Active discussions are a core element of any course, and research has shown that online course discussions do help students understand concepts more deeply. (For an interesting literature review and study of online course discussions, see Cranney et. al., Instructor’s Discussion Forum Effort: Is It Worth It? at http://jolt.merlot.org/vol7no3/cranney_0911.pdf ). Discussions are great for student learning -- but when you have an active discussion, there are LOTS of posts to wade through.
In the default discussion board, you'll see a list like this-- you must click on each thread in order to read and reply to those entries.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could collect these all on one page? You can! To do this, check the box next to each thread that you want to read. Or you can check the box at the top of the column in order to check every thread. Then click the "Collect" button.
All of the threads you've checked, including any replies, will be displayed on one page. You can scroll to read all of the posts, and click on "Reply" to any one directly from this page.
The collection page also give you options to sort by date or author, and the "Print Preview" button will let you create a PDF copy of the page-- which can be useful for your records, or for easy offline reading.
Instructors and students have access to the "Collect" tool-- try it out. If you think others would be interested in knowing about it, share a link to this post in your course's discussion board!