UR Software Tools for Asynchronous Discussion


The Blackboard discussion board is an asynchronous communication tool that lets students or groups of students participate in threaded online forums. Discussion boards are hierarchically organized forums with threads and replies. They are typically used by instructors to post course-related questions and have students provide answers.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a chat-centered workspace in Office 365. It brings people, conversations, files, and tools into one place, so everyone has instant access to everything they need.


Padlet allows for synchronous or asynchronous collaboration and discussion in an online virtual “bulletin board,” similar to Pinterest. Students can share text, links, images, videos, and documents with other people in real time.


Perusall is a digital bookshelf that allows users to collaborate and annotate documents together. Instructors can create assignments based on content and students can see each others annotations. When you link within Blackboard, all students will automatically get accounts and be logged in when working in your Perusall course.


Piazza is a free, online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7, under the guidance of their instructors. Students as well as instructors can answer questions, fueling a healthy, collaborative discussion.

Note: Piazza has transitioned to an ad-based service model as of January 1, 2021. If you have questions about this model, contact your Blackboard support team. Piazza is not affiliated with the University, not a component of Blackboard, nor is it supported by the Blackboard team.


Slack allows users to follow along with everything related to individual topics, projects, or teams in their dedicated channels.

Slackis not affiliated with the University, not a component of Blackboard, nor is it supported by the Blackboard team.


Voicethread is a tool that can allow you to have a conversation around media. It can be used to facilitate multimedia-based discussions and presentations. Linking Voicethread to your course will automatically create accounts for you (the instructor) and your students based on enrollment within the Blackboard course.


Yellowdig is an external discussion board that is integrated into Blackboard. It provides a different "social media style" look and feel, as well as a different perspective on discussions.