Discussion Forum Activities

The discussion forum is an environment where you can participate in a "virtual discussion" with your instructor and other members of your course. The forum is one of the most dynamic, interactive features of this course. Often instructors will post questions in discussion forums for you to review and respond to. In addition, you are encouraged to read other students' responses and engage in online dialogue with them. If you are asked to participate in a class discussion forum activity, note that the following approach will help you be most successful:

  1. Click on the "Discussions" button located at the left of your screen. "Discussions" is where all the forums for the course are located.
  2. Click on the forum in which you are going to participate.
  3. Read the first link, otherwise known as a thread, which is posted by your instructor.
  4. Read any or all of the other threads in the forum.
  5. After you have read all the threads, click on the thread to which you would like to respond. The thread may be the instructor's original posting to the forum, or it may be a student's thread to which you would like to respond.
  6. At the bottom of your selected thread, find the "Reply" button and click.
  7. In the new window that appears, enter the subject heading and message to be posted in your thread. (Note: you may wish to create your message in a word processing program, revise and proofread it, and then copy and paste it into the discussion thread message box. You will also have a copy of your work to resubmit if you run into technical difficulties.)
  8. If you want to upload an attachment, enter the appropriate location of the file to attach, or click on "Browse My Computer" to find the location of the file you would like to attach.
  9. Once you are finished entering your subject heading, message, and any attachments, click "Preview" to view your message before it is posted.
  10. When ready, click "Submit" to post your message.
  11. Please refer to your User Manual located in the "Help" section of the course for more information on or assistance with Discussion Boards.
  12. Contact your instructor if you have any questions or comments about discussion forum activities.

There can be multiple forums in your online course. A few examples are listed below.

Starting a New Thread in a Discussion Forum Assignment

Once in the discussion forum you wish to participate in, click the "Create Thread" button to add a new thread. Fill in the resulting box and "Submit." For good results, keep the following in mind:

It's called a discussion forum because people are actually supposed to discuss things! Clever, huh? That means it will only be useful if you respond to others, not just post your own messages. You will not get the best results or grades from this kind of communication if you don't react to your classmates.

Replying to a Post

To respond to a message, simply enter the appropriate forum, and click on the subject of a message. Read the message, and if you want to respond, scroll to the bottom and click "Reply." Type your message and "Submit." Here are more hints: