Posts Tagged discussion boards

(Nov 17th) Brown Bag Lunch Discussion – Creating and Managing Effective Discussion Forums

Join our Blended & Online Learning Community of Professional Practice for this important and informative presentation:

Wednesday, November 17th
TH 373 (Turcotte Hall)
12:15 – 1:30 pm

Dr. Dawn McBride (Faculty of Education, Master of Counselling Program) will share research, experience, and expertise regarding the creation, management, and assessment of online discussion forums.

Discussion forums, used effectively, are a vital component of online and blended learning environments. Effective forums collaboratively engage students in course teaching and learning activities.

Dawn teaches entirely online and uses Discussion Forums extensively to engage students in meaningful and collaborative conversations around important course-related topics.

Bring your “brown bag” and join us for this important discussion.

Coffee and juice provided courtesy of CRDC.

For more information about this event or to find out more about blended and online learning, please contact

Doug Orr
(332) 4063


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Can I add other content besides plain text to a discussion board thread within Blackboard?

Yes you can. You can add attachments to the post using the add attachments button. If you would like formatted text to appear in the post itself, only HTML can be used to format the posts.

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Can I grade participation on Blackboard Discussion Boards?

Yes you can. You can set up the grading options in the properties of the discussion post.

When topics are gradeable, anonymous posts cannot be enabled.

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I have a discussion board in Blackboard, how do I use it?

By default, the discussion boards use a threaded topic format. Users post and reply to messages. Replies that are associated with the same post are grouped together, creating message threads that can be expanded and collapsed.

However, if you adjust the settings, you can also format the discussion board using a Blog Topic or a Journal Topic.

Blog topics create a collaborative blog (weblog) space by allowing participants to post a chronological series of entries on a particular topic. Participants can then add comments to any blog entry.

Journal Topics give Students a place for their own writing. The journals can be kept private between the Student and the Section Instructor or shared with the class.

By default only threaded discussions are available. To make the Blog and Journal topics available, select the Build tab >> Manage Course >> Settings.

Within the settings module, there are a ton of choices to look at. We want to look in the Tools column and click on the link called Discussions.

The Discussion tools settings panel opens and provides you with a number of options to toggle on and off. You will need to toggle Enable Blog and Journal type topic creation to True.

Now when you go to create a discussion topic, you will be given a choice of threaded, blog or journal.

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How do I setup a discussion board within Blackboard?

First make sure that you have discussions enabled within your course. You will know if you do, because you will see Discussions in the Course Tools menu.

Make sure you have builder status by selecting the build tab at the top of the screen.

Once you have builder status click on Discussions from the Course Toolsmenu.

Once in the Discussion module you can choose to Create a new topic or a New category. You can have multiple topics under one category. How you set up your topics and categories depends on your course objectives and student learning outcomes. Creating a category is very similar to creating a folder and can be thought of as such.

When you create a topic, you will be asked for a title, description and if the item is shown or hidden. Also you are able to associate the topic with a grade in the gradebook. Once the topic is created, you and your students can create messages and reply to messages within the discussion topic.

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