Discussion boards are a way for a group of people to communicate ‘asynchronously’ online, i.e. not occurring at the same time, unlike messaging tools such as Skype or WhatsApp. One person may log in at any one point and leave a message, another user could access the board later, see that message and reply. Similar to emails, you can also attach files to discussion board messages.
Discussion boards have an advantage over email in that you can read them when you want to, not have your inbox overwhelmed with messages you don’t want! They are also more structured than email and are broken down into three levels:
Forums – like seminar rooms at a conference, each with a specific theme/topic of conversation.
Threads – separate conversations within a forum; a forum can have many separate threads.
Messages – a single reply ‘posted’ to a discussion thread.