Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Setting start and end dates for discussions

You can control access to a discussion topic by setting start and end dates. You may want to cover content that pertains to the topic before students have access to post. An end date will prevent students from posting while you are assessing individual posts.

  • Who is this for: Online Instructors
  • What is required: A Desire2Learn course that uses discussions

Step 1: Understand the difference between availability and locking

  1. The availability options allow for control of access to the topic.  Availability controls the visibility of the discussion in the discussion list.  When the start date is reached, both the Topic and the Compose button are visible and available. After the end date, these buttons will not appear.  This would not be your choice if you want students to be able to review discussions after the end date.
  2. Locking a topic allows the topic to be viewed in the discussions list, but the Compose button is only available between the start and end dates. This allows students to see a topic subject before it is available for posting. It also allows students to return to the topic to review posts after it closes.

Step 2: The properties tab

You can control availability and locking options from the Properties tab.

  1. Your choices are clearly defined under the categories of Availability or Locking Options.
  2. After making your choices, click Save and Close.

Step 3: Setting dates for forums

  1. The same availability and locking options that are available for a topic is available for a forum.

Tutorials and technical support