University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

The Discussion Board

Blackboard's Discussion Board allows students to continue or augment class discussions online. Students can be in a small group discussions, or a whole class discussion.

How it works

The Discussion Board will allow students to create posts and respond to each other, asynchronously, which means that students can read and reply at a time that is convenient for them. Responses appear in a threaded pattern, grouped by subject line. Student responses are tracked in Blackboard's "Performance Dashboard" where it is possible to see who is participating in the discussion, how frequently and how many words are being posted, and to collect a single student's posts onto one page for review.

Useful for Group Work

The Discussion Board integrates with Blackboard's Group Tool. The Group Tool allows you to create and name groups of students so that members of the group can communicate amongst themselves. (Groups can also be used with Blackboard E-mail, Blogs, Wikis, Grade Center views, and for group file sharing.)

How to set up a Discussion Board


The whole-class Discussion Board is available by default in the course menu. However, if that link has been removed, you can easily put it back:

  1. To add the Discussion Tool as a link to the Course Menu:
    • Click the small "+" button at the top of the course menu
    • Choose "Create Tool Link"
    • Choose "Discussion Board," give it a title, and make sure to check the "Available to Users" box so students will see the link
  2. To add the link to a content page
    • Make sure you Edit Mode is "ON"
    • On a content page, click the "Tools" button
    • Select Discussion Board
    • Click "Next," choose settings, and then "Submit"
  3. The next step is to create Forums, which are topic areas, within your Discussion Board. Click the "Create Forum" button, choose your settings, and submit.

For more info, see Blackboard's tour of the Discussion Board

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