Blackboard - Creating and using discussion forums

This page describes how to create a discussion forum in your course on Blackboard.

Norsk versjon - Blackboard - Opprette og bruke diskusjonsforum

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What are discussion forums #

Discussion forums allows students to communicate with each other with course related questions. It can also be used for communication between students and course staff.

A forum consists of threads, where each thread usually is a question or an announcement. Both students and course staff can create threads and comment in the discussion forum.

Creating a discussion forum #

  1. Navigate to where you want to the students to be able to access the discussion forum. In this tutorial we will place it in the content area Course work.

    Where to find course work in the course menu
  2. Under Tools, choose Discussion board:

    Where to find discussion board in the course work area
  3. Here you have three options:

    How to create forums
    • Link to Discussion Board page (1)
      Makes a link to the main discussion board.
    • Select a Discussion Board Forum (2)
      Makes a link to an already existing forum chosen from the list.
    • Create New Forum (3)
      Creates a new forum.
  4. Click Create New Forum. You will then get a number of customisation options for your forum. First, give the forum a Name (1) and, if you want, a Description (2).

    How to create forums
  5. Scrolling down, you will find Forum settings. Here you get a number of choices.

    Set name and availability
    • Viewing Threads/Replies (1)
      Here you can decide that the threads in the forum should only be accessible to a student after they have created a thread of their own.
    • Grade (2)
      Gives you the choice of grading the students activity and contribution in the forum. This will generate a new column in the Grade Center.
    • Subscribe (3)
      Here you can allow students to subscribe to the forum, and to get notifications when there is any activity in the forum.
    • Create and Edit (4)
      Here you can decide the permissions for the forum.
    • Additional Options (5)
      Here you can i.a. give the students the opportunity to rate posts of other students in their group.
  6. Tick the options you need and press Send to set up the forum.
  7. You will now find the newly created discussion board in the list. Mark the forum name (1) and choose Next.

    Marking the forum in the list and clicking next
  8. On the next page you have to create the link to the forum which will be visible in the course area (which is Course work, in this tutorial). Give the link a Name (1) and an optional description. Make sure that Available is set to Yes if you want the students to get access to the forum. Click Submit (2) to add the forum to the course area.

    Give the link a name and/or description. Make sure availability is set to yes. Click submit.

Find a discussion board #

  1. Go to Discussion Board under Course Tools in the course management menu. Here you can see an overview of all the discussion boards in the course, including group discussion boards.

    Finding the discussion board
  2. If you are looking for a group forum, you will find it in the list. Else, click on the discussion board with the course name to see the other discussion boards.

    The discussion board
  3. Find the forum in the list.

Grading a forum #

You can grade the students participation in the forum. Note that you need to actively activate this in the forum options (you can allow or remove this by editing the forum).

  1. Go to the discussion forum you wish to grade, e.g. by finding it in the Discussion Board-tool.
  2. Choose Grade Discussion Forum.

    Inside a forum, choose grade discussion forum
  3. Here you will see a list of all the users who have published a thread or a comment in the forum. Find the student you wish to grade, and click on Grade.

    Find the student in the list and click grade
  4. You are now at the assessment page for that student. Here you get an overview of everything the student has published (1), and you can give the student a grade (2) and feedback (3).

    Overview of the assessment page where you can see what the student has published, grade the student and give them feedback
  5. Press Submit (4) when you are done to confirm your assessment.
    You will then find your assessment in the forum's column in the Grade center.

    Finding the discussion board

Create a link to a forum in the course menu #

NB: The forum needs to be created beforehand and needs to have been added to a course area. Make sure that this course area is available to students.

  1. Go to the Plus-icon (1) in the top left corner of the course menu and click Course Link (2).

    Finding the discussion board
  2. Clicking Browse opens a new window with a tree view of your course and course content. Find the forum in the overview.
    Click on the forum. The file path is then added to the Location-field.

    Clicking Browse, then finds the forum in the tree view
  3. Give the link a Name and tick the box to make the link Available to Users.
    Click Submit.

See also #

Contact #

Orakel Support Services can help if you have questions or if you encounter difficulties.

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