Communication platforms are an essential aspect of online education. Such platforms, which are also called discussion post boards, are created for holding online discussion on topics relating to a specific course. Each analyzed subject is discussed within its own online area, called a “thread.” The messages published by students or professors on the thread are called “posts.” It should be stated that online dialogues between students and professors may last for hours, days, or even weeks.
A lot of college students taking online classes are required to take part in online discussions, as their final grade depends on it. One should know that there is a slight difference between an online discussion and that initiated in the classroom. When discussing some topics in the class, not all students may be engaged in the activity. However, when it goes about discussion post boards, every its member has to contribute to the conversation. Being involved in an online dialogue will help students gain considerable knowledge of different subjects and develop their thinking.
Follow the Rules on How to Behave on the Discussion Post Boards
- Stick to the Subject
This is the most essential rule one needs to follow when operating on the discussion post board. The entries you are going to publish have to be relevant to the topic discussed on the online platform.
- Analyze Old Threads
If you want to start a new discussion, you need to check the already existing threads to make sure your topic has not been discussed yet. You need to find a “search” field on your discussion board and type in the key phrases relating to your topic. In this way, it will be easier for you to find the threads devoted to your subject. If you have come across the discussion on the issue you would like to explore, you should join it and publish your post. The very thread will be placed at the top of the board.
- Let Others Post to the Discussion
If you have considerable expertise in a specific area, you may greatly desire to provide a lot of information about it. However, you should resist such big temptation. You just need to succinctly summarize the main points and give links to the resources providing more data about the topic.
Additionally, you should not post the same entry on different threads even if it is related to various subjects. Publish your message once! However, if you think other users should read it, give a link to it on other threads.
- Write in Formal English
One of the major benefits of participating in online discussions is a possibility of communicating with people across the globe. At the same time, online discussion post boars have its disadvantages. Since the members of forums are from different countries, not all of them are fluent in English.
For this reason, your posts should be written in formal language. Avoid using slang. Construct your sentences according to the established grammar and punctuation rules. Thus, your international classmates will understand your posts properly.
- Make References to Supporting Arguments
The main function of the discussion post boards is to help its members become conversant in a specific subject. That is why you should always give links to the sources you have used for creating your post. By the way, you need to make sure that the sources you are providing links are reliable.
- Format Your Posts Properly
You should keep in mind that your online entries have to be formatted appropriately. Since online posts are also regarded as academic writing, they should not contain any smiles, unusual fonts or colors. It is inappropriate for educational post boards.
- Do not Be too Emphatic
When reading online posts, you should not get information too personal. You cannot see people’s faces and feel their emotions when participating in online discussions. Therefore, you cannot be sure you have offended or irritated someone or vice versa. Still, when creating posts, you should always mind the way you are writing the sentences in. Thus, you will know exactly you have not crossed the line.
Remember that the forums discussing academic issues are not suitable for analyzing your private life. Certainly, you may tell a joke if it relates to the topic of the thread. In case you want to provide some users with your personal information, such as a phone number, you should send them an email.
- Follow the Set Rules
No matter the forum you are posting to, there are specific rules you need to follow. Thus, before publishing your entries, you should learn about all posting details. The discussion board instructions may include information on the frequency of making posts, deadlines which you should not miss, and other issues.
- Take an Active Part in the Discussions
Discussions are not created in a matter of minutes. From time to time, new threads discussing different topics appear. Thus, there will be always enough issues to comment on. For this reason, you should not publish all the posts you have to write immediately. Being entirely occupied with posting your entries, you may miss the whole dialogue.
- Give Detailed Answers to Students’ Posts
When commenting on your classmates’ posts, cite examples, provide suggestions, implement new ideas, etc. Do not hesitate to use the phrases motivating users to conduct further research on the issue.