Welcome to the Discussion Board for English 251:
Introduction to Literature
Here's how it works:
What you see on the discussion board itself are a series of round "bullets," each followed by an underlined subject, a name (of the person who wrote the comment), and an italicized notice of the time of day and date the comment was made.
This list of bulleted subjects lets you "scan" the topics (or threads of discussion) without having to read the entire text of any of them -- like searching for a book in the library by scanning a list of titles.
When you find a subject that is interesting (or when you are directed in class or in the Course Schedule to address a particular item on our Message Board), just click on the underlined subject, and the text for that subject pops up. To make a comment in response to what you've just read, scroll to the bottom of the page, and a "Message Form" template similar to an e-mail message appears.
Just enter your name and your e-mail in the appropriate blanks, then add your comments in the message box (it's labeled "Post a New Response"), below the text of the message to which you are responding. When finished, click the "Post Message" bar, and your message is added to the message board, immediately below and indented one tab to the right of the original message. (If you would like first to preview how your message will finally look when it is finally posted to the message board, click on the "Preview Message" bar. If there is a change you discover you want to make, you can back up to the message box and fix things before you send it out.)
That's what makes the "threaded" part of the message board work. By indenting each response to a particular topic, and grouping all responses below the original topic, you can scan to the subject area of your choice and enter the discussion at any point.
If you want to start your own new subject, just use the message box that appears on the Index Page of the message board (it's labeled "Start New Message"), and go through the same process.
"Subject" descriptions are important.
For our message board to work to best advantage, you will want to give careful thought to the description you put in the "Subject" heading for your message. Please don't just say something like "another subject for discussion." Try to come up with something informative for other people who will be scanning the message board on different occasions to decide what they want to read for the first time. Shoot for something specific that they might recall to mind when they want in some later session to get back to for another look.
Doing this is actually a good idea, too, when you are replying to a message by someone else. By default, the program will supply the Subject line of the replied-to message as the Subject of your reply. But you can instead write in your own Subject description, which will give other readers an idea of the "special twist" of your own line of reply. After you've reviewed what you've composed, consider re-visiting the Subject line and deciding on the best clue to give someone scanning (or reviewing) the index as to what is in your particular message. The threading itself will take care of reminding the reviewer of what the subject is of the message to which you are replying.
Check in frequently!
The whole point of this message board is to enable greater participation in the course. You should make a habit of checking the message board at least every couple of days to see what's new, and (let's hope) to consider replying to one or more messages. From time to time, the instructor may post new questions for discussion. But students should feel free to open new lines of discussion on their own.
If you want to be notified by e-mail of new postings to the course Message Board, you can do so by going to the bottom of the index page and filling in the information blanks under the "Subscribe" heading. If you find that you are getting more notices in your mailbox than you want to bother with there, you can "unsubscribe" by going through the same process, but instead clicking on the "Delete" option.
Questions or Comments?