Access forums from your course

There are many ways you can access forums, discussions, and posts.

Go to your course and find the Open forum activity.

Keep track of recent posts in Snap

If you are using the Snap theme, you have two additional options for viewing and staying up-to-date with recent posts.

  • Course footer: Recent forum posts appear under Recent Activity in the course footer. Go to the bottom of the course to see it.
  • Personal menu: You can also see recent posts in your personal menu. Select Menu at the top of your Blackboard Open LMS screen to open your personal menu.

Add discussion topics

Steps: Open forum > Add a new discussion

After you create the Open forum you can add discussion topics to it.

  1. From the Open forum, select Add a new discussion.
  2. Type a meaningful Subject and Message. Select Use advanced editor if you want to format your description.
  3. Optionally, attach files.
  4. Optionally, select Manage forum subscriptions to subscribe to the forum. Select what you want in the email in the Email digest type menu.
  5. Select Submit.


Steps: Open forum > Discussion topic > Reply

You can reply to discussion topics and other replies.

  1. Go to a discussion and view the recent replies.
  2. Select Reply beneath the post you want to reply to.
  3. Enter a subject for your post.
  4. Enter your post. Select Use advanced editor to format your post.
  5. Optionally, add files.
  6. Optionally, select Private reply to send your reply to the original author only.

    This must be turned on in the forum post options.

  7. Select Submit.

Your reply appears indented under the original post.

Bookmark and flag discussions

Steps: Open forum > Discussion topic or reply > Bookmark or Substantive

Bookmark posts to remind you to return to them later. Select the bookmark for the post to mark it. Other teachers in the course see your bookmarks. Students do not.

Flag posts that are substantive, important, meaningful, or merits attention. Select the star for the post to flag it. Other teachers in the course see your flags. Students do not.

Allow post bookmarking and Allow marking as substantive must be enabled under Post options in the Open forum settings in order for these options to appear.

Pin discussions

Pin discussions that you want to keep at the top of the list. Any forum discussions which come after that appear underneath this pinned post. If you later unpin it, it displays as a regular forum discussion, moving down the list when others are posted.


Steps: Open forum > Discussion topic > Subscribe

You can subscribe to discussion topics and receive emails when there are new posts. Go to a discussion and select Subscribe.

Manage Open Forum subscriptions

Steps in Snap: Menu > Your name > Preferences > Forum preferences

Steps in other themes: Your name > Profile > Preferences > Forum preferences

Open profile in Snap

Open profile in another theme

Open Forums allow you to configure settings in your user profile to manage forum subscriptions and tracking.

Locate the following settings and edit them.

  • Forum auto-subscribe: Select Yes: when I post, subscribe me to that forum to automatically subscribe to a forum when you post in any forum.
  • Forum tracking: Select Yes: highlight new posts for me to highlight unread forum posts in color when you enter a forum.


A permalink allows you to link directly to a specific forum post so you can share it easily with others. Copy the URL of the discussion and paste it to share with others.

Forum Locking

Instructors can configure forums to lock after a period of inactivity within the forum. When a forum is locked students can't post or reply to the forum. Only instructors are able to post to the locked forum. This unlocks the forum and opens up discussions again.

Lock a forum

Locked forum