Blackboard Quick Tip: Make a ‘Post-First’ Discussion

Blackboard easily allows instructors to change from a “regular” discussion forum to a “post-first” (before students have posted, obviously).

The post-first option was possible in ANGEL, too, but I think under-used. Its advantages are that it forces students to create an original post (called a thread in Blackboard) before they can reply to anyone else. They can’t see anyone’s post prior to posting themselves.

To modify an existing forum or create a new one, first go to Course Tools > Discussion Board and then either edit an existing forum or create a new one.

From the edit settings for a forum, scroll to the Forum Settings area and select “Participants must create a thread in order to view other threads in this forum.”

post-firstThe students will see a “disclaimer” that they have to post before seeing any other posts, which I think helps to enforce an original-post-plus-replies policy.



See our full archive of Blackboard tips at


Alex is online course support technician at IDS, working to support all online, hybrid and LMS-enhanced instructors and students in using Blackboard and several media servers. She's also the administrator for the MCC Blogs network. You can reach her at

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Posted in Blackboard, Blackboard Learn for instructors

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