Sakai Discussions and Private Messages

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The Discussion and Private Messages (JForum) tool allows site members to engage in structured communication. JForum, a contributed tool developed by the Etudes consortium, is similar in purpose and functionality to a threaded discussion, but different in its exact structure and execution. A discussion board can be useful to facilitate communication outside of class, or can comprise the equivalent of classroom discussion in an online course.

Private messages allow users to have private one-on-one conversations with other users. Messages are sent and received via the user's Inbox in the Discussion and Private Messages tool. Private messages permit TAs and instructors to interact with students in the middle of a discussion forum, apart from the public postings in the forum. This is one of several reasons why URI added this tool as an alternative to the standard Forums tool in Sakai.

Discussions and Private Messages also works extremely well with groups, so that large classes can have parallel but separate discussion forums, with all grades going into the same column of the gradebook.

Quick Start

The Discussion and Private Messages tool provides default discussion boards which can be used right away. To edit the names of the categories and forums, use the Manage section of the tool.

To post a topic, go to the forum where you wish to add your topic and click the New Topic link. To add a new post to an already existing topic, go to that topic and click the Post Reply link. In both cases, type your post into the text box and click Submit when done.

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Complete documentation on Discussions and Private Messages can be obtained in Resources in the Sakai-Training Site or via THIS LINK.

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