Discussion Boards, Forums, and Threads (Student)

Discussion Board is a tool that allows faculty to create Forums where students and instructors alike can share ideas or organize a particular subject.

Discussion Board Structure

  • Forum
    A forum is made up of threads and replies to those threads. The forum description is used to explain guidelines for the discussion and describe the general topic.
  • Thread
    Threads are added by students and instructors to start new topics. The instructor launches the discussion by posting an initial thread. The essential question that begins a discussion needs to be open-ended, thought provoking, and deep enough to allow students to synthesize and analyze course content in their subsequent discussion.

  • Reply
    Discussion participants use the Reply button to respond to the thread questions, or to reply to each other's replies. These replies are called ‘posts’. Listed posts are indented, according to which post was being read when the reply button was used.

Once the Instructor creates a Discussion Board, it can be found either on the Left Navigation Bar or in the Course Content, depending on where the instructor has placed the link. Scroll until Discussion Board is located, then click on it.

Practice course drop down is selected and Discussion Board is highlighted

Once inside a Discussion Board there will be a Forum list -- click on the Forum to which to respond.

Screenshot shows forum list open and an example forum

Inside the Forum are Threads, which are organized, allowing separate responses that can be replied to. To reply to a thread, click on the subject of the Thread to reply to and click ‘Reply’.

Screenshot of a thread and Reply is highlighted

To create a Thread inside of a Forum (If the instructor has allowed it), click on ‘Create Thread’ in the upper left hand corner (see image in the second bullet above). It will take the user to a page to fill out the description and message of the Thread.

Screenshot of Create Thread screen

To Subscribe to a Thread (if the instructor has allowed it), click the ‘Subscribe’ button next to ‘Create Thread’ (see image in the second bullet above).  The user will receive notifications whenever a response is created to that Thread.

The instructor may set up the discussion board as “Post First”, which will require the student to create a thread before viewing or responding to any other threads in the forum.

Screenshot showing a message saying this is a post first discussion


Each instructor has the discretion to enable or disable the following Discussion Board features:

  • Grading
  • Post-First
  • Subscriptions
  • Delete or edit one's own posts
  • Create new threads
  • File attachments
  • Tagging
  • Post rating
  • Quotes


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Article ID: 44969
Thu 12/14/17 4:17 PM
Mon 4/19/21 2:59 PM