Discussion Board: How-To
Each course in the Course Portal has the option of having a Discussion Board. If a Discussion Board has been activated for your course, a link to the Discussion Board will appear under that course on your Portal homepage.

Accessing the Discussion Board

Using the Discussion Board:

A course Discussion Board is made up of topics. Topics can be posted by the instructor or any student enrolled in the course. When you click on the Discussion Board link, any topics that have been created will be listed along with the number of posts made to that topic, the name of the person who started the topic, and the day/time it was started. By default, the topics will be displayed by the most recent comment made on the topic.

Click on the Topic title to read the comments posted to that topic. By default, the comments are displayed in ascending order with the first comment made at the top and last comment made at the bottom. Click the 'Order By' link to change the order that the comments are sorted. When viewing a topic and its corresponding comments, you can click on the name of the person who posted a comment and get a pop-up window of their user information.

Instructors and students enrolled in the course may start new topics or reply to an existing topic. To start a new topic, click the link 'Post a New Topic'. You will need to type a subject for the topic and then your comment. If you would like a certain part of your comment to be bold, italic, or underlined, you can do this by clicking the 'start bold/italic/underline' link, typing the text you would like to be bolded, and then clicking 'end bold/italic/underline'. These links also allow you to insert a URL link or an email address for your comment. They also allow you to make a numbered (or unnumbered) list.

You may also attach one or more files to your post. The total attachments per post can not exceed 5MB. To attach a file, click the browse button and locate the file. You will automatically be given the option to attach an additional file.

Once you have typed in your comment, click the 'Post' button and the topic will be posted on the board.

To reply to an existing comment, click the 'Reply' link on the comment you want to reply to and type in your comment.

Click the Reply button to post your reply.

By default, an instructor may edit or delete any posting made to their course discussion board. They also have the option of allowing enrolled students the ability to edit or delete any comments they have posted. If your instructor has enabled this option, there will be a link for 'Edit' or 'Delete' next to the 'Reply' link for any comments you have posted.

You can search through the topics posted in the discussion board by clicking the search option.

Email Notification Feature

Discussion Board users now have the option to receive an email notification whenever a new post/reply is made to the board. To activate this option, select Yes under 'Notify me by email...' at the top of the discussion board homepage.

If you have additional questions, please read the PORTAL HOW-TO or contact the ITS Help Desk at itshelp@law.upenn.edu or 898-2679.