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Eng  2 23 5
D2L Discussion Boards


Discussion boards (also are known as bulletin boards, hence their nickname "BBs") are online pages for posting messages to other people - in this case, your classmates - and reading their responses.  You are not all online at the same time (so they are not like a chat room or instant messaging).  Instead, you post messages anytime in the week that you want, before the week's deadline whenever you want--and read them whenever you want--like you would add a message on a corkboard or refrigerator. 


The discussion boards are a great way to see what other people think of the assignment and to share your opinions and questions with each other.  They also are fairly easy to use once you learn.  To keep it easy, you'll need to practice; otherwise you may forget and have to learn all over.  You can keep them easy and fun (and get full attendance credit) by doing them every week.                                    


Basics of Using the Discussion Boards

What do you have to do? You generally must attend one to two discussion boards per week, with each one requiring two messages of 200+ w. each (which makes a weekly grand total of 400+ to 800+ w. per week).  In these discussion boards, you will use "prompts" (questions) to write one message each week - about the readings and about general matters concerning our course.  The other message each week will be responses to other students.  Full instructions are on the discussion board web site.

How do you sign up?  If you have registered for the course, you are already signed up.  If you are not registered for the course but want to be a part of this term's discussion boards, please email me with a request for me to add you.

What is the due date for each week's discussion boards?  It is Thursday midnightIn actual practice, I accept whatever discussion-board messages and email homework I find when I look at them.  I look at them once a week sometime between Fri. noon and Sunday evening.

How long is discussion-board class supposed to take?  Our discussion boards replace Friday classes.  The total time they take each week is supposed to be about 50 minutes.  Because I am unable to determine your BB attendance time by the clock, I have a minimum word count of 200+ words per message (400+ words per week).  If your BBs take you longer than 50 min./wk., then write and skim-read faster. 

How do you start?

(1) Start by going to the IHCC D2L web site and sign in:  The web site is at


To sign in, you'll need your Tech ID # (e.g., 00001234) and your IHCC password.  If you do not know what these are, there are instructions on the sign-in page to help you.

(2) After you've signed in, find the name of our class and click on it.

(3) Once you are in our class's D2L web site, click on "Discussions" (just below the IHCC logo and name).

(4) Then read the starting messages in "USING THESE DISCUSSION BOARDS."

(5) Once you've read the starting messages, scroll down on the beginning "Discussions" page to "Week 1" to get started.

How can you make up discussion boards?

Please write discussion board (bulletin board or "BB") make ups by following these three steps:

  1. Add the messages you need (the ones you are missing) to the real BBs in the week(s) you need to add them.

  2. Then copy just your own messages (not other people's), box and all (or as much of the box as you can get copied: i.e., all the info in the box).  (Why?  This is so I can see that you have put each message on the BBs before sending them to me.)

  3. You must copy BOTH MESSAGES in a given week and Set, even if you have credit for one of them, as I do not keep track of which message you have finished and which one you have not.

  4. Then paste each message into an email to me.  Be sure you have labeled each separate message by Week Number and Set A or Set B.

More Specific Instructions for Using the Discussion Boards


For more specific instructions, see Specific D2L Instructions.


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The Bulletin Boards Make a Huge Difference in Your Grade: How does an online class have attendance?  Bulletin boards.  They count as attendance, like coming to class, and you will get credit for coming to this kind of class, too.  Unfortunately, about a third of people drop out of the class by the end.  And most of those who drop out have not been doing their bulletin boards regularly.  Attendance is 40% - 2/5ths - of your grade, and the bulletin boards are a large part of this.

Updated 10 Jan. 2014



Contents and page design: Copyright () 2005-2013 by Richard Jewell

Images courtesy of IHCC, Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art

First date of publication: January 1, 2005.  Graphics redesigned Aug. 1, 2013
Home-page server's URL:  www.umn.edu/home/jewel001/composition/1108/home.htm
CONTACT RICHARD: See www.Richard.Jewell.net/contact.htm.  Office: Business 136