Discussion Board Tips

Discussion Board Tips








Discussion Board Tips


Name the forum with the assignment week number or dates
Example: “Week 1: Leadership Traits”
Example: “10/19-10/25: Leadership Traits”



Select discussion board topics that require original thought, sharing of experiences and
opinions, or outside research instead of specific answers from the textbook reading
that would result in all students posting the same information.



Define timelines/deadlines for when the students should Post their Thread and when
they should Reply to other learners.
Example: “For this Friday morning, ITV/Blended class, the deadline for posting your
response to the weekly question is by Monday of each week and your replies to others
are due by Thursday of each week.”



Define your exact expectations for the amount of time they should spend on the
discussion board assignment.
Example: Number of days per week or number of replies to other learners.



Utilize the capabilities for color, bold, underlining and bulleted lists within the
discussion board to help enhance this visual venue.

Created by mclaughlin

Updated 6.22.15. by brownt

Page 1 of 2



Be present as the instructor in the discussion board but do not dominate the
conversation. Just like an in-class discussion, allow the students to share their
experiences and insights openly like a conversation. Post your comments when you
want to emphasize a point, have some additional insight on their topic, and have similar
experiences to relate to what a student posts, or when you see incorrect information as
it relates to facts and the course content.



In an effort to keep the conversation on the discussion board at an academic level,
require proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. In addition, discourage “texting
language” as there is not always a universal understanding of this jargon across our
entire student base and it is not the kind of written language that most employers will
be looking for in our graduates.



Share with the entire class some examples of great discussion board posts and replies
each week to help them understand what you are looking for. Perhaps you create a
folder on BlackBoard where you post a recognition award for “best of show”.



Use non-graded discussion boards that give students a place to communicate and
support one another.

Create Groups for discussion board assignments
 You may find that the discussions are deeper, more robust, when part of a smaller
group.


It may allow you to diversify the conversation by putting together groups of students
across different programs, campuses, etc.



You can have each group discuss the same topic or if discussing different topics,
consider having them report back on a summary of their topic during your next face-toface or ITV class. If an online course, consider having different Group Discussion Board
leaders each week report back to the Class Discussion Board, a summary of their
group’s discussion.



It can also be a useful tool for communication on semester-long group projects.

Type your Forums in Microsoft Word first, then copy and paste them into BlackBoard
to Post.
 The Spelling and Grammar Check functions are more advanced in Microsoft Word.
 You will have your Discussion Board assignments saved in a “backup” document.
 You can work offline.
Additional Resources:
 Blackboard Help https://help.blackboard.com
 http://tep.uoregon.edu/technology/blackboard/docs/discussionboard.pdf
Created by mclaughlin

Updated 6.22.15. by brownt

Page 2 of 2