Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bb Tip: Search and Collect Discussions Threads

A Discussion Board or Forum in a Blackboard course can be the heart of the class if it is implemented well. It is the place where you can most easily get to know the other students in the course. If the forum is well attended, and students check in regularly, it is a place you can ‘raise your hand’ and ask questions if you don’t understand the material. It is a place where you can share your ideas and get into interesting discussions. But sometimes, it is possible to fall behind in your reading of them. It can be overwhelming if you don’t check for 3-4 days, and then log in to find 30+ unread posts!

Sometimes you want to pick one or two threads to follow and then just look in to see what other people have said to your posts. Or perhaps you want to quickly look to see whether the instructor has posted any comments and read those first. You might even just want to look at all the posts you’ve made this week to make sure you have hit the golden number of responses needed to get full credit for participation. So how do you locate the posts you are most interested in among all the other posts on the forum? Scanning for these posts one by one can be very time consuming, and if the posts are sprinkled through several threads, the page reloads can be frustrating. Luckily, the Search and Collect features make keeping up with discussions in Blackboard a little easier. Click the links and images for a closer look.

The Search feature lets you locate the specific posts you are interested in more easily. Once you click the Search button, the search interface looks like this:

Click image to enlarge

An alternate method is to check the boxes next to all the posts (or just use the ‘select all’ box at the top of the thread) and then click the “collect” button:
You can then use the “filter” button to narrow down which threads you see and what order you see them in.


  1. Is there any information about NVCC beginning to use the Blackboard application for the iPhone? I saw that it was available, but that NVCC had not yet approved its use. Any updates on when/if that might happen?


  2. Hello Megan,
    I was told that NOVA is making progress on getting the app approved and that it should be available soon.