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April 3, 2007
Topic: Threaded Discussions
Overview: Reduce email by getting students to use the discussion board.
We all enjoy excellent questions asked in class because the answer benefits all students. You can use the threaded discussion feature on WebCampus the same way.
Have your students email you questions about grades or other personal issues and to post questions about assignments, due dates, etc. Simply telling them your preference won't guarantee that they will follow these instructions, so at the beginning of the semester personally answer the first few questions that come in via email. Once you have three or four good questions, post them online.
First, post a message saying you've received some excellent questions via email. For example:
Re: Students are emailing excellent questions! Many of the student questions via email are general in nature. Often, they are best asked via the discussions page. If a question is "personal" in nature, then it is best to email. The following posts have "general" questions, but may help others with the same type of issue. Then, follow this with postings of student questions.
Here is an example:
Re: Student question about course showing up twice in WebCampus Student Question: I have two sections for this course in WebCampus. When I am on e-Paws though, I only have your class. I was wondering what that means. Thank you.
Answer: You must have signed up for one section and then dropped it and added another. Your name is uploaded into WebCampus under all sections that you have been signed up for. However, your name isn't automatically deleted when you drop sections. The teaching assistant rectifies class lists once a week. In the meantime, be sure to log into the correct section! You'll find that soon students will post questions on the discussion threads. Often other students will answer these questions for you. In many cases you will only have to answer a question once. If a student emails a question that has already been addressed in the discussion, you simply direct him or her there for the answer.
Source: Sandy Week, College of Business Administration