during a new post, question, announcement, or reply. The toolbar contains many features, such as polling, paragraph headers, bold, italics, underline, code, links, and bulleted lists. Other editor options include:

  • Insert Image - upload an image or embed a URL.
  • Insert Video - add a YouTube or Vimeo URL.
  • Insert File - upload a computer file.
  • Insert Math - a graphical LaTeX code editor. (Note insert inline LaTeX directly in posts by sandwiching the code with single-dollar signs or block with double-dollar signs)
  • Insert Code Snippet - Insert and run Java, Python 2 and 3, R, Ruby, C+, HTML, CSS, etc. You can see the other options by clicking the dropdown “Text” for the full list.
  • Insert Web Snippet - Users can write HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Users can render the result in the post. There is a Settings > Seamless option to iframe embed webpages.
  • Insert Image Annotation - a drawing tool to isolate specific parts or connections in lecture slides, diagrams, etc; e.g. drawing a circle or arrow.

Preview - glance at what others will see before you post.

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