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Managing Discussions

Last Modified
15:02, 1 Mar 2013

You can perform tasks to manage both the discussion board itself and the content within forums and threads. For example, to keep students focused as the term progresses, edit forum settings or organize forums and threads to attract attention again. You can also forums to other locations, edit content, and delete unneeded forums or threads. You can also enable tagging and attach tags to help students locate important posts.

You can assign forum roles to limit access to a forum or to help with forum administration. For example, to help control the discussion board content that is presented to your students, you can assign a responsible user the role of moderator. To learn more, see Moderating Discussions.

Your school controls whether this tool is available. If this tool is not available, you can contact your school to discuss its status.

How to Edit Discussion Forums

As the discussion progresses, you can solve some discussion issues by editing forum settings. For example, if students are posting to the wrong topic, you can fine-tune the forum name or description to clarify the forum's purpose.

You can create all forums at the beginning of the term and make them unavailable. When a forum is needed, edit the forum to make it available.

  1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's contextual menu.
  2. Select Edit.
  3. On the Edit Forum page, change the forum's name, description, availability, and settings.
  4. Click Submit.

How to Edit Discussion Threads

You can edit posts in any thread. If a student added inappropriate or inaccurate content, you can edit the post. When you create or edit a forum, you determine whether students are allowed to edit their published posts.

  1. Access a forum and select a thread.
  2. On the Thread Detail page, click a post's title. The post appears in the Current Post content frame. You can view the text of the post and information about the post, such as the author and posted date.
  3. Click Edit.

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  4. On the Edit Post page, make the edits.
  5. Click Submit. Your edits appear in the post.

How to Delete Discussion Forums and Threads

When you delete a forum or thread, all content is permanently deleted. For a less permanent solution, you can make a forum unavailable.

When deleting graded discussion content, you determine if the Grade Center column and scores are also deleted.

  1. Access the discussion board and access a forum or thread's contextual menu.
  2. Select Delete to permanently delete the forum or thread's content.
  3. Click OK in the pop-up window.
  4. On the Delete Confirmation page, you have two options:
    • Do not select check boxes: The graded forum or thread will be deleted, but the Grade Center column and scores you assigned are retained. For example, you graded all students' posts and want to keep the Grade Center column for the final grade calculations. If you delete the forum or thread, yet retain the Grade Center column, you can delete that column from the Grade Center at any time.
    • Select the check boxes: The grade column in the Grade Center and the forum or thread are deleted. For example, if you do not want to include the grade column for the discussion posts in the final grade, you can safely delete both.
  5. Click Remove.

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How to Reorder Discussion Forums

You can help students focus on the most relevant content by reorganizing your discussion board. When you create a forum, it is added to the bottom of the list. You can move the current forum to the top or delete forums that are no longer relevant.

Reorder forums using the drag-and-drop function—a double-tipped arrow or handle—to move them into place. Alternatively, reorder forums using the keyboard accessible reordering tool on the action bar.

Drag-and-Drop Function

  1. Access the discussion board and press the arrows next to a forum you want to move. The item is highlighted.
  2. Drag the forum into a new location in the list.
  3. Release the forum to place it in its new location.

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Keyboard Accessible Reordering Tool

  1. On the action bar, click the keyboard accessible reordering icon represented by two arrows.
  2. In the Reorder box, select a forum title.
  3. Below the Reorder box, use the up and down arrows to adjust the order.
  4. Click Submit. A pop-up box states: Items have been reordered.

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  5. Click OK.

How to Copy Discussion Forums

You can copy discussion forums and add them to the current discussion board or to a group discussion board in the same course. To learn more, see Creating Group Discussions. Copying does not delete the content from the original location in a course. You have the option to copy a forum, the settings, and the posts, or to copy just a forum's settings.

To copy discussion board forums to another course, use the copy course utility. To learn more, see Copying Courses.

Copy the entire forum

If two distinct topics emerge during a discussion, you can create separate forums for these topics. Copy the forum and delete the off-topic posts from each forum.

When you copy content, all threads and replies appear in the new location, along with any file attachments.

Copy forum settings only

You can base a new forum on the settings from another forum. If you want students to submit a second research paper, copy the settings of the first research paper's forum. The forum is added with no threads.

  1. Access the discussion board and access a forum's contextual menu.
  2. Select Copy.
  3. On the Copy Forum page, type a Name.
  4. Select the option to copy either: Entire forum or Forum settings only.
  5. In the Location box, select a discussion board to copy to. To select the course's discussion board, select the course ID.
  6. Click Submit. On the Discussion Board page, the copied forum is added to the bottom of the list.

How to Tag Discussion Threads

Tags are text labels that act like bookmarks. You can tag posts to group similar messages together. For example, if the subject of scientific notation is discussed often, tag each of the posts on this topic. Students can read, filter, and search messages using these tags, but they cannot create tags.

In a forum's settings, you must enable Allow Post Tagging for tags to be created.

For faster discussion board loading, you can disable post tagging when forum usage is heavy. When you enable tagging again, all tags are restored.

  1. Access the forum containing the threads to tag.
  2. In List View, select the check boxes for the thread or threads to tag. You can select all the threads in a forum by selecting the check box in the header row.
  3. On the action bar, click Collect.
  4. On the Collection page, you can filter and sort your results.
  5. Type a tag name in the Tag Text box.
  6. Select the check boxes of the messages to assign the tag name to. To select all the messages, click Select: All above the list.
  7. Click Add next to the Tag Text box.

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On the Collection Page

On the Collection page, the tag you provided appears below each message you selected. If you provide multiple tags, all appear. You can include more tags following the same steps. To delete a tag, click the red X next to it.

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Alternatively, you can add a tag to an individual message. Below the message, type the tag in the Add Tag box and click OK or click Choose from Existing to choose a tag from a list of tags that appear on the Collection page.

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On the Forum Page

On the forum page, all tags appear in the Tags column. The column is only visible in List View.

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  1. On the action bar, click Tags to access the drop-down list and select a tag or Show All Tags. After you make a selection, only those messages appear on the forum page.
  2. To sort messages by tag, click a tag in the Tags column. The messages with that tag appear on a collection page.

video  Searching and Collecting Discussion Board Posts (Flash movie | 2m 15s)

video  Tagging Discussion Board Posts (Flash movie | 2m 42s)

video  Rating Discussion Board Posts (Flash movie | 2m 15s)

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