For Encouraging Contact Between Students and Faculty

Discussion Board forums can allow the instructor and students to communicate asynchronously with each other. Using a discussion board can allow students to share their comprehension of course material and connections they are making to their personal and/or professional lives. Since the communication is asynchronous, a discussion board can allow students to take more time reflect on the content, organize their thoughts, and respond intelligently.  

Creating a Discussion Board Forum in Blackboard

Blackboard’s Discussion Board was designed for asynchronous use, so the instructor and students do not have to be available at the same time to have a conversation. An advantage of the Discussion Board is that conversations are logged and organized. They are grouped into forums that contain threads and all related replies. 

1.  Click on the content area (e.g., Course Documents) on the course menu. If you are adding a Discussion Board forum link to a weekly folder, click on the folder.

2.  Click Add Interactive Tool, and then click Discussion Board.

3.  Enter a name for the forum. Entering a Description is optional but can help explain a forum's purpose. You can also include the discussion prompt (i.e., question), outline the expectations for students' participation, and state the points possible. 

4.  Select "Yes" to make the forum available to students.  

5.  Select date and time restrictions if you want to make the forum available to students only after a certain day and time. 

6.  Put a check mark in the box next to each option you want to include with the forum. 

  • Anonymous Posts. Posts can be submitted anonymously. If selected, the posts cannot be graded. 
  • Delete Own Posts. Authors are permitted to delete their own posts. This can be limited to deleting posts that have no replies so as not to break a thread, or can be unlimited so all posts can be deleted. 
  • Edit Own Published Posts. Authors are permitted to edit their own published posts. If these posts will be graded, consider locking the Forum so that posts cannot be changed after they are graded. 
  • Post Tagging. Tags are bits of meta data added to posts so that they can be grouped together during collection based on a word or phrase. Allowing tagging can slow down page loading for large active forum. For faster Discussion Board page loading, do not allow message tagging.  
  • Reply with Quote. Users can include the text of the original message in any replies to that message.  
  • File Attachments. Messages within the forum are allowed to contain file attachments.  
  • Create New Threads. Members are permitted to create new threads in the forum. This setting cannot be used when threads are graded.  
  • Subscribe. Allow students to subscribe to the entire forum or to a thread. When a new message or thread is posted, members who are subscribed receive an e-mail notice that new material is posted.  
  • Rate Posts. Posts can be rated using a five-star system to encourage quality posts.  
  • Force Moderation. Require that all messages are reviewed and approved or rejected by a moderator. Messages that are approved are posted and messages that are rejected are returned to the author.  

7.  Select "Grade Forum" if you want to assess the students' participation, and enter the points possible. 

8.  Click Submit.  

Posting Contact Information in Blackboard

You can use a Faculty profile to "introduce” yourself to the class, as well as provide some background information about you and your expectations for the course.   

1.  Click Faculty on the course menu.  

2.  You have the option of adding a folder or profile. It is recommended to Create a Folder if the course has multiple profiles, such as several instructors and TAs teaching the course. 

 To Add a profile, click Create Contact

3.  Enter a title (e.g., Dr., Chef, Mr./Mrs., etc.), first/last name, and e-mail address. Entering the following information is optional, but you are encouraged to provide as much information to enable students to contact you and get to know you, especially if the course is completely online: 

  • Work Phone 
  • Office Location 
  • Office Hours 
  • Notes (a short biography) 

4.  Attach an image (photograph). The photograph must be no larger than 150 × 150 pixels in dimension (approximately 2 × 2 inches at 72 dpi). 

5.  Click Submit.