Once you have created a Discussion Board you have many options to manage it.

In this tutorial you will learn:

To begin click the Discussion Board link in the navigation menu, then click on a forum.

Lock a Thread:  This is useful if students are done posting in a particular thread.  It allows the thread to still be visible for studying purposes later, but will no longer accept post.  It can be a better alternative than hiding the thread from student view. Select the top check box to select all, then click Thread action, then Lock.

Set Flag: This will put a small red flag next to the selected message and is used as a way to mark the message as important or in need of further action. Select the checkbox for the message you want to flag, and then click Thread action, then Set Flag.  This will only be visible to you.

Mark as Read/Unread: This allows you to set the thread as Read or Unread.  Read will unbold the title, showing it has been read.  Setting to Unread, the thread title becomes bold again, and will signal to you that it needs to be read.  This can be useful to draw attention to a post for later viewing, if you do not want to Set a Flag. Select the checkbox for the message you want to mark, and then click Thread action, then Mark as Read or Mark as Unread.

Search: This allows you to search threads for particular keywords. Click the Search button, and options appear, including the search box, location and dates.

Display: This option changes the display of the threads based on different settings such as Hidden, Draft, Locked, etc.  Show all is the initial default view.  Whatever view you pick will remain that view until changed, even if you leave the thread and come back.

Collect Threads:  This allows you to select all or a group of threads, to read or print more easily. Select the top check box to select all, and then click Collect.  The view will then change to show each thread selected on one page.   From here you can mark as Read or Unread, Reply or Print.  Click on the Print Preview button to print.

Viewing Discussion Board Statistics: You can use the Performance Dashboard to see how students are contributing to the discussion board. Go to Control Panel, click on Evaluation, and then Performance Dashboard.  One of the columns will be labeled Discussion Board, and will show a total number of posts for each student. Click on the post number and you can see details such as Date of Last Post, Average Post Length, Minimum Post Length, and Maximum Post Length.