Before we go too far into our consideration of discussions in Blackboard, we should be familiar with some basic terminology related to the organization of discussions. Although some of Blackboard's terminology agrees with terms used by other online discussions tools, there are a few differences. You should also keep in mind that Blackboard itself (like almost any large software) may not be 100% consistent in its use of terms. For example, Blackboard documentation may use the terms "message" and "post" interchangeably. The major terms used in Blackboard include the following.
The Discussion Board is a specialized page in Blackboard that serves as a home for all discussions. While discussions can be linked to other areas in the course, they are housed on the Discussion Board page. The Discussion Board is usually accessed by a link on the Course Tool Menu.
The Discussion Board can contain one or more Discussion Forums. A Discussion forum is the basic organizational unit for discussions. A forum can be thought of as a category dedicated to a single topic, chapter, or period of time. For example, there may be a single forum for each chapter in the course. The forum displays a title and a description to the students, so that they can quickly see what is included in the forum.
Each forum can contain one or more threads. A thread is made up of a message posted to the forum along with all of the replies to the original message. Messages are also referred to as submissions or posts.
Continue to the next page to learn about discussion organization.