The discussion board is a tool for sharing thoughts and ideas about class materials. It is also used for Flexible Distributed Learning (FDL) to allow students and lecturers to discuss topics, research findings, assignments and reflection - from distant locations.
Depending on how your instructor has set up your course, you access the discussion board from either the course menu or a course area, such as a content area, learning module, lesson plan, or folder. Your lecturer will tell you where it is located within your course.
The main Discussion Board page displays a list of available discussion forums. A forum is an area where users discuss a topic or a group of related topics.
The Blackboard discussion board allows for threaded discussions to take place in your Blackboard course. The board can be split up into Forums, which may be used to separate discussions on different topics. Within each forum users may post threads (as in “threads of a conversation”), which are the conversations themselves. A user may post a new thread (usually a question or statement calling for a response) and other users may then reply to that thread, creating a discussion.
1: Main Discussion Board page
When you have located the link to your Course Discussion Board - click on it to open the Main Discussion Board page.
A list of forums available will be shown. Click on the name of the forum to enter it.
You will be presented with a list of "threads". Threads are individual topics of conversation. A thread may have a number of messages within it - this is displayed to the right.
Click on a thread to read it.
3: Viewing a thread and the messages within
You will be presented with a list of the messages in the forum. Note the way the replies are indented.
Below the list of threads the first message of the thread is viewable, you may view other messages in the thread by clicking on them, or view more than one at a time by ticking a number of threads and clicking on Collect.
4: Replying to a message
You can reply to a message by clicking on the reply button.
Note that it is possible to give a message a rating out of five if this has been enabled by the course instructor. If the instructor has enabled it you may use the quote button to reply to the post, including a quote from it.
5: Add a new thread
You can start a new thread (i.e. a different topic), provided this has been enabled by the course instructor, by clicking on Create Thread.
6: Adding a message
When you reply to a message or create a new thread a text box will appear into which you should type your message.
7: Pasting from Microsoft Word
Note that if you wish to paste a large amount of formatted text from Word it is recommended to either
- try using the Paste from word button
- or paste your text into Notepad and then paste into the text box
8: Submit message
When you have completed your message - click on Submit.
Note that clicking on Save draft will save a draft of your message, but no one will be able to view it. It is recommended to only use Submit.