Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Using the Discussion Board


The discussion tool is a way for the instructors and students in a course to interact and discuss topics. Users can log in and post or respond to messages on their own schedule. This is considered an asynchronous method of communication because users do not need to be online at a specific time.

Accessing the Discussion Board Tool in myWPI

In many courses, the discussion board is an important part of the course, so it is added as a menu item.

If the discussion board is listed in the menu, simply click on the Discussion Board menu item to access it.

An alternative method of accessing the discussion board is to click on Communication in the Course Tools area and then select Discussion Board from the list.


Forums are topics within the Discussion Board. Threads are sub-topics related to a Forum topic. There can be multiple threads in a Forum that all pertain to the Forum topic.

Using Forums

If your course is using the discussion board, Forums will be created for the course by your instructor or TA. To access a forum, click on the title of the forum you wish to view.

Adding Threads

As a course participant you can create new threads within the Forums created by your instructor or TA.

  1. Click on the title of the forum in which you want to start a new thread.

Select the forum title that you want to add a new thread to.

  1. Click the Thread button.
  1. Enter a Subject and Message.
  2. If you have an attachment, click the Attach a file link and use the Browse button to locate the file on your computer.
  3. Click Submit.

Reading New Messages

Within the Discussion Board tool main page, forums with new messages are indicated by a number in the Unread Posts column.

In this example, there is one new message in this forum.

  1. Click on the forum name.
  2. Threads in the forum with new messages are indicated by a number in the Unread Posts column.
  3. Click a thread title. The Thread Detail page appears. The first post in the thread is visible.
  4. New messages appear in bold. To read the new message or any other message, click on the message title.


myWPI Discussion Board forums and threads can be set up to allow subscription. This feature functions similar to an RSS feed. Once subscribed to a forum or thread, you will recieve email notification of new postings. If your Instructor or TA has allowed subscription, clicking on the Subscription button will subscribe you for that particular forum or thread.

Please note that each thread or forum must be subscribed to individually.

Replying to Messages

  1. Click on a message you want to reply to.
  2. Click the Reply or Quote button. If you click Quote, the message you are replying to will be quoted in your reply.


If you do not see the quoting option, it may have been disabled by your instructor or TA. The quoting option can be turned off when creating a forum.

  1. Enter a Subject if you want to change it from the default.
  2. Enter your reply in the Message box.
  3. To include an attachment, click the Attach a file link and then Browse to find the file on your computer.
  4. Click Submit to post the reply to the thread.

Message Options

Within a thread, there are additional options for managing messages.

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Last modified: Jun 19, 2008, 09:39 EDT
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