Discussion boards can be used to support the delivery of distance learning programmes and programmes delivered through block release (for example foundation degrees and apprenticeships).
To set up a discussion board, find the module run or programme in Blackboard where you want the students to access the discussion board from. You can then either add a new Content Menu item, and call it Discussion Board (or something similar) or you can create a tool link and add a link directly to the discussion board. Here are the step by step instructions for creating a Tool Link:
- Hover over the ‘Add Menu Item’ button and click on ‘Tool Link’. See below:
- Give your Tool Link a meaningful name, for example Discussion Board.
- Underneath the type of Tool Link, make sure you select ‘Discussion Board’.
- Make sure you tick ‘Available to Users’ to make this link available to your students.
- Click ‘Submit’ . The Tool Link will appear at the bottom of your menu.
- Click on the ‘Re-order items’ button.
- Scroll down to find the Tool Link that you created, highlight it and use the ‘up arrow’ to move it up the list to where you want it go and click ‘Submit’.
- A dialogue box confirms ‘Items have been reordered’. Click ‘ok’.
The advantage of the former is that you can add in some introductory content for the students.
It is good practice to spell out the purpose of the Discussion Board, to say whether it will be moderated, and/or how often it will be checked.
Also, provide some guidance for students on what is acceptable practice. You could use this example:
Read the article Contingency plan for move to online delivery for more information.