KU's Learning Management System

Discussion Boards

The Discussion Board is an area where instructor and student comments are organized into an asynchronous conversation. Participants can post and reply to others' posts. Some faculty members provide discussion boards for student-driven help sessions, content generation and group collaboration. Conversations are organized within a topic forum as threads that contain a main posting and all corresponding replies.

For more information about Discussion Boards, select from the following:

Create Threads in a Forum

Forum settings control who can post, and whether you can edit a completed thread, post anonymously, or rate others' posts. Depending on which forum settings your instructor has selected, you may be allowed to create a new thread.

  1. Access a discussion forum and click the Create Thread button.
  2. On the Create Thread page, you can view the forum description to refer to as you write your response. Type a Subject and Message. You can use the content editor functions to format the text and add files, images, web links, etc.
  3. To upload a file with your post scroll down to the Attachments section and click Browse My Computer to locate the file.
  4. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to publish.

If your instructor has associated a rubric with the discussion forum or thread and made it available to students, you can view grading criteria before beginning work. Click Grading Information to access the forum or thread's Grade page. Click View Rubric.

Reply to Discussion Posts

You can reply to published threads within a discussion forum.

  1. Access a forum and click the thread subject to open a thread.
  2. On the thread page, you can view the text of the post and information, such as the author and posted date. All replies appear on the same page with the parent post.
  3. Put your cursor on the post to see Reply, Quote and Email Author. The Quote function includes the post's text as part of your reply.
  4. Click Reply.
  5. The page expands below the post you are responding to, allowing you to view the post and type your reply in the text box.
  6. If needed, edit the Subject. Provide your reply in the Message box. Optionally, use the content editor functions to format the text and include files, images, web links, multimedia, etc. Attachments you upload using the content editor can be launched in a new window and can include alternate text to describe the attachment. Files uploaded by students are not saved to the course repository.
  7. You can also attach a file by using the button below the Message box. To upload a file from your computer, click Browse My Computer.
  8. Click Save Draft to store a draft of the post or click Submit to publish your reply.

On the thread page, your reply appears at the end of the list. If you attached a file, a paper clip icon appears next to the post's title. If you used the Insert/Edit Image function, the image appears with the text you provided.

Collecting & Reading Posts

On a thread page, you can read all posts made to the initial post. If many posts appear, you can reduce the list using the collect function. After collecting posts, you can filter, sort, print, and tag them.

The collect function is also available from the forum page where you can gather all the posts made to different threads. After collecting posts, filter and sort the messages to further organize them.

Use the following steps to collect posts in a thread:

  1. Access a forum and select a thread.
  2. On the thread's page, select the check boxes of the posts to collect, or click Select: All at the top of the list. If a post has replies and you want them to appear on a collection page, select the check boxes for those messages. To select all but a few posts in a long list in a thread, click Select: All on the action bar. All check boxes for all the posts are selected, and you can clear the check boxes for the posts you do not need.
  3. On the action bar, point to the Message Actions drop-down list and select Collect.

On the Collection page, you can read and print the results. On the action bar, click Print Preview to open the page in a new window in a printer-friendly format. Posts print in the order they appear on the page. To select which posts appear and in which order, you can filter and sort posts using the Filter function and the Sort By and Order drop-down lists on the action bar.

On this page, you can also reply to posts and mark messages read or unread. Click the Quote function to include the post's text as part of your reply. To view the responses to a post, click the post's hyperlinked title to navigate to the thread's page.

Within the Discussion Board or a discussion forum, you can quickly locate and read any unread replies made to your own posts by clicking on the number indicator under the Replies to Me column. This will filter out all other posts and only show you unread posts that are direct replies to you. 

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