Here are some common problems with discussions in Blackboard and how they can be avoided. In both of the issues below I would recommend just setting availability dates in the “Discussion board” not in the content areas.
- How to restrict access to students?
For those of you using discussions in Blackboard many of you have discovered problems limiting access to students. Even if you turn off the “Discussion” link in the course menu students have found using the “bread crumb trail” at the top of the screen will provide them access to the discussion board. If you set access dates on the discussions in the “Discussion Board” instead of through the content/folders students will not be able to access the discussion at any time other than the available dates and times. If you set availability dates in the “Discussion Board” they will display in the content area but if a student clicks on the discussion in the content area they will be notified that the discussion is not available until a specific date.
- Why do discussions not display for students?
When working with discussions in Blackboard you need to make sure that the dates in the content area and the “discussion board” match. If they do not match the students will not be able to participate in the discussion at the appropriate time. Here is a video on how to check the dates in both the “Content Area” and the “Discussion Board” area http://screencast.com/t/QBfpERE7I5A. If you only have dates in the “Discussion board” and turn off the dates on the content links you will not have to deal with this problem in the future. Putting dates on the discussions in the “Discussion board” only will also give you just one area to change when you roll content from one semester to the next.