Creating a Discussion Board Forum for a Group

This guide will walk you through the process of creating a group discussion board forum within your Blackboard course. Creating a group discussion board forum allows students to discuss topics within small groups according to their availability, without being tied to scheduled, real-time discussions.

1. Click Course Tools on the Control Panel menu. Select Discussion Board on the expanded course tools menu.

Course Tools menu

2. This page lists all discussion boards within the course, including group discussion boards. Click on a group name to enter its forum.

Discussion board list

3. Click the Create Forum button.

Create forum button

4. Assign the forum a name and confirm that availability is set to yes. Date and time restrictions can be used to automatically open and close forums based on predetermined dates and times. To set date and time limitations, check the necessary boxes for "Display After" and "Display Until" options, as needed. Specific dates and times can be typed in or selected from the calendar and time menus.

Availability restrictions

5. Set forum settings as needed. By default, forum members are allowed to create new threads, attach files, and reply to other users with quote. See a breakdown of forum options below:

Forums have many different settings that affect how users interact with the Forums. Forum postings can be graded if desired. When a Forum is set to be graded, a Column in the Grade Center is automatically created. The Grade Center Column can be edited in the Grade Center.

  • Allow Anonymous Posts: Users can post to the Forum without revealing their Username. If Forums allow anonymous posts, they cannot be graded.
  • Allow Author to Delete Own Posts: Users can delete all their own posts or just posts without replies. Deleted posts cannot be recovered.
  • Allow Author to Edit Own Published Posts: No record of the original post is kept.
  • Allow Post Tagging: Tagging is a way to add metadata to posts to make them easier to retrieve in searches. To tag items in a Forum, first select them and then click Collect. For faster Discussion Board page loading, do not allow Post Tagging.
  • Allow Users to Reply with Quote: This setting is enabled by default. When users click Quote, the message they are replying to is included in the post.
  • Allow File Attachments: This setting is enabled by default. Attaching large files will slow down the Discussion Board
  • Allow Members to Create New Threads: This setting is enabled by default. If Threads are graded, members cannot be allowed to create new Threads and members cannot post anonymously.
  • Subscribe: Subscriptions to Threads and Forums are sent to users by email. Once a subscription option is selected users can select:
    • Include body of Post in the Email: The entire post is sent in the body of the email message.
    • Include Link to Post: A link to the post is sent in the body of the email message.
  • Allow Members to Rate Posts: Users can rate the quality of the post using a five star system.
  • Force Moderation of Posts: This requires all messages to be reviewed by a Moderator before they can be published to the Forum. The Instructor is the Manager of the Forum and can moderate all posts. Others can be assigned the role of moderator to determine if posts are published to the Forum or returned to the author for editing.
  • Grade: Users' posts can be graded in two different ways.
    • Users can have their overall participation in a Forum graded. This option creates a Column in the Grade Center and requires a Points Possible entry when the Forum is created.
    • Users can be graded on a Thread-by-Thread basis. This option creates a Column in the Grade Center when the Discussion Board manager creates the Thread. If Threads are graded, members will not be allowed to create new Threads.

6. Once all desired options are selected, click the Submit button to create the group forum.

7. Click the options button directly to the right of the forum link to edit, remove, manage, or copy the forum.

Forum options menu

Copying a Group Forum

The copy feature conveniently allows instructor users to quickly recreate forums for other groups, rather than having to manually create the forum and all associated settings for each group individually.

1. To copy a forum, click Copy on the forum option drop-menu.

2. Assign a name for the copy-created forum. This name can be the same as the original.

3. Select whether to copy the entire forum or the forum settings only. Choosing to copy the entire forum will include any student postings that exist in the original. It is recommended to copy only the forum settings, unless no student activity has occurred.

Forum copy settings

4. Click Submit to finalize the forum copy process. Repeat steps 1-3 for all groups.