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The Discussion Tool

The Discussion Board is an asynchronous communication tool that lets students or groups of students participate in threaded online forums. You can find detailed information on all aspects of the discussion board tool on Blackboard's Discussion Board support webpage. (Please note: Some of the documentation on the site, will refer to Original Course View or Blackboard ULTRA. We are not using ULTRA. Please ignore references to it in the online documentation.)

Recently updated features of the discussion tool include:

  • All Posts on One Page: The entire discussion thread appears on a single page, thereby maintaining the context of posts and replies to one another.
  • Avatars:  If users have uploaded an avatar, it will be displayed with their discussion posts (See How to Upload an Avatar.)
  • Conditional highlighting of instructors’ posts: It is easier for students to find posts from instructors in a sea of other posts.

thread screen

Inline Replies

When clicking “Reply”, the content editor appears in the context of the discussion so as not to disrupt the flow of the user.  The full content editor is available for the user to write a reply. When finished, submitting the post adds it directly into the page without losing context.

inline text editor

Post First

In addition to the user enhancements described above, there is also a new setting that permits instructors to specify that students must enter their own thread before viewing other threads in a forum.  (Note that initially this capability only applies at the forum level, not the thread level.  This means that post first is not an option when students are not permitted to create threads.)

post first option