Forums: Discussion and participation
Most students will be required to participate in forum discussions in some of their subjects, through the course of their study, whether for assessment purposes or general student interaction and support.
This is the forum icon:
At 3pm each day, all forum posts made in sites that the student has access to, over the last 24 hours, are sent to the student's Gmail inbox, as the Forum Daily Digest. Students need to open this digest regularly, preferably daily, to read any forum posts. Note that it is better to click on the link: See post in context, especially if you wish to reply to that post. This will take you to the subject site, and the forum, where the post originated. You will then see all other posts relating to that discussion thread.
Receiving notification of forum posts in your Forum Daily Digest means you are subscribed to that forum. You can change your preferences, 1. so that you receive each form post separately as it is made; and/or 2. so that you no longer receive notification of a particular forum.
See further here on how to change your preferences.
There are different types of forums:
- On every subject site, there is an Announcements Forum, which the lecturer will use to send messages to all the students in that subject. Students cannot make a post themselves in this forum, and usually cannot reply to a post made by the lecturer. The last few news post will also be displayed in the Latest Announcements block on the right hand side of the page.
- There may be a student introductory forum, or interaction forum, especially if there are external students in the class.
- There may be forums for reflecting on, discussing, the weekly lecture, or about the subject as a whole.
The above forums are normally optional, and are there for the students' use as required.
- There may be forums where students are required to participate in discussion as part of assessment work, and most likely there will be a percentage weighting toward final grades. These forums tend to be one of 2 types:
- General forum for discussion: all students can post a new discussion topic while the discussion is in process, and can reply to any other student. Usually students can start more than one new discussion. Students can see other students' posts before they have made their own post.
- Question and answer forum: each student needs to respond to some question/s or task, set by the lecturer, before they can access other student's answers/posts. Note: there is a 30-minute delay (after the initial post) before other student responses become visible.
Important: all students and lecturer/s in a particular class/subject/site can see all posts that are made in the forums in that site. If you wish to send a message to one particular student, see the next page: Online messages.
To make a forum post:
- Click on the relevant forum link in your subject site.
- To make a new post: click on the: Add a new discussion topic button.
- Enter a brief subject for your post, and enter your text in the Message box. Please do not copy and paste directly from Word; click here if you wish to copy and paste text already written.
- Click Post to forum button. Note that you have 30 minutes in which to edit, or delete, your forum post; after that time you cannot change it. If you do need to change what you have written, or delete the post, you will need to contact your lecturer, who can edit it for you, if they are willing to do that, and you have good reason for needing to change it. To edit your post within the 30 minutes, click on the subject, i.e. the link under Discussion column, can click the Edit button to the bottom right of the post. Note that you can also Delete it during this 30 minutes.
- Click Save changes after you have finished editing.
- Note that it is good practice to always read through your post, after making it, to check for spelling, grammatical errors, etc. while within the 30 minute time frame.
- Click on the subject under Discussion column.
- Click the Reply button, at bottom right of post, and enter your text in the Message box.
- Click Post to forum button.
- Again, you have 30 minutes to edit this.
- If you do not see a Reply button, and you know you should be able to reply to other students in this forum, please contact your lecturers or send a Helpdesk ticket.
Important: if you wish you post to be received by other students that day, make sure you post it before 2.30pm. As there will be the 30 minutes time lapse, and as all forum posts go out to students' Gmail accounts at 3pm, if a post is made after 2.30pm on a given day it will not go out until 3pm the next day. It will be visible in the forum itself, after 30 minutes, but the students and the lecturer won't necessarily know that you have made this post until the next day.