Viewing and Organizing Discussion Board Content

Discussion forums are centrally located in the Discussion Board tool of your course, but can be linked to from any course content area. The Discussion Board tool lists every discussion board of a Blackboard course, including those that are specific to groups.

Accessing a Discussion Forum

  1. Login to your course.
  2. Click on the Discussion Board link in your course menu or in the Control Panel (1), click on Course Tools (2) and Discussion Board (3).

     Discussion Board Tool

     
  3. In the page displayed, click on the name of the forum you wish to enter. Unread threads and messages are displayed in bold type. If a forum has unread messages, then the forum title is displayed in bold and the number of unread messages is shown next to the forum.

    Discussion Forums listed on the Discussion Board
     
  4. The content of a forum can be viewed in two different views:
     
    • in List View, all parent threads that have been created within the forum are presented in a tabular format. The threads can be sorted by clicking the column title.

      Forum Threads in List View
       
    • The Tree View presents the thread starter messages and their child messages. The child messages can be expanded or collapsed for the entire view by using the Expand All or Collapse All buttons. Individual threads can be expanded and collapsed by using the plus/minus icon next to each message.

      Forum Threads in Tree View
       

Collecting Messages

To view and read more than one message at a time, you need to “collect” the messages, so that they will all appear on one page. To do this:

  1. Access the forum.
  2. Use the checkbox in the head of the selection column to select all messages on the forum page or the checkbox in front of any thread to select a particular thread starter message and its child messages.

    Collecting threads for easy viewing and printing
     
  3. Click on the Collect button. The selected messages will be displayed on one page for easy viewing and printing.

    Collect Messages

Using the Search Tool

A search function appears at the top of the page throughout the Discussion Board. The search feature includes a keyword field, date restrictions, and options for where to search. The search function starts at the current level and options exist to work up.

Discussion Board Search Tool

For example, in a forum, the default search option only searches that forum but options exist to search the current discussion board or all forums in the course, including any forums that appear within the group pages.

Changing Thread Status

The Forum Manager can change the status of a thread to one of the following:

• Published: A published thread is available to users.

• Locked: Users may read the thread but not make any additions or modifications. Locking a thread allows grades to be assigned without users updating or changing posts.

• Unlocked: Unlocking a thread allows users to modify and add to the thread.

• Hidden: Hidden threads do not display unless the user chooses. Hidden threads may not be modified. Hiding threads removes outdated threads and makes relevant content easier to find.

• Unavailable: Unavailable threads are only visible to forum managers. Even then, forum managers must choose to view these threads. Making threads unavailable means that users can no longer view the thread.

To change the status of a thread:

  1. Open a forum and select threads using the checkboxes or the select all/unselect all option .
  2. Move your cursor over the Thread Actions button and choose a new status for the selected thread(s).

Changing Thread Status