Getting Help with Discussion Forums in Blackboard

Instructors commonly use discussion forums to initiate discussions on specific topics. Typically, you will be required to post your response to the given topic and may also be asked to engage with other students’ contributions. Make sure to thoroughly review your instructor’s guidelines to understand the specific requirements and objectives of each discussion forum.

How to access the Forums

Step 1

You can navigate through the class modules and locate the Discussion Forum you wish to participate in.


Step 2

You also might want to use the search bar at the top right of the page and use keywords to locate your forums.


Step 3

You can also use the Discussions tab located at the top of your course. Here you will find all the Discussion forums in the class.


Types of Forums

Depending on your instructor’s course setup, you will participate in forums of two different types: non-graded forums, and graded forums.

Non-graded Forums

These forums provide a platform for students and instructors to engage in meaningful conversations, share insights, and explore diverse perspectives on course-related topics. Common examples of non-graded forums are “Sharing Forums” and “Introduction Forums”. You can distinguish them from graded forums by noticing that no grading details can be found to the right of the screen.


Graded Forums

These forums serve as a means for instructors to measure individual comprehension of course material, critical thinking skills, and the ability to articulate ideas effectively. Participants in graded forums are not only encouraged to actively engage in discussions but are also aware that their contributions carry weight in terms of their overall course assessment.

As opposed to non-graded forums, you can view the grading information for these forums to the right of the screen.


After you have opened the forum, you will find its description and, possibly, instructions to read and follow.


On the right side, you can see a Due Date and Grading Rubric if enabled for the assessment.


To thoroughly examine the rubric, click on the arrow on the side of the respective section.

If enabled, you can see the Participants who have responded to the post too.

How to post a response

Step 1

Locate the text box under the Discussion Forum directions.


Step 2

Write the forum post. The editor screen provides you with the flexibility to either type your text directly or paste it from another source. This is also the space where you can enhance your post with various formatting options and personalize it according to your preferences. When you’re satisfied with your composition, simply click on Respond to finalize and share your entry.

Step 3

If your assessment involves responding to multiple peers, simply click on Reply beneath their respective posts. This action activates the text box, allowing you to construct your response efficiently. Complete the posting process by clicking the Reply button once you’ve composed your response.


Once your instructor has completed your grading, you can view your grade and any provided feedback by accessing the Details & Information section.

For further assistance, you can refer to articles available on Blackboard Ultra.