Almost all Blackboard templates have an enabled discussion board. This article shows you how to check to see if your site’s discussion board is visible to students, and if not, how to enable it.

Visible link

The screenshot below shows a working link in both Edit Mode On (left screenshot) and Edit Mode Off (right screenshot) views – this site is ok as the link it visible to students

Visible to students

Hidden link

With Edit Mode On (left) and Edit Mode Off (on the right), this site has the discussion board hidden from the student view. The icon to the right of ‘Discussions’ is an indicator that it is hidden.

Hidden to students

Enabling a hidden link

To enable the link, with Edit Mode On, click the chevron icon to the right of ‘Discussions’, and a pop-up menu with all. Click ‘Show Link’ – that’s it, the link is now visible to students

Enable the link

No link on the menu

With Edit Mode On, if there is no ‘Discussions’ link showing on the menu, then you need to add one.

  • Ensure Edit Mode is On
  • Click the ‘+’ icon to the top-left of the menu bar.
  • A pop-up menu will appear, select ‘Tool Link’

Pop up window

  • On the window that appears, select ‘Discussion Board’

Select option

  • Then name it ‘Discussions’, tick the ‘Available to Users’ option and click Submit


  • This will add the discussion board link onto the menu bar. By default it will appear at the bottom of the menu. With Edit Mode On, you can click on the double-headed arrow to the left of the name, and drag the item to where you want it on the menu


The ‘Discussions’ link is now in place and visible to students

You can also check what your students can see by using Student Preview

Access via the Tools area

Please note that if you have a visible Tools area on your menu bar then this can provide an additional, but more hidden, route to the discussion board

Tool area

When in the Tools area, and with Edit Mode On, you also have the option of showing and hiding this link to students

Tools area

You can also check what your students can see by using Student Preview