Collaborative Working - Discussion Boards

Discussion boards or forums as they are sometimes called can be used in a number of ways. They can foster communication between groups, act as an information sharing resource, or act as a method of communicating with students without using email.

Visit Elevate's page for guidance on how to use discussion boards in your teaching or for student support and community-building.

Elevate: Using discussion boards


Creating a Discussion Board

Discussion boards can be added to any Blackboard course. There are two methods to link to the discussion board tool.

Option 1: Linking from the left hand menu

As a direct link from the left hand course menu:

  1. Click the Add Menu Item button (+ icon) 
  2. Select Tool Link
  3. Click Type dropdown menu and select Discussion Board 
  4. Give it the discussion board a name
  5. Tick Available to Users checkbox
  6. Click Submit

Blackboard Add Tool Link window, with Discussion Board selected from Type dropdown menu

Option 2: Adding a link from the content area

From a Content Area:

Deploy tool to content area MOLE

  1. Open the content area where you want to place the discussion board
  2. Click Tools dropdown menu
  3. Select Discussion Board

Setting up forums within your Discussion Board

Once you have created your discussion board, the next stage is to customise the options for the discussion board. 

First click Create Forum, which will take you to the create forum page.

Step 1: Forum information

Enter a name for the forum, for example Assignment FAQs. Also provide information on how the forum will be used in the Description field.

Blackboard Discussion Board's Create Forum page, showing forum name and description

Step 2: Set availability

Set the availability of the forum. You can also add predefined start and end dates.

Setting the availability of a forum

Step 3: Forum settings

This section allows you to edit settings around the discussion board.

  • Viewing Threads/Replies: Allow students to see other users posts immediately or only after they have contributed something themselves.
  • Mark: If you are using this for assessment you can grade students participation.
  • Subscribe: You can sign up and allow notifications to be sent to you when a post is added.
  • Create and Edit: You can alter the editing rights you can give to students including the option for them to post anonymously.
  • Additional Options: Allow tagging and rating of posts.

Forum Settings page. Includes options for how threads are displayed, edited and graded.