Every Blackboard site contains a Discussion Board. This is an area for all site users to share ideas on a range of topics. A discussion board can contain any number of forums for different purposes or topics. Each forum can contain any number of threads, which are the name for individual postings to which other users can reply.
TERMINOLOGY: The main discussion board page displays a list of forums. A forum is where participants discuss a topic or a group of related topics. Within each forum, users can create multiple threads. A thread includes the initial post and all replies to it. You can create forums and threads to organize discussions into units or topics relevant to your course.
Adding a Forum to a weekly folder in the Module Content area
(N.B. Instructors must create a forum to enable discussion. Students cannot create forums)
- Go to the relevant Weekly Folder in Content Area on the site (e.g. the ‘Week 1’ folder in the ‘Module Content’ area)
- On the top menu bar, click Tools and Discussion Board.
- Click on the Create Forum button.
- Enter a name and description for the forum. These should give a clear indication of the purpose of the forum.
- Set the Forum availability to Yes and select time and date restrictions if required.
- Review the Forum Settings and adjust these from the default if required (the default should suffice in most cases).
- On the next screen, click Next.
- On the next screen, click Submit.
Creating a Thread within the Forum
- You are then taken back to the Content Area. Click the Discussion Board icon on the page.
- On the next screen, click Create Thread.
- Enter a subject and message. Text, images and hyperlinks can be included. The message text becomes the ‘starter post’ text.
- If anonymous posts have been allowed, tick the Post Message as Anonymous box.
- Click Submit.
- Inform students where to find the discussion board (i.e. in the Week 11 folder), what the participation expectations are (to post one 300 word post and to reply to at least two other students) and when their contribution is due by (post before the lecture).
- Try to incentivise students by drawing on any good, interesting or thought-provoking contributions during class.