How do I use Draft State in Discussions?
Draft State allows content in Discussions to exist in an unpublished (draft) state. Unpublished content is invisible to students, and graded discussions are excluded from grade calculations.
Note: If you use Modules in your course and add a Discussion to a Module, please be aware that the state of the Module overrides the state of all module items. You may want to consider leaving Discussions unpublished until you are ready to publish the entire Module. For more information please see the Modules Draft State lesson.
In Course Navigation, click the Discussions link.
View Status of All Discussions
On the Discussions index page, you can view the status of each discussion. Green cloud icons  indicate the discussion is published. Gray cloud icons  indicate unpublished discussions. You can change the status of a discussion by toggling the published and unpublished icons.
To publish a discussion, click the discussion's unpublished icon. The hover text will confirm you want to publish the discussion.
To unpublish a discussion, hover over the discussion's published icon and view its status. If the discussion can be unpublished, the hover text will confirm you want to unpublish the discussion . Click the icon to confirm.
Discussions with student submissions cannot be unpublished, and the hover text will notify you accordingly .
View Status within an Individual Discussion
Within individual discussions, the discussion status is shown next to the discussion settings.
To publish a discussion, click the discussion’s Publish button. The button will change from gray to green.
To unpublish a discussion, hover over the published button for the content item and view its status. If the discussion can be unpublished, the hover text will confirm you want to unpublish the discussion, and the button will change from green to red. Click the button to confirm.
Content with student submissions cannot be unpublished.
Discussions Student View
Students cannot see any of the actions involved with Draft State, such as published and unpublished icons and setting icons. Students will only see published discussions, which are posted in blue and gray text.