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Blackboard Help

Search and Collect Posts

In the discussion board, you can search for specific text, such as a phrase, word, or part of a word.

Search discussions

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help about searching a discussion.

  1. Go to the discussion board, a forum, or a thread and select Search.
  2. Type your search query, such as a word or phrase, in the Search box.
  3. In the list, select an area to search:
    • Current Discussion Board
    • All Forums in Course
    • Current Forum
    • Current Thread

      The options are based on where your search began. You don't see results from group discussion boards unless you're a member of that group.

  4. To further narrow your search results, select the After and Before check boxes to enable the date and time selections. Type dates and times in the boxes or use the Date Selection Calendar and Time Selection Menu to select dates and times.
  5. Select Go.

On the Search Results page, you can browse and read the results. Select Print Preview to open the page in a new window in a printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. You can filter and sort posts with the Filter function and the Sort By and Order options.

On this page, you can also reply to posts and mark posts read or unread. To view the post in context, with any responses, select the post's hyperlinked title to navigate to the thread's page.

More on how to reply to a discussion post

Collect posts

If a thread contains many posts, you can reduce the list with the Collect function. After you collect posts, you can filter, sort, and print them. You can also use the Collect function on the forum page to gather all the posts made to different threads.

  1. In a forum, open a thread.
  2. Select the check boxes next to the posts you want to collect. If a post has replies and you want them to appear on a collection page, select the check boxes for those posts as well.
  3. At the top of the list, access the Message Actions menu and select Collect.

Want to select all but a few posts in a long list in a thread? You can save time with Select: All and then clear the check boxes for the posts you don't need.

Filter and sort posts

To narrow your search results or sort a collection, you can use the filter and sort functions. If you print the posts after you filter or sort, they print in the order they appear on the page.

If the author or authors of some posts are no longer enrolled in your course, the posts may appear out of order.


  1. To filter posts on the Search Results or Collection page, select Filter to expand the field. Select options from the lists:
    • Author: Select All or select an author.
    • Status: Show All or select a status.
    • Read Status: Select Show All, Read, or Unread posts.
    • Tags: Show All tags or select a tag. Your instructor needs to enable the tag function at the forum level for this filter option to appear.
  2. Select Go to apply the selections. You can further organize the results with the Sort By and Order options.
  3. Select the X to close the Filter field.


  1. To sort posts on the Search Results or Collection page, access the Sort by menu.
  2. Select an option from the list:

    If your instructor enabled the rating of posts, you can also sort by Overall Rating.

    • Author's Last Name
    • Author's First Name
    • Subject
    • Date of Last Post
    • Thread Order
  3. Access the Order menu and sort posts in ascending or descending order.

Tagged threads

Tags are text labels that act like bookmarks. You can filter and search posts with tags, but you can't create tags.

On the forum page, all tags appear in the Tags column, which is only visible in List View. To filter the list of threads by a tag, select Tags and choose a tag to display or Show All Tags. After you make a selection, only the threads with the chosen tag appear on the forum page. You can also filter the list with a tag in the Tags column.

ULTRA: Search a discussion

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help about searching a discussion.

You don't have to search through all of the discussions in a course to find the one you need. Go to the discussion and expand the Participants section to view who has contributed or search for a participant. Select participants' names to see a list of their posts.