The following are some tips to help you successfully participate in your online course discussions.
• Before you post for the first time, read the course syllabus and discussion rubric to understand what your instructor expects of your participation on the discussion board. Ask your instructor any questions you may have about the discussion assignments before you post.
• Use informative subject headers. Be specific. The subject of your post should reflect the content of your post in a succinct manner. Vague subject lines or no subject lines are likely to be ignored.
• Avoid replying simply with “I agree” or “I disagree.” Your post should add more to the conversation.
• Stay on topic. Deviating from the subject being discussed with a personal question or off-topic point is considered rude. If you have a personal question or off-topic point, please email the other person directly or post your comment to one of the appropriate forums in the discussion board.
• Use standard spelling and proper grammar. Your discussion posts are a reflection of your academic work. Spell out words and avoid text abbreviations and slang. Be sure to check your spelling using the spell check feature in Blackboard before you post.
• Avoid typing in all capital letters. This is the equivalent of SHOUTING and is considered rude. To emphasize a word or phrase, use bold or italics.
• Think before you post. Remember that everyone involved in the course will be able to read your post. Think carefully about the content of your message before contributing it. Once a message is posted to the discussion board, there is no taking it back.
• Avoid the use of strong or offensive language and the excessive use of exclamation points. If you feel strongly about a point, it may be best to write it first as a draft and review it before posting it. You might even want to type your message in a word-processing program first and then copy and paste it into the message window to make sure you are comfortable with your message before you add it to a forum.
• Check the course site daily for new postings.