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What is the Purpose of a Discussion Board?

Discussion boards are a handy tool incorporated into Blackboard that allows professors to initiate thought-provoking conversations for students to engage in. Utilizing an asynchronous method, discussion boards grant students the ability to collaborate with their peers through the process of posting questions or answers. To fully utilize this key component to a successful learning environment, please follow through the instructions below on the complete process of creating your own discussion board.


Step 1: Accessing the Add Menu Item

Upon logging into Blackboard, follow the steps below:

  1. Hover your cursor over the Add Menu Item (the small addition symbol on the top left of your screen)
  2. Once the pop-up opens, click on Tool Link
  3. On the new pop-up, you can now proceed to input your desired name. For this example we will resort to the standard Discussion Board
  4. Proceed to the Type: drop down menu in which you can select Discussion Board
  5. Make sure to select the Available to All Users button if you would require your students and other members to view or utilize the resource

1. Accessing Add Menu Item


Step 2: Creating Forums & Threads

Once the discussion boards are created, the instructors can set up forums for the students to collaborate and engage within the discussions using threads or replies. A Forum initiates a discussion with a hook or starting question and then acts as a host for students to contribute by recording their respective responses. While the Thread acts as a component to further extend the discussion as contributors can create or reply to them depending on the forum settings.

  • To create a Forum, follow the steps below:
  1. Open the Discussion Board, present on the course menu
  2. As the content area opens, click on Create Forum (present on the action bar)
  3. Under the Forum Information, assign the forum with a name and description (acts as the main question for the discussion)
  4. Under the Forum Availability, set it available to Yes and enter the display date and time restrictions
  5. Under the Forum Settings, enable the provided options to personalize the forum according to the requirements
  6. Click Submit
  • To create a Thread, follow the steps below:
  1. Open the Forum, by clicking on its designated name
  2. Proceed to the action bar and click Create Thread
  3. Under the Message, enter a subject and insert optional text as a response
  4. Under Attachments, upload a optional file as a response
  5. Click Submit