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Blackboard Help

Manage Discussions

You can manage the discussion board itself and the content within forums and threads. For example, to keep students focused as the term progresses, edit forum settings or organize forums and threads to attract attention again. You can also add forums to other locations, edit content, and delete unneeded forums or threads. To help students locate important posts, you can enable tagging and attach tags.

You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. To help control the discussion board content that is presented to your students, you can assign a responsible user the role of moderator.

Edit a forum

As the discussions progress, you can edit forum settings to solve some discussion issues. If students are posting to the wrong topic, for example, you can fine-tune the forum name or description to clarify the forum's purpose. You can also choose to create all forums at the beginning of the term and make them unavailable. When you need a forum, edit the forum to make it available.

  1. On the Discussion Board page, open a forum's menu and select Edit.
  2. On the Edit Forum page, change the forum's name, description, availability, or settings.
  3. Select Submit.

Edit a thread

You can edit posts in any thread. If a student added inappropriate or inaccurate content, you can edit the post. When you create or edit a forum, you control if students may edit their published posts.

  1. Open a forum and select a thread.
  2. On the thread's page, point to a post so that all of the functions appear and select Edit.
  3. The page expands and you can make edits in the editor while you view the original post.
  4. Select Submit. Your edits appear in the post.

Delete forums and threads

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about deleting discussions.

When you delete a forum or thread, all content is permanently deleted. You won't be able to refer to the posts if a student wants to dispute a grade. For a less permanent solution, you can make a forum unavailable. When you delete graded discussion content, you control if the Grade Center column and scores are also deleted.

  1. Open a forum or thread's menu and select Delete.
  2. Select OK in the pop-up window.
  3. On the Delete Confirmation page, you have two options:
    • Retain Grade Center columns (don't select check boxes): If you select this option, the graded forum or thread will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and scores you assigned are retained. You may choose this option if want to keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If you delete the forum or thread, yet retain the Grade Center column, you can delete that column from the Grade Center at any time.
    • Delete Grade Center columns (select check boxes): The grade column in the Grade Center and the forum or thread are deleted. If you don't want to include the grade column for the discussion posts in the final grade, you can safely delete both.
  4. Select Remove.

Delete a post

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about deleting a post.

To delete individual posts, point to the post on the thread's page and select Delete when the options appear. This action is irreversible. Any replies to the post you delete are also permanently deleted.

Reorder forums

You can reorganize your discussions to help students focus on the most relevant content. When you create a forum, it appears on the bottom of the list. You can move the current forum to the top or delete forums that are no longer relevant.

Reorder forums with the drag-and-drop function. Or, you can use the keyboard accessible reordering tool.

Drag and drop

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about organizing discussions.

  1. Open the discussion board and point to the forum you want to move. Select and hold the arrows next to a forum you want to move. The item is highlighted.
  2. Drag the forum into a new location in the list.
  3. Release the forum to place it in its new location.

Keyboard accessible reordering tool

You can use an accessible tool to reorder items.

  1. In the upper-right corner of the discussions area, select the Keyboard Accessible Reordering icon.
  2. In the Reorder: Forums box, select a forum title.
  3. Use the Move Up and Move Down icons to adjust the order.
  4. After you submit, a pop-up box states: Items have been reordered.
  5. Select OK.

Copy a forum

You can copy discussion forums and add them to the current discussion board or to a group discussion board in the same course. You can copy a forum, the settings, and the posts, or to copy just a forum's settings.

To copy discussion board forums to another course, use the copy course utility.

Example: Copy the entire forum

If two distinct topics emerge during a discussion, you can create separate forums for these topics. Copy the forum and delete the off-topic posts from each forum.

When you copy content, all threads and replies appear in the new location, along with any file attachments.

Example: Copy forum settings only

You can base a new forum on the settings from another forum. If you want students to submit a second research paper, copy the settings of the first research paper's forum. The forum is added with no threads.

  1. On the Discussion Board page, open a forum's menu and select Copy.
  2. On the Copy Forum page, type a name.
  3. Choose the option to copy Entire forum or Forum settings only.
  4. In the Location box, select a discussion board to copy to. To select the course's discussion board, select the course ID.
  5. Select Submit. On the Discussion Board page, the copied forum is added to the bottom of the list.

When you copy a discussion forum to a group discussion board, the copy only includes messages authored by the group’s members.

Frequently asked questions

You can make some simple changes to help successfully manage your discussions content.

A discussion forum has been available for two weeks with few contributions. What changes can I make to the forum to encourage participation?

You can make two changes:

  • If the topic is potentially controversial, allow anonymous posts.
  • If you aren't grading threads, allow students to create new threads. This flexibility may encourage students to post their ideas and questions.

By the end of the semester, my discussion board contains dozens of forums. What can I do to provide better organization and flow?

To keep your discussion board organized, you can perform these actions:

  • Change the order of the forums and move the most current forums to the top of the list.
  • Delete ungraded forums that weren't used or contain few postings.

ULTRA: Organize discussions

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about organizing forums.

On the Discussions page, you can help students find what they need and keep the area organized.

Create folders. Select the plus sign wherever you want to add a folder. In the panel, select Folder. Only instructors can create folders. Folder titles have a limit of 333 characters. Folder descriptions have a limit of 250 characters.

Move discussions. Point to a discussion, press the Move icon, and drag the discussion to a new location. Only instructors can move discussions.

Delete discussions. Select the More options icon and select Delete. You can delete an entire discussion along with all comments and replies. Instructors can delete any discussion, while students can only delete discussions they've created. When students delete content, a placeholder notes that the information was deleted.

ULTRA: Delete discussion comments and replies

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about deleting posts.

Instructors can edit or delete anyone's discussions, comments, and replies. Students can delete only their own discussions, comment, and replies.

Point to a comment or reply to reveal the Edit and Delete functions. You can delete all responses at once.