Gavilan College Library


online logo What are the
Discussion Forums?
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Why should
I register?
How do
I register?

Forums are bulletin boards where people can post messages, read messages, and answer messages at any time during the day. This is the online equivalent of classroom discussions and is very often a major part of your class.

To get to the Forums module, click on the Forums link from the colored panel on the left side of your classroom screen. This module is actually made up of four forums, all available from the main conference room:

4 forums in main conference

Academic Forums (the 3rd option down and circled in red) is probably the most important for your class, to keep you up-to-date on assignments, discussions, and generally what is happening in your class. In the picture above, the red line shows you that there are 6 topics started in this section, and a total of six messages. Which means that there is one message in each topic.

This link to academic forums may take you to several topics, depending on how your instructor has designed the class. There may be a separate discussion for each chapter of the book, for each project, or for each assignment. When you click on this link, you'll be given a list of all the topics.

Pay close attention to which topic
should be used for which assignment.
Announcements (the 1st option and boxed in purple) is where you'll find general announcements for the class: upcoming due dates, problems with the server, changes in the schedule, anything that might affect the class. You should get in the habit of checking this forum for new messages.

In the illustration above, the purple line shows you that there are no topics yet, and no messages. Which means you don't have to bother checking.

Dialog Chamber
Student Exchange
may or may not be used in your class. From this main conference lobby you can see at a quick glance if new messages have been added.

Why should I register?
Registration may be optional depending on the forum type. Public forums are open for read and post to everyone. In our illustration, all the forums are public, so you won't have to register in order to read and post to any of them.

However, if your instructor divides the class into groups for special projects, the forums dealing with those projects will be private and will require registration in order to read or post to them.

In addition to these private forums, registration will also let you use features such as 'buddy lists' and 'user profiles'.

Watch the Announcements forum for specific directions from your instructor on whether you should register for forums.

How do I register?
You can register by clicking on the Please Register link in the lobby (upper right-hand corner of your screen) and completing the registration form. Use your same log-in I.D. and password that you use for your class. Nobody should have to remember more than one I.D. and password for one class!
I hope this clears up the confusion. Please let me know if you have other questions or problems.

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Address of this page:
For questions or comments please contact
Peter Howell at
Last updated on September 16, 2006

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