Assignments tends to be documents, presentations or reports that a student would normally physically hand in. If that's not possible, you can collect assignments using Blackboard.
Create assignments in your Blackboard course and grade them online. Be sure to use the Assessments interface when you set up the assignments. It creates a virtual dropbox for students to submit their files. Blackboard will automatically attach their names to the files, so it’s easy for you to keep track of them.
Discussion boards are a great way to get students discussing a topic in writing. They work best for open-ended discussions rather than for content delivery. They can be set up to limit access to other students’ replies until after they have posted their own response. Professors can encourage discourse by having students post a response to a prompt, and then requiring them to respond to their classmates’ posts with meaningful responses. Such responses should go beyond mere statements that agree with the comment they are replying to and encourage further discussion. A sample rubric for assessing these replies can be found here.
Blackboard: The Blackboard discussion board is a versatile tool, and a great choice if you already use Blackboard, since you can integrate a rubric and link directly to your course’s grade book.
Instructor guides for creating and managing discussion boards in Blackboard: Discussions
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for Office Hours:
Provides a virtual face-to-face environment;
Has the ability to share one’s computer screen for sharing of ideas and resources
Where applicable, meeting recordings can be used for future review.