Follow the Rules on How to Behave on the Discussion Post Boards
Do not diverge form the subject
Although the temptation is high, try not to diverge form the subject. Your entry has to be relevant to generate interest among the audience.
Study old threads
If you do not know how to write a discussion post, begin by reading the old threads. This is like checking FAQ on a website – you have to make sure that your question was not answered before you start asking people about something again. This will not take much time. All you have to do is use the search field and type your question in it. The threads related to your subject will pop up. Some forums also use filters, which is definitely very convenient. Once you have found the thread that you need, join it and publish your post. Now the thread will appear at the top of the board.
Enable other posts in your discussion
In case you know a lot about a certain subject, you might want let others benefit from your knowledge. Nevertheless, try not to do this at once. If you are asked a question, you have to try to answer it succinctly and maybe share some links to additional publications.
Another rule to remember is that you should not post the same entry in a number of threads just because you think it is relevant. You should publish your post only once and if you want the followers of another thread to read it, provide the link.
Use formal language
The biggest advantage of forums is that users can communicate with people from different parts of the world. However, a major disadvantage is the language barrier. Many people are far from being fluent in English.
This is one of the reasons why you should try to use formal English for communication. Not everyone understands slang. Besides, it might sound a little rude in some cases. Therefore, follow the established rules of grammar and punctuation as you construct your sentences.
Back up your claims with evidence
The purpose of discussion posts is to help users expand their knowledge of a specific topic. Therefore, include links to outside sources in your post. It is also advisable to use credential publications, especially if the topic is complicated.
Follow the formatting rules
Even though they are not essays, your form entries still have to be appropriately formatted. Avoid emojis, different font colors, Caps Lock, and other expressive means that are not characteristic of academic writing. Try not to be overly emphatic.
Do not take the information you read close to your heart. Since you cannot see people’s body language and emotions, you are likely to misinterpret their messages. This is a major drawback of such platform because you never know if you offended someone or if someone was trying to offend you. Therefore, try not to cross the line when creating your posts.
Professional guidelines for writing a discussion post mention that forums are not the place to discuss your private life or gossip about someone else’s life. At the same time, a discussion board post is not a dissertation chapter, which means that you can allow yourself some freedom and, for example, tell a joke. Yet, make sure it is relevant and will not offend anyone.
Abide by the rules
All forms have established rules their users have to follow. Students who wonder how to write a discussion post should read these rules very carefully. These rules typically include information not only about the acceptable behavior abut also about the frequency of posts, deadlines, and so on.
Become an active participant
Discussions do not pop up every minute. Treads devoted to different topics appear every now and then, so you will always find something to comment on. If your teacher asked you to publish several posts, you do not have to post them all at once. If you devote all your time to one thread, you might miss some other interesting discussions.
Answer other students’ posts in detail
When posting a response to someone else’s post, do not hesitate to include motivational phrases and encourage them to continue research on the topic. Similarly, you can include your own examples, recommendations, share evidence, etc.
Guidelines for Writing a Discussion Post and Posting Responses
Discussion forums are a wonderful educational tool. There are usually more than one discussion forum on a discussion board. Each topic will have its own thread and you can read or publish in the thread you like.
Here is what you have to do to publish or read the posts:
- Find the discussion forum you need and navigate it. Check the requirements – your tutor must have provided the working link.
- Find a list of all forums on the discussion board page.
- Select the forum you need and click on it to enter it.
- After this, you should see a page with a list of different threads. i.e. discussions on the assigned topic. If you want to see al posts, click on the thread.
Sometimes you cannot see the existing thread until you set your own. If you cannot do this, contact your tutor. Maybe the Discussion forum settings have to be changed.
How to Reply to Posts
Now that you know how to write a discussion post, you should learn how to reply to your classmates’ posts.
- Hover your mouse over the post you want to reply to and you will see the ‘reply’ button.
- Should you need to include the original post, choose ‘Quote’.
- Type your message and click ‘Submit’. It might also help to use a draft. This way you can proofread your post before making it visible to other participants.
- When you are finally ready to make the publication, click on the ‘Edit’ button, make changes, and click ‘Submit’.
Starting a New Thread
Students can start their own thread if the settings allow this.
- Click on the ‘Create Thread’ button if you think your topic deserves a new thread.
- When the page opens, type the title of the discussion in the Subject box.
- Type the text in the message box.
- Click ‘Submit’ when your message is ready.
- Posts can be put on a separate page. If you want to do this, enter the thread and tick the boxes appearing next to the posts you need.
- Choose ‘Message actions’ -> ‘Collect’.
- The posts you have selected will be on one page. This is convenient if you have to print out the posts.
- ‘Collect’ button at Forum level enables users to view different messages from various threads on one page.
Replies to my post
There is a ‘Replies to me’ filter which helps you keep track of the replies. Both tutors and students can see threads that have received no reply yet.
To use Search option, find the ‘Search’ box at the top of the page at Forum or Thread level.
You can subscribe to a thread or forum if you want to receive email notifications.
This option allows you to mark important posts by putting flags next to them.
Usually, posts can be rated at 5-start system. Simply select the number of starts you think the post deserves. You cannot rate the posts created by you.
Posts become visible only after being checked by the moderator. In most cases, this will be your tutor who will read the posts in advance and decide whether they could be read by other students.