Discussion board structure – or getting the message out!
As you already know, Interact2 allows you to create a forum in which everyone in the subject can post threads and respond to other threads. You may well be creating several forums and discussion threads within them. In this way Interact2 can provide a nice seamless approach to organising discussions with students. Nice!
But did you know that there is an easy way to set up subscriptions for your discussions?
Subscribing to Discussion Forums
Students can be provided with the option to subscribe to discussion forums so that they can receive email notification of new posts. Handy if they rely on email to keep organised!
Navigate to Customisation then Tool Availability.
Ensure that you have ticked the email option, in the first column.
Then look for the small drop-down option next to the name EMAIL
Click on Email Settings. This will reveal a host of choices that you should determine as suitable for your needs. Choose those that suite.
Once this has been completed you will find that your discussion forums now have a subscription option available to students to receive an email message for each Forum or discussion they choose to subscribe to.
The Subscribe button WILL NOT be visible until you have set up the Email Settings. Check these.
Now you will be getting the communications ‘out there’!
Your students can choose to Subscribe to every word, be prompted to stay in touch, and communicate regularly with you and their peers.
Important settings in Discussion Forums
There is one more important step!
In order to ensure that the subscription options work for students there are some settings to take note of and confirm for each Forum.
Go to the dropdown menu available beside the Forum name and then choose the edit option.
There are many other options. Discuss the choices with your Educational Designer. These cover the View (standard is fine); Grade (only turned on in instances where you are grading forum participation in some way); Subscribe (ways to subscribe); Create and Edit (permissions for your and students); and Additional Options (great for participatory subjects).
An easy one to miss when the subscribe function is turned on is “Include body of post in the email” once you have allowed subscription to treads or forums. There is nothing worse than receiving an email of a new discussion, with just a hyperlink! Students can find that really annoying.
The easiest option is to turn on subscription by Forum