When I create groups within discussions, sometimes students are allowed to reply to the original discussion instructions, rather than being in one of the groups I created for that discussion. This would be fine except when it comes time to grade the discussions posts. The posts that were in direct reply to the discussion prompt and not in a designated group, were not visible in Speed Grader. I had to click on "view the full discussion" to see the submission. It can be a bit of a pain to locate a particular student's submissions this way.
I noticed some discussion prompts in my spring class were good and some were not. Students were not able to directly reply to the original prompt in some of the discussion posts, they were placed in the randomized groups that I set up, YAY! However, in other discussions, some students were not placed in the groups, thus they were able to reply to the original discussion post instructions. I do not see any difference in how the discussions are set up. I compared the settings and could not see anything different.
So far in my summer course, which was duplicated from the spring course, all the discussion posts are allowing some of the students to reply directly to the original post, while others are in the groups.
I hope I am explaining this well enough to be understood. I added some screen shots.
How can I prevent students from replying directly to the original discussion post? How can I ensure that they are placed in the groups?