1. Home
  2. Blackboard
  3. Getting started
  4. User guide to Blackboard discussion boards

User guide to Blackboard discussion boards

Guide overview

This guide will explain:

  • how to access a discussion board
  • view a discussion board forum
  • subscribe / unsubscribe to a discussion board forum
  • view threads
  • reply to posts
  • create and delete threads
Discussion board structure

Discussion boards are made up of discussion board forums. Forums are made up of individual discussion threads that can be organised around a particular subject. A thread is a conversation within a forum that includes the initial post and all replies to it. When you access a forum, a list of threads appears.

Blackboard discussion boards at Hull York Medical School

Discussion boards allow staff and students to communicate with one another. You will be encouraged to use Blackboard discussion boards to ask questions and exchange opinions. You may find a number of discussion board forums in your Blackboard courses or organisations, where you can read and reply to posts or create new discussion threads for posts.

How to access a discussion board

Access a discussion board

Blackboard discussion board link

  1. Log in to Blackboard with your Hull York Medical School log in details (hyxxxx + HYMS password) by accessing the following link; http://blackboard.hyms.ac.uk. Please click on images to enlarge them.
  2. If there is a discussion board on the course / organisation you are accessing, navigate to and click on the discussion board link in the left-hand menu on the course / organisation (the link may be named discussion board or questions and answers). *You may additionally see links to discussions boards from within content pages on a course / organisation.

Blackboard group discussion board linkIf you are part of a group discussion board, you will see your group discussion board listed under my groups, also on the left-hand navigation panel of a course or organisation. You may need to click on a group name for the the group discussion board link to appear (step 1 and 2).

Example guidance

The steps in this guide are example guidance only. The ability to complete all steps may be subject to individual forum permissions and settings.

Viewing discussion board forums

Viewing forums

You may see a forum description at the top of the forum page, which may give you an explanation of what kind of content to contribute to the forum and the overriding purpose of the forum.

  1. Click on a discussion board link.  You will be taken to a list of discussion forum titles. Columns to the right of the forum titles display total posts, unread posts, replies to you and number of participants. Click on a forum title to be taken to a particular forum.

Blackboard discussion forum view







From a particular forum view, you can;

  1. Display discussion threads as a list view or tree view. Tree view is a more detailed view, with a + icon indicating there are replies to posts. Click the + icon to expand that particular part of the threaded discussion.
  2. Search forums by key word in an advanced search. Blackboard discussion forum view
  3. Mark a thread as read / unread or flag it as important to you in thread actions. You can also reorganise the view of threads by clicking on a column title. For example, click on ‘author’ to organise by author.Blackboard discussion forum view

Subscribe / unsubscribe to a discussion forum

Subscribe / unsubscribe

1. Click on the title of a particular forum.

Blackboard subscribe option on forum2. Click on ‘subscribe’ in the top left-hand corner.

A pink confirmation banner will appear at the top of the screen. You should now receive Blackboard notifications about any new posts.

 Blackboard confirmation message


We strongly recommend that staff and students subscribe to all forums. Please also check your Blackboard notification settings (for notifications via email and the Blackboard mobile phone app). Please see the following help page; managing Blackboard notifications.

Click on ‘unsubscribe’ in the top left-hand corner if you no longer wish to receive notifications.

Viewing threads

Viewing threads

A thread is a conversation within a forum that includes the initial post and all replies to it. Click on a thread title from the forum view.

  1. Blackboard thread viewClick on ‘message actions’ to flag a post as important to you or mark it as unread / read.
  2. Click on ‘expand all’ to expand all posts to their full size, click on ‘collapse all’ to reduce posts to their title only. You can also click on an individual post to expand its contents.
  3. Search threads / forums by key word in an advanced search.
  4. See the summary of posts to the thread, replies to you and unread posts.

Blackboard thread search







Blackboard post repliesSome replies may be hidden and you will see an option below a post to show such replies.


*You can also navigate back to a forum view and bulk select certain threads, click on ‘collect’, and then view them in a list format together. 
Blackboard thread view

Replying to posts

Replying to posts

1. Click on a thread title. You will see a list of all posts in a thread.Blackboard thread posts








2. Hover over a post in a thread. You will see options to reply to a post directly, quote a post in your own post, or directly email the author of the post.Blackboard thread posts

3. Each option presents you with the Blackboard text box. Once you have entered your text, attachments and images etc. click on ‘submit’. You can reply to the original person who posted, or to subsequent reply posts.

Create and delete threads

Create and delete threads

Create thread
  1. Blackboard thread postClick on a forum title.
  2. Click on ‘create thread’.
  3. Enter your thread title and write your text in the text box. You can also attach files and embed media content and links to external websites.
  4. Click on ‘submit’ when you are ready to post your thread.


You will see a pink confirmation banner at the top of the page.Blackboard success message

5. Back on the forum view, you will see your thread at the top of the list.

Delete thread
  1. Blackboard delete thread optionClick on the check box next to the title of your thread.
  2. Click on delete.


Updated on 19/11/2021

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles