Creating Discussion Boards in Blackboard

Discussion forums are a great tool for students to share thoughts and ideas about class materials asynchronously.


  1. Forum: an area of the discussion board where participants discuss a topic or a group of related topics
  2. Thread: a conversation within a forum that includes the initial post and all replies
Image from Blackboard Help

1. Click "Discussions" in the course menu.

2. Click "Create Forum."

3. Name the forum.

4. Type any directions in the description text area. You can also attach files here.

5. Leave the forum availability set to "Yes." If you want to limit the availability of the forum, use the date and time selectors.

6. Choose whether or not you want students to be able to view the forum threads before posting.

7. Select how you would like to grade the forum.*

8. Set a due date for the forum. Any posts made after the due date will be marked as "late" in the grade center if the forum is graded.

9. Add a rubric, if you have one.

*Note: If you select "Grade Threads" a Grade Center column will appear for each thread.

Different grading selections change the default options available for the selections below

10. Select if and how you'd like students to be able to subscribe. Subscribing sends emails when new activity happens in the discussion board.

11. Select the options you wish to give students regarding the creation and editing of posts in the discussion board.

Note: Forcing moderation requires you to approve all posts before students can see them

12. Select if you want posts to be tagged (labeled with key words) or rated (1-5 star rating system).


Created with an image by Sergey Zolkin - "Work on notebook"