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Blackboard Quick Start Guide

If you need to quickly migrate material for a traditional, face-to-face course online, this guide will help you get started.
How to Have Discussions Online

Using the discussion tool

If you want students to discuss something, open your course's discussion board and click the "create forum" button. It looks like this:

image of the discussion board with a pink arrow pointing at "create forum"


Enter a subject line and a forum description (usually a discussion prompt), but you don't *have* to specify anything else if you don't want to.

Common specifications are:

  • whether or not you want the forum to be graded
  • whether or not you want students to be able to edit or delete their posts

Using the chat tool

The most basic way to use the chat tool is as a real-time meeting space. It's especially good for holding office hours.

If you want to record your chats so students can watch them later, consult the instructions from

You can allow access to your webcam and/or microphone if you wish. There is a text-only chat tool, and for slower connections, it's the best choice. 

Here's how to set up a chat: