Discussion Boards

Videos:  “Creating a Discussion Board Forum“; “Creating a Discussion Board Thread“;”Replying to a Discussion Board Thread“; more
Vendor documentation:  “Discussion Board

Blackboard’s discussion board feature allows participants to carry on discussions online, at any time of the day or night, with no need for the participants to be logged into the site at the same time.  The discussion is recorded on the course site for all to review and respond at their convenience. The discussions may be graded as well.  You may have multiple discussion board forums in your course – for example, you might choose to have a different forum for each topic.  If you are using the Blackboard Groups feature, you may find it useful to have a discussion board for each group. A course discussion board can contain multiple forums; each forum may contain multiple threads; and each thread may contain multiple postings.

Some ways that discussion boards are used include:

  • Instructors post questions on a course discussion board, which students respond to before a class session
  • Instructors have students post their work to a discussion board so other students can see it
  • Students post reading responses to a discussion board

Information on this page:

Setting up a Discussion Board

To add a discussion board to the Blackboard Course Menu:

  1. Click the Discussions link on the Course Menu.
  2. Click Create Forum Link.
  3. Type a name for the link and choose the options you need.
  4. Click Submit.

To add a discussion board to a content area:

  1. Navigate to the content area (for example, Course Documents or Content)
  2. From the Tools menu, select Discussion Board
  3. You can choose whether to just create a link to the Discussion Board page where all forums will appear, select a specific discussion board forum that has already been created, or create a new Discussion Board forum.

Creating Forums

Your discussion board can include multiple forums, so that your discussion topics can be organized and focused.

To add a forum:

  1. In the Discussion Board, click the Create Forum button (or follow the instructions above to create a new forum in your content area)
  2. Under Forum Information, type in a name and description.  Using the content editor, you may also add an image or links, etc. to your description.
  3. By default, the forum is available to users, but if you want the forum to be available during a specific date range, enter the date range in the availability section.  Select the desired forum settings by clicking in the check boxes.
  4. Click the Submit button to create the new forum.

Discussion Threads

Within a forum, discussions can be organized into ‘threads’.  As the discussion manager, you will want to create threads with leading questions.

To Start a Thread:

  1. If not already selected, select the Discussion Board you wish to modify.
  2. Click on the title of the forum you want to add a thread to
  3. Click the Create Thread button
  4. Enter the title of the message in the subject field.
  5. Enter conversation text in the message field.

Posting a Message in a Thread

Once a thread is created, you and your students are able to carry on a discussion by replying to the original thread entry or by replying to another reply using the Reply button. If “Allow File Attachments” was checked when the forum was created, you and your students will be able to attach files to your discussion board postings.


Managing Postings

When you manage a forum, you can grant discussion board roles (Participant, Builder, Manager, etc.) to members of your course, or block people from reading the forum.  By default, only the instructor can be the Manager of a forum, but everyone in the course can read it as a Participant.

To Manage Postings:

  1. Click the double chevron to the right of a forum you wish to manage.
  2. Choose Manage.

Collecting Responses

As you are reviewing the postings on a discussion board, you may want to review a series of postings, or to print out several postings. The Collect option allows you to gather postings onto a single screen.

To Select a Post for Collection:

  1. Click the box next to your message to place a check mark in it.   If you prefer, select several messages.
  2. Click on the Collect button.


The responses/postings are displayed as a list on the page.

Copying Discussion Board

When you copy course content including Discussion Board, all discussion forums, threads, and posts are copied. The authors of the posts will be listed as “Anonymous” in the new course.

If you do not want to include students’ posts, uncheck the option Discussion Board when selecting content to copy. You would have to create new Discussion Forum topics in the new course.


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