Discussion Boards


A discussion board in Blackboard is a great way to build community and continue the learning process either between face-to-face sessions or in the case of an emergency. A discussion has two components: Forum and Thread. The Forum is the topic of the discussion and the Thread is the student (and instructor) responses. This page will step you through the process of creating a discussion board in Blackboard. Depending on how you like to learn, we have provided a Video tutorial, Quick Steps or Detailed Step-by-Step instructions.


Quick Steps

Create a forum

Control Panel > Course Tools > Discussion Board > Create Forum

Finding a Discussion Board

Find the discussion board in two places:

Responding to a Thread


Grading a Discussion

The grade settings appear on the Create Forum and the Edit Forum pages.

Discussion Board for Attendance/Reflection

It is possible to set up a graded discussion board as a means of tracking student attendance and/or to foster reflection for live class meetings. One example would be to ask students, at or near the end of class, to go to a graded discussion forum that was set up for this purpose, with instructions to answer a certain question, post a short reflection, ask a question, tell about the "stickiest point" from the class, etc. By using the following settings, students would need to create a thread with their response, not seeing the responses of other students until after they have posted their own. This would also enable the instructor to quickly view, respond to and grade students, providing point(s) (either just as points, or using a rubric) for attendance, participation, etc...

Detailed Steps

Create a forum

Control Panel > Course Tools > Discussion Board > Create Forum

1. From the left navigation panel, in the Communication group, select Discussion Board.

2. The Discussion Board tool will open. Click Create Forum to create a new discussion board.

3. Type a name and optional instructions or a description. On the main discussion board page, the description appears after the forum name

4. Set the availability of the forum to No until you want the discussion to start.

5. Select the Display After and Display Until check boxes to enable the date and time restrictions when the forum appears.

6. Select the Forum Settings based on your specific needs.