Tag: Discussion Board

Navigating Discussion Threads on Blackboard

After the latest Blackboard upgrade in December 2016, a new (old) feature has been re-introduced to your course sites: arrow buttons for navigating threads on the Discussion Board.

You’ll find these buttons in the top right corner of each thread page. If you use individual threads for each student in your weekly discussions, you might find these buttons particularly helpful for navigating from thread to thread, or to jump to the first / last thread with one easy click.

Happy navigating!

February Updates: Faculty Training, VoiceThread Workshops, and a Blackboard Issue

Welcome back! We hope your spring semester is off to a great start. OFDIT is welcoming the term with new trainings, workshops offered by VoiceThread, and an announcement about Blackboard’s discussion board.

February Faculty Training. We’ve added new topics to our successful half our lunch-time training series: BrownBagBytes. This month’s sessions spotlight features that help make courses more accessible and discussions more dynamic. Our captioning training shows you how to use YouTube to add accurate captions to your videos in a few simple steps. Captions aid language learners and students with hearing impairments or organizational issues. Our training on Blackboard’s student view explains how to use the tool to streamline and simplify your course site.  In addition to our lunch series, we are also offering a full hour-long training: Introduction to VoiceThread. These show how the VoiceThread tool integrates audio and video commentary in your course discussions.

Sign up here to register for our February trainings, or use this form to schedule a one-on-one session that works around your schedule.

VoiceThread-IconWorkshops by VoiceThread. If you can’t join OFDIT, there are still opportunities to learn from workshops offered by VoiceThread this month, including sessions on incorporating VoiceThread discussions into your Language and STEM curriculum.

DB list view tree viewIssue with “Tree View” on Blackboard discussion board. You might have noticed that since January, your view of the Discussion Board keeps reverting back to List View automatically after setting it to Tree View. Blackboard is working to find a solution to this issue, but in the meantime, we’d like to pass on a helpful note one of your colleagues had drafted (thank you!) to explain the situation to his students. Please feel free to use this to make your students aware of the issue as well.

This course relies on the Blackboard Discussion Board for our class discussions. However, there is currently an issue with how we are able to view the discussion forum. Each time you enter the forum the posts appear in what is called “List View.” We need to see them in “Tree View,” however, in order to follow the threaded discussions and for you to see who has commented on your posts and for you to participate in ongoing exchanges with your classmates.  What to do? — For now each and every time you enter any forum you need to look at the upper right and click on the “Tree View” button. I do hope this will be resolved soon and that the tree view will be the default and remain the setting for all forums. Until then, thank you for your patience and understanding.

If you have questions about these or any other instructional technology please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We look forward to working with you this spring!

Antonia, Sarah, and Dominique

Happy New Year! And: Getting updates through “Subscribe” for Blackboard discussions

All of us at OFDIT wish you a happy new year and hope you have had enjoyable holidays. May 2016 be a successful teaching year for all of you.

Starting last year, SPS is now also offering a 3-week winter session. When teaching an intensive course over such a short time, it can be especially challenging to keep up with new Discussion Board posts in your Blackboard course site. One solution for both you and your students is to use the Subscribe option offered for individual discussion forums. By enabling this feature — and subscribing to either entire forums or particular threads — you will receive an email every time someone in your course posts a new entry.

Aside from using this feature in an intensive course, where being responsive to students’ questions is even more time-sensitive than usual, it can also be helpful to enable subscriptions for forums such as “Q&A” or “Ask Your Instructor” in any of your spring or fall course sites.

Here is how to make subscription an option for yourself and your students:

1) On your course site, go to the discussion board.

DB dropdown menu2) Hover over the title of the discussion forum you’d like to enable Subscribe, click the downward arrow and select “Edit” from the menu.

3) On the next page, scroll down to “Subscribe” options.

DB allow subscriptions4) Here you can allow subscriptions to either the entire forum (recommended for Q&A forums, for example), or to specific threads within the forum. You can also choose to either include the body of the post in the email, or simply a link to that post.

DB subscribe5) Back on the Forum page you will now see the option to Subscribe on the banner above the list of threads. Make sure to click it to receive email notifications, and to let your students know about this option as well.

6) If you ever want to stop receiving these emails, simply click Unsubscribe.

Please note, after receiving an email reminder you will still need to log into Blackboard to leave a post or reply.

We have also created a new quick guide with more detailed step-by-step instructions for your reference.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions about this, or any other Blackboard features: Sarah Kresh and Antonia Levy