Reaching Others University at Buffalo - The State University of New York
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Discussion Board Tips

Composing a New Post

  • Use a descriptive title in the subject field.
    When creating a new thread it is good practice to use a descriptive title so that the topic for that thread is clear.
  • Check your spelling.
    Proper spelling and grammar is required. UBlearns has a spell checker built in.
  • Save your files to your computer.
    It is a good practice is to compose your thoughts using word processing software. It's not uncommon for browsers to crash while you are composing your entry, or when submitting.

Responding to Posts

Use the Reply button to respond to an existing thread, instead of starting a new thread.

  • Don’t just agree or disagree.
    Responses should be meaningful. Simply saying “I agree” or “I disagree” does not add to the conversation. Add your reasons for agreeing or disagreeing to make the post more substantial.
  • Avoid being overly critical.
    Try to be balanced in your responses. Rather than pointing out all the negatives or positives, try to include both in your responses.
  • Avoid personal attacks.
    There is a thin line between attacking the argument and attacking the arguer. Make sure to remember it is the argument that you disagree with, and keep your responses civil. Even when other posters have crossed this line it is important to remain civil.
  • Alert your instructor about problematic posts.
    If someone posts something offensive or inappropriate it is important to notify you instructor so they can delete the offending post or clear up any misunderstandings.

Viewing complete forums

To view all messages of a forum on a single screen, switch to Tree View (upper right-hand corner). Using the option at the bottom of the page, choose Select All > Go. Now go back to the top of the page and click on Collect. Messages are displayed in the order they are posted. A drawback is that you loose the threaded nature of the messages.

Inappropriate Behavior

Remember, this is an academic environment. It is important to keep in mind that your instructor will be reading your posts and it is important to behave accordingly.

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