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Blackboard Help


Your instructor and institution control which tools are available.

In discussions, you can share thoughts and ideas about class materials. In Blackboard Learn, course members can have the thoughtful discussions that take place in the traditional classroom, but with the advantages of asynchronous communication. Participants don't need to be in the same location or time zone, and you can take the time to consider your responses carefully.

You can use discussions for these tasks:

  • Meet with your peers for collaboration and social interaction.
  • Pose questions about homework assignments, readings, and course content.
  • Demonstrate your understanding or application of course material.

Watch a video about discussions

This video explains how to access discussions, manage posts, and reply to them in the Original Course View.

Video: How to use Blackboard discussions

Open the Discussion Board

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help on opening a discussion.

  1. Find the discussion board in two places:
    • On the course menu, select Discussions.
    • On the course menu, select Tools and then Discussion Board.
  2. The main Discussion Board page appears with a list of available discussion forums. On this page, you can perform these actions:
    1. Select a forum title to view the messages. Forum titles in bold contain unread posts.
    2. View data on the number of posts and participants.
    3. Select the number in the Unread Posts column for quick access to a forum’s unread messages.

More on creating a reply

Course groups can have their own discussion boards. Group discussion boards are available only to users who are members of the group. If a group discussion board is available, you can find it in the groups link on the course menu or in the My Groups area.

More on opening discussions with JAWS

You can edit or delete your replies if allowed by your instructor. If you post a reply in error and the options to edit or delete don't appear, contact your instructor.

More on editing and deleting replies

ULTRA: Open a discussion

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help on opening the discussion board.

Discussions work like an online forum about course concepts. Your instructor may expect you to create your own discussions and participate in existing ones. Sometimes, discussions contribute to your participation grade. Your instructor can also grade your contributions. Be sure to check with your syllabus or your instructor to see how discussions are used in your course.

To open a discussion, go to your course and select the speech bubble icon on the navigation bar. Select the discussion from the list that appears. Discussions can also appear alongside other course materials on the Course Content page.

Discussions in the Ultra Course View don't use forums and threads.

How do I know if a discussion is graded?

If you see grading information in the discussion details, your participation counts for a grade. Your instructor assigns you a grade for the discussion as a whole, not for each individual post. You can create and edit your posts up until the participation deadline. After the deadline, you'll be able to view your posts, but you won't be able to change them.

Group discussions

Your instructor can create a group discussion for you to discuss a topic with a subset of class members.

The first time you're assigned a group discussion, a message will appear on the Course Content page to let you know. The name of your group appears on the discussion page, along with the list of your group members.

Your instructors can't grade group discussions at this time.

ULTRA: Create a discussion

  1. In your course, select the speech bubble icon from the navigation bar.
  2. Select the plus sign wherever you want to add your discussion.
  3. Select Discussion. Type a meaningful title and get the discussion started with a question, idea, or comment.

    To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

  4. Select Save when you're ready for others to see.

Edit and delete discussions

You can edit or delete your discussion. Select the More options icon to access the Edit and Delete functions. If you delete your initial comment, all replies remain. The system displays a message about your deletion so that others know what happened.