In discussions, you can share thoughts and ideas about class materials. In Blackboard Learn, course members can have the thoughtful discussions that take place in the traditional classroom, but with the advantages of asynchronous communication. Participants don't need to be in the same location or time zone, and you can take the time to consider your responses carefully.

You can use discussions for these tasks:

  • Meet with your peers for collaboration and social interaction.
  • Pose questions about homework assignments, readings, and course content.
  • Demonstrate your understanding or application of course material.

Watch a video about discussions

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video: Use discussions explains how to use discussions in the Original course view.

Open the Discussion Board

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Ultra" help on opening a discussion.

  1. Find the discussion board in two places:
    • On the course menu, select Discussions.
    • On the course menu, select Tools and then Discussion Board.
  2. The main Discussion Board page appears with a list of available discussion forums. On this page, you can perform these actions:
    1. Select a forum title to view the messages. Forum titles in bold contain unread posts.
    2. Select a forum to open the thread of posts.
    3. Select the number in the Unread Posts column for quick access to a forum's unread messages.

More on creating a reply

Course groups can have their own discussion boards. Group discussion boards are available only to users who are members of the group. If a group discussion board is available, you can find it in the groups link on the course menu or in the My Groups area.

More on opening discussions with JAWS®

You can edit or delete your replies if allowed by your instructor. If you post a reply in error and the options to edit or delete don't appear, contact your instructor.

More on editing and deleting replies

ULTRA: Open a discussion

Doesn't seem familiar? Jump to the "Original" help on opening the discussion board.

Discussions are an online forum about course concepts. Your instructor may expect you to create your own discussions and participate in existing ones. Sometimes, discussions contribute to your participation grade. Your instructor can also grade your contributions.

To open a discussion, select the Discussions icon on your course's navigation bar. Select the discussion from the list that appears. Discussions can also appear alongside other course materials on the Course Content page.

Discussions in the Ultra Course View don't use forums and threads.

Each time you open a discussion, new responses and replies appear with "New" to show any activity that's happened since your last visit.

Your instructor may require you to respond to a discussion before you can read other responses and replies. When you "post first," you aren't influenced by your classmates' responses. When you open this type of discussion, a message appears: Post a response to see discussion activity. Existing responses and replies appear after you add your response.

Your instructor can also create a group discussion for you to discuss a topic with a group of class members.

More on group discussions

ULTRA: Create a discussion

You can create discussions for your classmates to participate in. Your instructor can delete any discussions, responses, and replies.

  1. In your course, select the Discussions icon on the navigation bar.
  2. Select the plus sign wherever you want to add your discussion.
  3. In the menu, select Add Discussion. On the New Discussion page, type a meaningful title and get the discussion started with a question, idea, or response. Choose your discussion title carefully. After you select Save, only your instructor can edit the title.

    To use your keyboard to jump to the editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10. Use the arrow keys to select an option, such as a numbered list.

  4. Select Save.

Edit and delete discussions

You can edit or delete your discussion responses. Open the menu to access Edit and Delete. If you delete your initial response, all replies remain. The system displays a message about your deletion so others know what happened. Reminder: You can't edit the discussion title after you've created it.