Discussion Boards – Waterville Grand Hotel

November 7th, 2011

A discussion board (or forum, bulletin board, message board) is an online tool that lets folks make posts and/or comments on other folks posts. Sometimes you need to be a member to make posts or comments.

Often there is a central unifying theme or topic that provides an environment for discussion, with many posts and responses. A post and the responses are a thread. A discussion board can have many threads, sometimes separated into discrete topics.

One of the advantages of a discussion board is its asynchronous nature, allowing people to post or respond without any time frame restriction. This is obviously different from IMs or live chat.


  1. Khall
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:26 | #1

    The local newspaper has an area for discussions. Many students (and staff) do use this opportunity to comment or share what they know about local situations. Some assignments are even centered around this idea- current events can be taught this way with instant access to the knowledge of others.

  2. Donna
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:28 | #2

    Although I have used discussion boards for professional collaboration, as far as I know they are not being widely used in our school by either students or staff. (Blogging and educational networking within classes are frequent means of communication.) I am not sure what role a discussion board should play in the classroom, but as a communication tool for staff and administration there does seem to be potential.

  3. mjlearned
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:29 | #3

    When I think of discussion boards, I automatically think of my online master’s classes and how I can freely express myself, paying careful attention to how I word things and articulating the point that I want to get across. I am not familiar with any discussion boards used in our middle school. I am now kind of wondering “why?” There would definitely need to be a careful, approach to how the discussions should go and what would be considered appropriate content.

  4. Dcarrillo
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:29 | #4

    I am a new tech integrator at the middle school level. The school where I work has not had “integration” in the format that I hope to develop. How do I do my job with students who are used to the status quo, show no interest in what I present and who don’t take me seriously because they’ve never had a “me” in their academic lives. I have blogged with 2nd graders…how do I make it interesting, appropriate, and substantive for middle schoolers?

  5. Jbersani
    November 8th, 2011 at 11:31 | #5

    I think discussion boards can be a great tool. Personally I use them everyday for work, for play, for entertainment. board moderation and non annoymous contribution is key.

  6. Dcarrillo
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:10 | #6

    I learned that I utilize discussion boards much more than I realized.

  7. Khall
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:10 | #7

    Concluding statement: Discussion boards are a huge part of our lives- whether we realize it or not. Shopping has completely been transformed with the advent of “reviews”- There are infinite uses for this tool

  8. mjlearned
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:10 | #8

    Concluding statement after discussion:nMy thoughts on discussion boards are probably non-existent in the minds of our students. Their worlds have discussion boards imbedded in them and their technology skills are more micro than mine….interesting thoughts to go away with….

  9. Donna
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:11 | #9

    It turns out there are many more discussion boards being used than I had originally thought. Any digital media where there is a commenting, or especially instantaneous commenting, can be a discussion board.

  10. Kathy
    November 8th, 2011 at 12:14 | #10

    Discussion boards are great if they are well organized and some ground rules are set. Moodle, Blackboard,….

  11. November 8th, 2011 at 12:16 | #11

    I’ve spent a lot of time personally on discussion boards, but haven’t spent much time using them in the classroom. I am intrigued by using them in class, but I’m not sure the best place for them.

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