Tips for Using the WebCT Discussion Board (AKA Bulletin Board)

Tip 1. If your professor has divided the board into multiple Topic areas, click on a specific desired Topic area *first*, instead of trying to view the ALL topic area (the ALL Topic area will include all messages in all areas and thus may be too overwhelming).

Tip 2. Once you are in a desired Topic area, note all the different options for viewing:

Note that you have the option of "All" messages or "Unread" messages only.

You can also view the interactions in a thread (shows who replied to who, by using indentions) or unthreaded (shows the messages in order by date). We strongly suggest the Threaded view as the most helpful.

After you post a message you may not see it right away. You will need to "refresh" your page. One way to do this is to click the "Update Listing" button. Another way to do this is to exit the Discussion Board and re-enter.


Tip 3. To figure out just which messages you have not read yet, you can use the "Unread" button (see Tip 2).

Tip 4. Use the magnifying glass to view all messages in a thread, all at once. You can then download or print them, too.

Tip 5 . You can also click the green arrows to expand a thread and see that those messages that appear in BOLD blue type are unread. Even the little envelope next to unread messages is closed (versus an open envelope for messages you've already read).

Tip 6. Understand the difference between "Compose Message" and "Reply". You should only use the "Compose Message" button when you want to begin a whole new conversation/ discussion. When you "Compose Message" make sure that you are posting it in the correct Topic area, as defined your instructor.


Tip 7. To "Reply" to a message click the "Reply" button at the top of the message.You should always use the "Reply", "Quote", or "Reply Privately" buttons to reply to someone's message. "Reply Privately" (goes to recipients Mail box) or "Quote" (quotes the original message in your reply).

Tip 8. Try using the "Search" and "Compile" functions, to make your life easier.

By clicking the "Search" button, one can search for a message based on who posted it, when it was posted, the subject, or even a word in the message.

One can click on the small boxes next to desired messages and then choose "Compile". The system will compile all the messages that you selected into one nice file for printing or downloading.