Several new features have been added to the Discussion Board expanding it beyond its primary use as a communication medium and transforming it into a comprehensive and interactive teaching tool that fosters academic exchange and debate.
Grading settings are now available when creating or modifying a forum in a Course or Organization. When grading is enabled for a forum, Instructors, Teaching Assistants, and users with the Grader or Manager forum roles will be able to access the Grade Forum Users page. Instructors may choose to grade the forum or to enable thread grading within the forum. If thread grading is enabled for the forum, Instructors have the option to turn grading on or off for each new thread.
Grading Discussion Board forums and threads is not available with the Blackboard Learning System – Basic Edition.
Discussion Board statistics are now a part of the Performance Dashboard. The total number of forums in which the user has participated is displayed for each user in this column. Clicking on the number in this column directs the instructor to a user detail page that displays links to all forums in which the user has participated and usage statistics for the user in each forum. Statistics displayed include:
Additionally, the instructor can grade discussion board participation from this page.
Discussion Board statistics is not available with the Blackboard Learning System – Basic Edition.
By default, Discussion Board users are given forum roles based on their course, organization, or system role. Instructors and Leaders are given the Manager role by default. Managers control user privileges within the Discussion Board through the use of roles. For example, the Manager may delegate responsibility for reviewing posts to a Moderator.
When creating a forum or modifying a forum’s settings, instructors have the option of forcing moderation. If
moderation is enabled, when a user other than a Moderator or Manager submits a post, the post is saved to
the Moderation Queue. New posts are displayed in the queue for review and publication. If a post is
returned, a return message can be attached to the post allowing the Moderator to inform the user why the
post was not accepted for publication.
By default, Discussion Board users that are assigned to a group are allowed to create threads in the Group Discussion Board forum. This means that group users can now beginning using the Discussion Board immediately and do not have to wait for the instructor to create a forum and begin a thread.
Post rating allows users to rate posts in the forum on a scale of one to five stars. When enabled, post rating is a simple yet effective tool for peer review.
The Subscribe to Thread notifies users each time a new post is added to the thread. The notification is enabled by the user and sent to the email address stored in the user’s Personal Information. Users will not be able to enter a different email address to which notifications will be sent to prevent spam from being generated from the Discussion Board. This feature is available to all users with a forum role other than“blocked” if the feature is enabled for the forum.
The following enhancements improve the user experience in the Discussion Board: