Work with Class Conversations

About Class Conversations

Class Conversations allow all members of a course to post and view discussion-style messages related to a specific document, test, or assignment in an ultra-style course site. This tool essentially creates a discussion forum tied to that item which can be accessed from the item page. 


Class Conversations are available in ultra-style course sites, as an option that must be selected on a Document, Test, or Assignment options page.

How It Works

Once enabled, the conversation stays with its item. The conversation forum can be accessed by clicking the more button ("...") to the right of the item name in the Course Content list, or by clicking a speech-bubble icon in the upper-right corner of the item's page.

When new posts are available, the item will have a blue speech-bubble right of the item name.

menu item with new class conversation

From the item page, a purple dot on the Class Conversation icon indicates new posts for viewing.

class conversation icon with new (purple dot)

The Class Conversation can be browsed and posted to like an ultra-style discussion forum.

Allow Class Conversation

You can allow class conversations (item-based discussion) on Document, Test, and Assignment item-types in Blackboard ultra-style course sites. From inside an appropriate item's Content and Settings page, click the gear icon in the upper right for full settings.

image of gear icon

Under Details & Information, put a check next to "Allow class conversations".

Allow Class Conversations checkbox

The image above is from the Details & Information settings on a document. The image below is from a Test.

Allow Class Coversations checkbox from test options

Note: all assignment conversation messages are visible to all users.

Post to Conversation

From the Conversation page, click the box containing the prompt text "Type a response." Enter your message text and click the respond button at the bottom of the window to make your post visible to your professor and the rest of the class. 

Click the "Save Draft" button to save your typed response without making it visible to your professor or the rest of the class.

Faculty posts will appear with a black line marked "PROF" above the poster's name.

Navigate Conversation

Items with an unread conversation post (response) appear with a blue speech-bubble left of the item name in the Course Content list.

content list item with new post icon

The Class Conversation button will have a purple-dot indicating new responses.

class conversation button with purple dot

Conversation responses are sorted newest to oldest.

By default, replies are hidden. Click Show Replies under a response to view its replies.

Reply | Show Replies bar with new reply

In the participant's list on the right, users with unread responses will have a purple bookmark left of their name.

You can also jump directly to responses or replies from a particular user by clicking their name in this participants list. 

right-hand navigation for conversation

This will focus their response (or responses) on your screen. New responses will be highlighted in purple.

unread post highlighted in purple

Reply to Conversation

To reply to a conversation post, click the REPLY button at the bottom of the post you wish to respond to. 

Type your message, then click the black REPLY button to post your response. 

animation of the reply process

As with initiating posts, you may click "Save Draft" for your post. Drafts are not visible to anyone but you.