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Learning outcomes

By the end of this guide you should know;

  • How to set up discussion forums for specific groups in Blackboard
  • How to view a specific group discussion board

Each group within a Blackboard module can be assigned its own Blackboard discussion space. Discussion forums can be an effective asynchronous mechanism for engaging students in collaborative/social/peer learning, particularly when utilised as part of an integrated blended learning approach.

In Blackboard whenever Groups are created a Discussion Board area for each Group is automatically created. These group discussion boards can be accessed by module instructors via the Discussion Board tab in the Course Tools menu.

discussion board tab

To access a specific group discussion board – click the group name.

group list

The group forum panel appears. This panel lists all forums (discussion topics) for the group. There will be a default forum which has the group name. You may want to use this default forum for general group discussion (it can be re-purposed/re-named for any other use).

group forum list

New forums (discussion topics) can be added by the instructor via the Create Forum button.

Click this link for further guidance on how to utilise Blackboard Discussion Forums

NOTE: Only instructors have automatic access to a Group discussion forum. For students to be able to access their Group Discussion Forum – follow the guide below.


Student access to their group discussion boards

If you have already setup groups in the module, but did not give the groups access to the Discussion Board tool using the Tool Availability panel –

discussion board option

You will need to assign the Discussion Board tool to each group individually.

Students access their Group Discussion Board via their Group link located in the Main Menu.

student group link

Clicking on their group name reveals the tools which have been assigned to their group.

group tools area

Clicking on the Group Discussion Board link gives them access to their Group discussion area.

group forum list

Activating the Discussion Board tool for Groups in Blackboard

[if you had not activated it when you first setup the Groups]

1. Navigate to the Groups list

groups option

2. Click the Group option button

group option button

and select Edit Group

edit group option

3. Scroll down the page to the Tool Availability panel and check the Discussion Board option – then click submit.

discussion board option

4. Repeat this process for each group.

How do students access their Group Discussion area?

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