Ed Discussion is a question and answer discussion board used for teaching and learning. It can be accessed through a Blackboard Learn course or directly through the Ed Discussion website, via the Imperial College single sign-on.  

Ed Discussion facilitates collaborative interaction among students and is designed to model face-to-face group discussions, allowing for the creation of complex questions and answers.

Questions can be posed by both students and instructors, and answers can generate additional follow-up questions and answers, adding clarity and depth to the original post. Instructors have the option to endorse or reply to student answers increasing the appetite for student collaboration.

Available features include:

  • Discussion board posts can be marked as Read as in the Discussion tool, but can also be marked as Unread, Starred, Answered, Unanswered, as well as organised into categories that you define. These categorisations can then be used to filter the display of posts.
  • Allows for the insertion of runnable programming code snippets.
  • Discussion threads can be made private, available to instructors only.
  • Discussions can be configured to allow anonymous posts, opening options for peer and instructor feedback.
  • Links to all the courses in which Ed Discussion is used are immediately available in the Ed Discussion interface, allowing to easily switch to other discussions.
  • Maths equations and other symbols may be added to posts by entering LaTex markup.
  • Ed Discussion supports the creation of Post Templates. Post templates allow instructors to define a structure for student posts, outlining for example the information you expect to be included in each post.
  • Supports the use of Markdown for formatting posts.
  • Integrated notifications allow users to send announcements to the entire class or to be notified when a user responds to a specific post.
  • Commonly used replies may be saved and reused. This is helpful when offering recurring feedback on student posts. 

Setup Ed Discussion in a Blackboard Learn course

To add Ed Discussion to a Blackboard Learn course and create an Ed Discussion user account, complete the following steps:

  1. Go to Blackboard, enter your Imperial College username and password and select Login
  2. Select the course that you would like to add Ed Discussion to from the My Courses list
  3. Navigate to the appropriate Content Area of the course and ensure that Edit Mode is switched On
  4. From the Build Content menu, select Ed Discussion
  5. Enter a Name and select Submit and Launch to deploy an Ed Discussion board to the course. You do not need to change the default settings. If you have groups on your course, you can specify which of these can access Ed Discussion under Groups.
  6. Ed Discussion will now open within Blackboard allowing you to set up your Ed Discussion board.
  7. You will now be able to create your new class. You can now refer to the Ed Discussion Quick Start Guide PDF to get started setting up your new class.

Staff Support

For further help and support in using Ed Discussion, please visit the help materials provided by the product vendor.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or need assistance using Ed Discussion, contact the ICT Service Desk.

Student Support

Your Course Leader will advise you on how and when to access Ed Discussion.

If you have accessibility needs that cannot be accommodated by this technology, please discuss this with your Course Leader or Departmental Contact