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IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Create a Discussion Board

Service notice: All Catalyst Web Tools–except WebQ Survey and GradeBook–will be retired. View timeline and details.


Create a discussion board:

  1. StepsActions
  2. Log in to your Catalyst account.
  3. Click GoPost in the menu at the left. You will move to the GoPost home page.
  4. Click Create a new board.
  5. Enter a name for the board in the space provided. The name will be visible to you and the board’s participants.
  6. Enter a description for your board. The description appears on the board home page and can be used to describe the board’s purpose and/or to provide instructions to participants. You can use the formatting toolbar to format the text of the description, insert images, create links, and more.

    Tip: The description is a good place to provide a link to your course Web site. By creating a link to your course Web site, students can easily move between the board and your site. To create a link in the description field, type and then select (i.e., click and drag to highlight) the text on which the link should appear. Click the Insert/Edit link on the formatting toolbar to open the “Link” dialog box. Enter the URL of your Web site in the space provided, and click OK.

  7. Select a board type:
    One list of conversations: All conversations will be displayed in one list on the board home page.
    Create discussion areas to organize your conversations: Discussion areas will be displayed on the board home page. Selecting to create discussion areas defaults to two discussion areas, “Default Discussion Area 1” and “Default Discussion Area 2.” Names of the discussion areas can be changed as well as the creation of more discussion areas on the “Manage Page” of your discussion board after board creation. Conversations will be listed within a discussion area.

    Tip: This setting cannot be changed after the board is created. Choosing to create discussion areas allows you to organize your board into categories or topics as best suits your purposes. This can help to keep conversations organized by guiding participants to the appropriate place to contribute. If you choose to set up your board with one list of conversations, the conversations (threads) will appear directly on the board home page.

  8. Click Save. Your discussion board will be created, and you will move to the “Manage” page for your new board.

Managing Your New Board

The “Manage” page displays the current status and settings of your discussion board. When the board is “Closed” or set to “Read-only,” this status will appear next to the board title at the upper left.

The URL for viewing and accessing the board (for public or UW NetID access) is displayed near the top of the page. You can distribute this URL directly to participants or use it to create a link on a Web page.

Tip: For a board that is available for “Anyone with a UW NetID,” once UW NetID participants have posted on your board, they can access it through the participant tab on their Catalyst Web Tools account page. If a board is available to a limited group of UW NetIDs, those participants will always be able to access the board from the participant tab on their Catalyst Web Tools account page once the board is open.

Buttons linking to the statistics for the board and giving the option to delete the board appear just above the settings panel. Current settings are listed in the panel below with Edit links at their right for making changes.

By default, a new discussion board is created with the following settings:

  • Anyone with a UW NetID can access the board.
  • Visitors cannot view the board until they have logged into it.
  • The board is closed, or unavailable to participants.
  • Participants can modify their screen names (the name that appears next to their posts and on their profile).

In order to complete the set up of your discussion board, you must make your board available (open) to participants.

You can also add or modify discussion areas (if your board has multiple areas), change the participant access, and add moderators or administrators (roles).