LIS 677 - Discussions Online

Online discussions will be supported by Microsoft SharePoint on the FIMS server.

There are two kinds of required posting. First, for almost all weeks, you are required to prepost before 9 am on Wednesday. Preposted contributions will thus be ready for everyone to read and comment on in the second kind of posting, comments, which should be contributed on Wednesday or Thursday.

For example, in week 2, you should attempt the book indexing task and prepost the title of the book selected and brief answers to the questions posed. You should also post a comment, some time on January 16 or January 17, on a point raised by another student. (In addition, if you elect to submit a report this week, you should see that it reaches the instructor by 9 am on January 16.)

Each week will be assigned a different discussion board. So, make sure that you post to the correct one. You are expected to post every week; missing posting more than two weeks, other than for reasons of serious illness or family emergency, is grounds for failure in the course.

For a few comments, you will have to wait until a particular file is posted to the "Shared Documents" library on the SharePoint site, typically on Wednesday morning.

To access a discussion board, use a browser that allows the University's user validation (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla FireFox, and Opera 9 are all OK, but not Lynx or older versions of Opera). Go to the SharePoint site for the course ( ). Log in, using your FIMS user name and password and the domain FIMS; click on "Discussions" in the lefthand panel of the home page; in the "Documents and Lists" page, click on the name of the discussion board.

In the discussion board, to add a new posting or comment, click on "New Discussion". In the "New Discussion" window, enter a subject and text and click on "Save and Close".

To view a posting or comment, click on the plus-sign icon. You should not attempt to delete or edit other people's items, but you may, if you wish, reply to an item, by clicking on the item's link and then clicking on "Post Reply". When finished viewing the item, click on "Go back to Discussion Board".

You can click on "Threaded" or "Flat" on the left to either group replies under their original postings or to display all postings in a single list.

You can enter discussion items as plain text or as HTML code (with some restrictions). Some HTML code will be added automatically. In addition, properly formed URLs will be displayed as hot links automatically regardless of HTML coding. Use character entity references (<, >, etc.) to show HTML examples literally.

The "New" icon normally appears next to new items for one day.

If you save the discussion board list as an HTML file, the text of all the postings appears to be saved even if you have not chosen to display it by clicking on the plus-sign icons. By contrast, printing results is something closer to what you see on the screen, though you may notice some formatting problems.

Occasionally, instead of a requested page, the server may return a misformed text file consisting of HTTP header lines followed by HTML code. If this happens, just try reloading the page.

If you have general comments or questions that you would like to post about the course or about any subject covered by the course, you should use the "General Discussion" discussion board. For general comments or questions about the course project, use the "Thesaurus project discussion" board. For confidential communications relating to such topics as illness or marks, you can communicate via e-mail or telephone; these channels may also be more suitable for extended technical discussions relating to running software on your particular machine.


Last updated September 26, 2007.
This page maintained by Prof. Tim Craven
E-mail (text/plain only):
Faculty of Information and Media Studies
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
Canada, N6A 5B7