The New Discussion Tool
Blackboard has thoroughly redesigned the Discussions interface while adding some new functionality. You can find detailed information on all aspects of the discussion board tool on Blackboard's Discussion Board support webpage (note: we have the upgraded version of the discussion tool) and by viewing the short videos (2-4 minutes) referenced in the inset panel at right.
New 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.
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.
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.)