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Charles E. Ophardt, Professor of Chemistry, Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL 60126, charleso at elmhurst.edu, Copyright 2004

Participating in the Blackboard Discussion Board

The Discussion Board is a helpful component of Blackboard. Students and instructors can, with relative ease, read what others have to say and contribute to the conversation.

The Discussion Board is broken up into many Topics and Issues, which the instructor has started for you. Within a Topic or Issue, there several Questions which correspond to previous given questions in topic and issues.

Please read the discussion responses before you work on your question to answer. Try to respond to answers already present for your third question or extra credit response.

If you want to see if someone has responded to something you have written, then click on the question and you will see all of the people that have answered that particular question.

To view all the messages in a forum:

The new edition of Blackboard has drastically changed how the discussion board works. A forum consists of all the questions in a Topic or Issue and a thread is a single question within the Forum. When you open the discussion Board, the first screen shows all of the forums set up for the entire course. Click on the Topic or Issue of interest which will bring up a screen of all of the threads or questions in the forum or topic.

To read the posts within a single thread or question, you could click on a single question and this will bring up all of the posts or replies to that question. In the middle of the screen is the list of posts. You can go to the bottom of this mid section, where the default is Select All, click Go. This will put a check mark in front of all of the posts. Now go to the top of this frame under Thread Detail and click on Collect. This will bring up a screen with all of the posts that you can scroll through efficiently rather than clicking each one individually.

To read all of the posts in the entire forum all at one time: If you are on the first discussion board screen, click on a forum or topic or issue. This will bring up all of the questions or threads. Scroll to the bottom of the screen to find the default Select All box and click Go to put a check mark in front of everything. Now scroll back to the top and click the Collect button. The next screen will have all posts for the entire forum or topic. Next you can go to the right top of the screen and find Sort by. Use the pull down menu to make a selection - probably most of the time you will want to sort by thread so that all posts for each question are grouped - click on Go. The order of the thread posts appears to be random - I have no idea why it could not sort by the thread original order.

If you would like to respond to someone from the collected posts, first pick out the name of the person you want to reply to. Then click on the question or thread link. This brings you back to the thread screen. In the middle of the page, click on the person you would like to reply to. Scroll down to see the post and click on Reply.

Hopefully these ideas should help you to read the posts efficiently. Click OK to get back to threads or the whole forum.

 SAVE YOUR IMPORTANT WORK IN ANOTHER FORMAT BEFORE YOU POST IT INTO THE DISCUSSION BOARD.

 

To post to the discussion:

1. Click the Discussion Board link.
2. Click the Topic number or Issue number of the forum you wish to add a discussion message.
3. Click the Question number that you want to answer.
4. Click on the Reply button.
5. Type your "Message" as desired or probably better copy and paste your message from your word processor.
6. Click the "Submit" button.
7. You should then receive a Success receipt.
8. Click the "OK" button. Your message will then be posted in the appropriate forum. If it does not then you did not use the submit button in step 6.

 SAVE YOUR IMPORTANT WORK IN ANOTHER FORMAT BEFORE YOU POST IT INTO THE DISCUSSION BOARD.

As you all know, even under the best of conditions, computers will fail when you least expect it or for a very important assignment. Depending upon the situation, I strongly recommend that you compose your original message in a word processor document, save it, then copy and paste it into the message box of the discussion or email. That way if something does not work quite right, you still have a copy to try again.