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Discussion Groups and Off-Topic Sections

Important

  1. What are discussion groups?
  2. Course Discussion Groups
  3. What is the difference between the general discussion groups and off-topic sections?
  4. Thematic Discussion Groups
  5. How can I rate posts and what is the rating good for?
  6. What are the rules governing the use of discussion groups?
  7. Use of Off-Topic section
  8. Searching, Search Filters
  9. Is there any way of editing/removing a post/discussion group?

Frequent

  1. Is there any way of searching rated posts?
  2. What can I use the option of 'Add the discussion group to my Favourites' for?
  3. Teacher: What is the option of 'Push the discussion group into students' Favourites' good for?
  4. How can I remove a discussion group from my Favourites?
  5. What are the tabs 'Posts', 'New posts' and 'Threads' used for?
  6. What are the options of displaying posts in the 'Threads' mode?
  7. Why do you recommend users to add their favourite Off-Topic section to their Favourites?
  8. Is there any way of preventing a person from posting messages in Discussion Groups or Off-Topic sections?
  9. What is the purpose of all these restrictions?
  10. Is it possible to increase/decrease the number of messages displayed per page?
  11. When I move my mouse cursor over a post, another post pops up. Why?
  12. Is it possible to insert an image in a post?
  13. And what about mathematical expressions?

Detailed

include detailed information

  1. What are discussion groups?

    Discussion groups enable users to communicate with one another. The Information System hosts several types of these:
    Course Discussion Groups
    The course discussion groups are designed to allow students enrolled in a certain course and their teachers to discuss course-related topics. The teachers might make reading the contributions posted in the course discussion groups compulsory.
    Discussion Groups (general, faculty and university)
    The general discussion groups are dedicated to school-related topics. Reading contributions posted in these is optional. Please ensure that you use the general discussion groups merely for discussion purposes and not for posting messages that do not belong to these. Announcements, invitations, and advertisements should be posted on the Noticeboard.
    Thematic Discussion Groups
    Thematic discussion groups are launched by the users who plan to use them for serious long-term communication. Reading contributions posted in these is optional.
    Off-Topic Sections
    The off-topic sections allow users to post even those contributions that have nothing to do with Masaryk University and whose contents and form do not damage University's reputation.
  2. Course Discussion Groups

    Every course has its own discussion group. The only users allowed to post contributions in it are the students enrolled in the course and its teachers. The students can moderate their discussions by themselves without their teachers' participation. The default course discussion group settings cannot be changed.

    To go to a course discussion group, where you should only post messages directly related to the course since any others will be removed from the group by System administrators, please click on a course code situated under the Discussion Groups heading located on the main IS page.

    A teacher can also start his/her own thematic discussion group under his/her course. Every time he/she does so, he/she should post some information clarifying the purpose of the group and the rules governing its use at its top. He/she can also impose various restrictions on the ways of contributing to it.
    The thematic groups are usually used for e-learning purposes. Therefore, the teacher might want his/her students to post their contributions in these by a certain date or require the students to rate the contributions posted by others. To start a thematic discussion group (applies to teachers only), please use the following path:

    Teacher → Students .. Discussion Groups

    Go to the section titled 'Start a thematic discussion group under the selected course(s)' and click on the name of the course under which you want the group to be created. This will take you to a form enabling you to start the group and change its default settings. Please specify the purpose of the group and discussion rules its participants should keep to. The form allows you to activate various posting restrictions, too.

    The thematic discussion groups are usually used for e-learning purposes. Therefore, you might want your students to make their contributions to the group by a certain date or require them to rate their schoolmates' ones, etc.

    Unless you push the discussion group into your students' Favourites (for further information, go to the question Teacher: What is the option of 'Push the discussion group into students' Favourites' good for?), your students can access it using the following path:

    Odevzdej → Student → Discussion Groups - Courses

  3. What is the difference between the general discussion groups and off-topic sections?

    The general discussion groups are used to discuss topics that might be of some interest to most users. Prior to posting a message on these, the user is requested to enter a short answer to a question related to the rules governing their use - a measure intended to eliminate off-topic contributions.

    The off-topic sections have been designed for off-topic chatting, which makes the number of contributions enormous. The overwhelming majority of IS users do not read the messages posted in these sections systematically. Provided you want to have a chat about something and you do not care whom with, the off-topic section is the right place for you to go. However, if you wish to solve a concrete problem, start a serious discussion of something or ask for advice pertaining to a certain area, you should do so using a general discussion group as this contains fewer contributions read by more people. Thus, you are more likely to find some fruitful answers to your questions there than in off-topic sections.

    Of course, it is also the off-topic sections that allow you to start a serious discussion of the type mentioned above. Nevertheless, you will probably be forced to remove some irrelevant contributions over time in order to keep it on-topic. Besides, your thread will probably be read by very few people.

  4. Thematic Discussion Groups

    A user can start a thematic discussion group provided he/she wants to have a place dedicated to a long-term discussion he/she will moderate and set rules for. Such a user should clarify the rules and the purpose of the group at its top.

    The thematic groups enable users to specify (through access rights) who may read the contributions they contain, who may post them, and who moderates the discussion. All these aspects make the thematic groups suitable for, for instance, having a closed discussion on a certain project participated in by members of a certain department, etc.

    The thematic groups can also be made accessible to anyone outside the Information System (applies to both reading and posting contributions).

    To launch your own thematic discussion group, please use the following path:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups → Start a new thematic group

    [1] Clicking on the reference will take you to the form used for starting a new thematic discussion group.

    Enter parameters for the group such as its name, rating, access rights, and its moderators. Clicking on 'Save' will create the group.

    It is every moderator's duty to prevent participants in the discussion from damaging University's reputation by posting contributions whose contents or form might do so.

  5. How can I rate posts and what is the rating good for?

    The drop-down menu at the bottom of each post allows you to rate it. Once you do so, the total rating score as well as the number of times the post has been rated and its prevalent rating (all situated at the top of the post) are recalculated.

    [1] prevalent rating
    [2] rating score calculated from all ratings
    [3] number of times the post has been rated
    [4] select the rating you find most appropriate

    To get only the posts with high rating displayed, use one of the filters (top 10, new highly rated, highly rated) available inside the thread. The new highly rated filter can also be applied to the whole discussion group (using 'new highly rated' in the New posts tab of the group). Similarly, the list of threads can be limited to the highly rated posts only (using 'highly rated' in the Posts tab of the group). These options, when activated, cause the posts with the post-rating score greater than the one you specified to get displayed (does not apply to the top 10 option).

    To change the post-rating score utilized for filtering posts, please use the following path:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups → Enter a post-rating score

  6. What are the rules governing the use of discussion groups?

    The discussion groups have been incorporated in the System to provide the academic community with a communication tool. To keep the communication sensible, the users should follow certain rules. In the event of any violation, the culprit's access to the discussion groups is denied and he/she may even become subject to disciplinary proceedings.

    The discussion groups consist of threads. The person creating a thread becomes its owner - the one who also specifies its discussion topic. When contributing to a thread, you should stick to the topic and refrain from posting any messages that are irrelevant.

    The thread owner, being the person who also moderates the discussion, is entitled to delete the messages breaking the rules specified here. Provided you consider the removal of your message unjustified, please do not contact the System administrators to complain (as judging which message is relevant and which is not is always a matter of personal taste), but rather create a new thread of your own.

    The removal right mentioned above, however, is not granted to the owner of the thread created as part of a course discussion group, where messages can only be deleted by the teacher of the particular course.

    As regards marking, the messages in dark frames are the ones you have not read yet. All the messages can be edited and, unless they have been reacted to, deleted by their authors. Provided a thread owner removes a message, the one who has posted it is notified of the fact by e-mail. Provided a branch of a thread has not been contributed to for a month, it is automatically removed (this, however, does not apply to course discussion groups).

    To read messages posted in course discussion groups, please use the following path and then click on the code of the required course:

    Odevzdej → Student/Teacher → Discussion Groups

    It is no teacher's or any other University staff member's duty to react to or read the messages posted in the groups.

    Other Rules Governing the Use of Discussion Groups:

    The rules concerning the form of message and its contents:
    When posting a message, please try to avoid violating copyright (Copyright Act No. 121/2000 Sb.). The preferred language is, if possible, Czech (or Slovak).
    Translator's note: I am sure the administrators will not get upset when you use your English.

    Please try to refrain from typing in CAPITALS since these are normally used for the purpose of emphasizing (shouting) what you are saying.

    The rules concerning the name (subject) of your post:
    Please ensure that the name of your post (subject) makes it clear what the post is about for the other participants to quickly get the idea of which posts they should read and which they should skip. Therefore, try to avoid vague expressions such as 'Help', 'Question', 'Problem', etc.
    The rules concerning copying posts:
    Please try to avoid copying posts from one thread to another unless you are really sure their authors agree with it. Provided you decide to do so, you should also provide the original context of the post you are copying.
    The rules concerning posting the same message in more than one section (cross-posting):
    Due to forcing users to read the same messages repeatedly, this activity is prohibited.
    The rules concerning irrelevant messages:
    Posting irrelevant messages, i.e. those that do not relate to the original topic, in discussion groups is forbidden.
    The rules concerning discussion topics:
    When making a post, please ensure it relates to the topic of the thread since reading irrelevant posts is annoying. Provided someone tells you off for your conduct, try to adjust it and stay away from disputes. The thread owner is the person whose thread-related requests are binding.
    Using indecent language and verbally attacking a message author instead of objecting to his/her message is forbidden.

    Please do not post any notifications, invitations, or advertisements in discussion groups. For this purpose, the application called Noticeboard should be used.

    When composing a message, please do not include any unrelated comments in it as this usually results in other users reacting to such comments and thus starting an off-topic sub-thread.

    The rules concerning managing threads:
    As a thread owner, please try to keep the quality of your discussion as high as possible while tolerating its participants' opinions. Nevertheless, if someone's message strays from the original topic or breaks one of the rules stated above, it should be removed. If contributors post questions, try to answer them, if possible.

    Please remember that it is every moderator's duty to prevent his/her discussion group from being used the way (applies to both the contents and form of discussion) that might lead to damaging the school's reputation.

    The rules concerning administrators' rights:
    The System administrators reserve the right to make any changes to the discussion groups for the purpose of improving the way they function as tools providing quality academic discussion. That is why they are always ready to remove any messages (including reactions to these) that do not follow the rules listed on this page and to take measures preventing their authors from participating in the discussion in the future.

  7. Use of Off-Topic section

    Like discussion groups, the Off-Topic section comprises threads. The one who creates a thread become its owner, who specifies the topic of discussion, and makes it clear whether he/she is going to tolerate irrelevant messages posted under it or not. Provided he/she is going to, he/she should add to the end of the thread the string of '(pokec - chat)'. The threads under which users are requested not to post any off-topic messages should be marked with '(tematická - on-topic)'. The users who are not sure whether their message will be considered relevant or not are advised to contact the thread owner. As regards the other rules, they are the same as the ones specified for discussion groups.

    A thread in the Off-Topic section expires a month after the last message was posted under it.

    Please make sure you do not violate any Czech law (chiefly copyright and the right of privacy) even while using the Off-Topic section.

    The System administrators reserve the right to make any changes to the discussion groups for the purpose of improving the way they function as tools providing quality academic discussion. That is why they are always ready to remove any messages (including reactions to these) that do not follow the rules listed on this page and to take measures preventing their authors from participating in the discussion in the future.

  8. Searching, Search Filters

    The Threads mode allows you to use the following filters:
    • marked as my favourite ones
    • containing new contributions
    • including the ignored ones
    • of which I am an owner
    • contributed to by the person of the učo ...
    • containing new reactions to my posts

    Inside a thread, you can have either all messages or only the new ones displayed. The thread can also be marked as your favourite one (using the mark as favourite reference accessible through the spanner icon) or as the one that should be permanently ignored (using 'ignore permanently'). The threads marked as favourite are displayed at the top of thread list, whereas the 'ignored' ones are not displayed at all or displayed at its bottom (for further information, see below).

    If a thread has been marked as ignored, the new posts in this thread are not included in the total number of posts of the group this thread is in. Besides, the ignored thread is not displayed in the thread list unless you select the including the ignored ones option - you can do so after clicking on 'filter' in the Threads mode.
    You can always undo the ignore permanently operation by clicking on 'stop ignoring' (accessible via the spanner icon, again).

  9. Is there any way of editing/removing a post/discussion group?

    When in the Threads mode, click on the thread containing the post you want to edit and then on the post. Click on 'edit the message'. After editing the post, click on 'Save'.
    Users are advised to edit their messages only shortly after posting them. An alternative way of adding new (or correcting old) information is by posting new messages, since otherwise the changes made in the old ones might be rather confusing for those who have already read them

    A post can be removed only if no one has reacted to it yet. Provided you decide to do so, click on the remove the message option (available in the menu that pops up when you click on the spanner icon situated in upper-right hand corner of the post you want to remove).
    A thread owner can remove his/her thread any time he/she decides to do so. As regards course discussion groups, these can only be removed by teachers.

    If you want to remove a discussion group, click on the remove this discussion group reference situated at the bottom of the settings page (to be taken to this page, click on 'Discussion group settings' located at the top of the group) and then confirm your choice by clicking on 'Yes, remove the discussion group including all its messages'.
    A discussion group owner (the only user allowed to remove a discussion group) should not remove his/her group provided it contains some posts as such an operation may cause undesirable confusion on the part of its contributors.

  10. Is there any way of searching rated posts?

    If you do not want to go through the individual discussion groups in order to find certain posts, you may use an application, the path to which is below (the section titled 'Search for rated posts'), to search for posts by their post-rating score, date of posting, or prevalent rating. You can apply the search to either new posts or all of them (including the ones you have read before). To get to the search section, please use the following path:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups ... Search for rated posts

    [1] finds rated posts

  11. What can I use the option of 'Add the discussion group to my Favourites' for?

    You may find this option useful provided you frequently browse several discussion groups situated in different locations and you want access them quickly. The option can be found at the bottom of every discussion group displayed in the Threads mode (can be activated by clicking on the Threads link). You can then enter your favourite groups from the main Discussion Groups page (using the section titled 'Favourites') the path to which is as follows:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups

    In the Favourites section, you can also find the numbers of new posts in each of your favourite discussion groups.

    [1] favourite discussion groups and numbers of new posts in these

  12. Teacher: What is the option of 'Push the discussion group into students' Favourites' good for?

    To be taken to the option, please use the following path:

    Teacher's Notebook → Students .. Discussion Groups

    Go to the Discussion groups of courses (and their seminar groups) taught this term section and click on the name of the thematic course discussion group you wish to push into your students' Favourites. The option can be found at the bottom of the group - make sure the group is in the Threads mode, i.e. the Threads tab is active.
    Clicking on the option, you make your students' access to the group easier by placing a link to it on the main Discussion Groups page (the section titled 'Favourites'), the path to which is below. Provided a student wants to remove such a group from his/her Favourites, he/she can do so using the same path and clicking on the icon 'Remove the discussion group from my Favourites' or clicking on the reference of the same name situated below the list of threads making up the group.

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups

    NB: The Push the discussion group into students' Favourites option is only available in the thematic course discussion groups. The operation is not available in the general discussion groups.

  13. How can I remove a discussion group from my Favourites?

    Provided you want to remove a discussion group from your Favourites, you can do using the Remove the discussion group from my favourites reference situated below the list of threads making up the group or by clicking on the icon 'Remove the discussion group from my favourites' located on the main Discussion Groups page, the path to which is as follows:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups

    [1] clicking on the icon will remove the discussion group from your Favourites

  14. What are the tabs 'Posts', 'New posts' and 'Threads' used for?

    Tabs:

    [1] in the Posts mode, all the posts making up all the threads of the group are displayed; additional options such as 'highly rated' and 'reacting to my posts' allow you to filter them
    [2] in the New posts mode, all the new posts of all the threads making up the group are displayed; additional options such as 'new highly rated' and 'new reacting to my posts' allow you to filter them
    [3] in the Threads mode, the System displays the individual threads making up the group

    Posts
    Provided you click on 'all', the application will display all the posts of all the threads making up the discussion group. The posts can be filtered using 'highly rated' (displays only the posts with the post-rating score greater than the one you have specified; if no such posts exist, the application prompts you to lower the score) or 'reacting to my posts' (displays only the posts reacting to yours, provided such exist).
    New posts
    If you click on new, it is only the new posts that are displayed. The new highly rated option allows you to display only the new posts with the rating score greater than the default one or the one you have previously specified.
    Threads
    The Threads tab enables you to display all the threads (not posts) making up the group. Clicking on the filter reference will display filtering options available for this mode.

    NB: Every time you switch into one of the aforementioned modes, the System will keep it active until you change it, i.e. you will find the mode active next time you visit the group.

  15. What are the options of displaying posts in the 'Threads' mode?

    Every thread (when displayed in the Threads mode) allows users to choose from several options depending on its current settings, total number of posts making up the thread as well as that of new ones, rated ones, etc.
    • Options associated with new posts:
      new
      If selected, displays all the new posts.
      new highly rated
      If selected, displays the new posts with the rating score greater than the default one or the one you have previously specified.
    • Options to choose from when there are no new posts in the thread
      all
      If selected, displays all the posts making up the thread.
      highly rated
      If selected, displays the posts with the rating score greater than the default one or the one you have previously specified (only if there are some rated posts in the thread).
      reacting to my posts
      If selected, displays only the posts reacting to yours (provided there are any such posts); the number of posts reacting to yours (as well as that of new posts) is displayed for every discussion group on the main Discussion Groups page
    • Option to choose provided there are more than twenty posts in the thread and their rating is not disabled:
      top 10
      If selected, displays top ten posts (with the highest rating score).

    [1] the thread has already been read (it is grey); as its posts cannot be rated, the options of 'highly rated' and 'top 10' are not available
    [2] the thread contains some unread posts; the posts inside of it cannot be rated; the post-reading options available: 'all' and 'reacting to my posts'
    [3] the thread contains some unread posts; the posts inside of it cannot be rated; there are no posts reacting to yours; the option allows you to read all the new posts

  16. Why do you recommend users to add their favourite Off-Topic section to their Favourites?

    The applications taking care of the Off-Topic sections do not normally recount posts. By adding your favourite Off-Topic section to your Favourites, you will cause the applications to display the number of new posts (just as it is the case with any other discussion group) in your Favourites section of the main Discussion Groups page the path to which is as follows:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups

    [1] the number of new posts follows the name of the Off-Topic section

  17. Is there any way of preventing a person from posting messages in Discussion Groups or Off-Topic sections?

    Yes, there is. Provided you are a moderator of a thematic discussion group, you can prevent a person from posting by entering his/her personal identification number (učo) into a text field (displayed after you click on the Rights reference - situated in the upper right-hand corner of discussion group) and saving your choice by clicking on 'Restrict access'.

    The Off-Topic sections and thematic discussion groups also allow you to impose restrictions on your own access to these. You can do so after clicking on the Off-Topic section access restriction reference - situated in the Off-Topic section of the page the path to which is as follows:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups

    Please specify the date and time until which you want your access to be restricted.

    NB: To undo the change before the date specified, you first have to pay a recovery fee.

  18. What is the purpose of all these restrictions?

    The discussion groups have been designed to be used by thousands of users. Those who do not regularly visit them several times a day are not usually willing to read through them when the numbers of threads and messages (often unrelated to the topic of the thread under which they have been posted) are overwhelming. The rules are here to make the discussion groups attractive also to those who only read them.

    Provided you are interested in what the discussion groups used to look like when the rules did exist, but when there were no ways of enforcing them, click here for an example of old thread.

    Provided you wish to learn more, please read through further information on the restrictions.

  19. Is it possible to increase/decrease the number of messages displayed per page?

    Yes, it is. You can have 35 to 200 messages displayed per page, where 35 represents default value. You can change this number using the following path:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups → Enter the number of messages to be displayed on a page

  20. When I move my mouse cursor over a post, another post pops up. Why?

    Provided your page contains a lot of posts and you move your mouse cursor over a small rectangular area situated on the left side (see the image bellow) of a post reacting to the one which is either abbreviated or hidden, the abbreviated/hidden post gets displayed and will remain so as long as you keep the cursor over the reacting post.

    [1] The box marks the area which, if activated by the cursor, causes the abbreviated/hidden parent post to pop up.
    [2] Parent post displayed.

    Provided the parent post of the one your mouse cursor is over is fully displayed on the page, the former gets highlighted.

    [1] highlighted parent post
    [2] post with the cursor over it

  21. Is it possible to insert an image in a post?

    Yes, it is. Please make sure that the image you want to attach to the post has been uploaded to a certain location on the Internet, or to the IS File Depository. Provided the image is stored in the IS File Depository, you should bear in mind that it expires (and thus becomes unavailable) after some time. Therefore, if you want it to be accessible even later on, you should prolong its expiration period after some time.
    Before typing a message, please ensure that you switch into the HTML mode (using the HTML button) allowing you to edit the source code of the message.

    To include a small image, insert the following tag into your text:

    <img src="http://server.domain.cz/your_image.jpg"/>

    If the image is big, you might want to use a link to it in combination with the image tag of its thumbnail:

    <a href="address of the original (large)"><img src="address of the thumbnail (small)"/></a>.

  22. And what about mathematical expressions?

    You can insert a mathematical expression into your message using the following tag:
    <img src="https://odevzdej.cz/auth/system/imgfilter.pl?_your_mathematical_expression_">
    Examples:
    • <img src="https://odevzdej.cz/auth/system/imgfilter.pl?x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}">
      Example screenshot:

    • <img src="https://odevzdej.cz/auth/system/imgfilter.pl?\vareps=\Bigsum_{i=\1}^{n-\1}
      \frac1{\Del~x}\Bigint_{x_i}^{x_{i+\1}}\{\frac1{\Del~x}[(x_{i+1}-x)y_i^{5$\star}+(x-x_i)y_
      {i+1}^{5$\star}]-f(x)\}^\2dx">
      Example screenshot:

    • <img src="https://odevzdej.cz/auth/system/imgfilter.pl?f=b_\0+\frac{a_\1}{b_\1+ \frac
      {a_2}{b_2+\frac{a_3}{b_3+a_4}}}">
      Example screenshot:

    To learn about inserting mathematical contents (functions, matrices, etc.) into the IS applications by means of TeX, please use the following path:

    Odevzdej → Teacher

    Scroll down to the ROPOT section and click on 'text format of questions'. This will take you to the page containing the information.

  23. Is it possible to display several discussion groups within a single page?

    Yes, it is. To select the groups you want to get displayed within a single page, go to the application the path to which is as follows:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups → Discussion groups to display on a single page - select

    Check the groups that you want to include in your batch and click on 'browse the selected course discussion groups'. To browse all the discussion groups making up the section, click on 'browse all the discussion groups'.

    [1] use the checkboxes to select the groups you want to get displayed within a single page

  24. How can I mark a read post as unread?

    To mark a read post as unread, click on the spanner icon situated in the upper right-hand corner of the post and select 'mark as unread'. This option is usually used when the user plans to react to the message later on and does not want to search the read ones for it.
  25. I am a teacher and I want my threads to be noticeable. What am I supposed to do?

    Teachers might want to utilize some threads for special purposes and, considering these threads of higher importance than others, make them more visible than they would normally be by having them permanently displayed at the top of thread list.

    To arrange for your thread to be placed at the top of thread list, please proceed the following way:
    Create a new thread by posting a new message. Once you have done so, the option 'move the thread to the top' enables you to mark the thread as the one that should be displayed above the others.

    This mode, which can only be utilized by teachers (not students), can also be enabled/disabled any time after the creation of the thread using the same reference (situated above the first message of the thread).

    Provided you plan to use a course discussion group for posting your announcements and notifications, you should name your thread accordingly (e.g. Teacher's Announcements). However, it is advisable to use e-mail instead since retrieving e-mail represents one of the student's basic duties and thus proves more relaible.

  26. I want to use a thematic discussion group as Homework Vault. What should its settings be? Are there any other possible uses?

    A discussion group can be used as, for instance, the following:
    Homework Vault whose purpose is to assist students in their weekly preparation for the upcoming seminars/lectures

    Assignment example:

    Topic: Organization, presentation, and provision of information in the information society
    Assignment: Before attending the upcoming lecture, please go through the following material: http://is.muni.cz/elportal/?id=947606.

    • choose three of the studies you find interesting and familiarize yourself with them
    • start your own thread giving it your name (e.g. George Smith)
    • enter the name of your study enclosing its description and bibliographical information pertaining to the the source used

    Additional information:

    • The number of points awarded for the completion of this assignment, which is compulsory, is 1. If you fail to complete it, the number of points awarded is -1.
    • The deadline for its completion, i.e. starting a thread in this thematic discussion group bearing your name, is ..., 2009.

    a tool helping them to learn required terminology

    Assignment example:

    Topic: Information industry
    Assignment: Please look up the following terms: SEO, SEM, PPC (Pay-per-click), CPC (Cost-per-click), Paid placement, Paid inclusion, White-hat SEO consultant, Black-hat SEO consultant, Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, Microsoft Ad Center.

    • start your own thread giving it your name (e.g. George Smith)
    • enter a short definition of each item and enclose information on the source you drew on

    Additional information:

    • The number of points awarded for the completion of this assignment, which is compulsory, is 1. If you fail to complete it, the number of points awarded is -1.
    • The deadline for its completion, i.e. starting a thread in this thematic discussion group bearing your name, is ..., 2009.

    Settings of the discussion group used as Homework Vault:

    Enter the following information into the header of the discussion group:

    • specify the assignment your students are expected to do using the group
    • specify the rules governing the communication in the group (make it clear you expect your students to be active emphasizing the fact that what matters is its quality rather than quantity; you might also want to ask students to rate each other's posts)

    Rating:

    • Provided you as a teacher want to rate your students' posts, activate this option.
    • Do not disable mutual rating by participants.

    Reading and posting restrictions:

    • posts can only be read by those who have made at least one contribution to the discussion
    • everyone can only make one post (use when you want to keep the discussion short)
    • enable questionnaire targeting discussion rules
    • discussion is anonymous
    • use the same expiration period as that of Off-Topic sections

    People allowed to moderate, read, and contribute to the discussion group:

    • Moderators: teachers
    • People allowed to read: students enrolled in the course offered in a concrete term, from-to restriction
    • People allowed to contribute: students enrolled in the course offered in a concrete term, from-to restriction

    Note: Provided you grant your students the right to contribute to a discussion group, please make sure that you also grant them the right to read. That is, the right to read does not only allow participants to read the individual posts, but also browse the whole group.

  27. I want my students to discuss a topic and rate each other's posts. What should the settings be?

    A discussion group can also be used for the purpose of having an unrestricted, optional discussion throughout a term. The rating can be done either during the term or shortly before its end.

    Thematic discussion among students allowed to rate each other's posts:

    Example assignment:

    Topic: Searching professional information systems
    Goal: Creating a supplementary learning material, where the individual contributions are rated in terms of their relevance.
    Assignment: The discussion may center on the following:

    • clarification of a selected problem
    • a brief outline of the problem (e.g. database queries and their generation)
    • a recommended source of information (e.g. OER Commons at http://www.oercommons.org/) followed by its description

    Additional information:

    • what matters is quality (not quantity)
    • discussion is anonymous
    • rate the posts as objectively as possible
    • it is only highly rated posts that will be subject to the overall evaluation

    Settings of the thematic discussion group, where students are allowed to rate each other's posts:

    Enter the following information into the header of the discussion group:

    • description of the assignment and the problem students are expected to solve
    • specification of the rules governing the communication in the group (make it clear you expect your students to be active emphasizing the fact that what matters is quality rather than quantity and ask them to rate each other's posts)

    Rating:

    • enable evaluation by teacher
    • enable mutual rating by participants

    Reading and posting restrictions:

    • enable questionnaire targeting discussion rules (optional)
    • discussion is anonymous (but the moderator knows who the contributors are)

    People allowed to moderate, read, and contribute to the discussion group:

    • Moderators: teachers (it is also possible to specify other staff such as assistants, doctoral students, etc.)
    • People allowed to read: students enrolled in the course offered in a concrete term (if you want to allow the participants to read the posts even later (e.g. during the examination period), do not enter any from-to dates)
    • People allowed to contribute: students enrolled in the course offered in a concrete term, from-to restriction
  28. Can I access the discussion groups of the courses I have not enrolled in?

    Yes, you can. Nevertheless, the discussion groups can only be contributed to by the students enrolled in the courses under which they have been created and their teachers. At the beginning of every term, a new discussion group is created for every course offered that term. The messages posted in the course discussion groups never expire, i.e. they are never deleted as a result of their expiration. Therefore, you can always return to the messages posted in the discussion groups of the courses in which you enrolled in the past using the following path (an alternative way is described in the following question):

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups ... Display old course discussion groups

    You can also enter the discussion groups of the courses you are currently enrolled in from the main IS page.

    To enter a discussion group of the course you have not enrolled in, please use the following path:

    Odevzdej → Discussion Groups → All course discussion groups

  29. Is there any way of accessing the course discussion groups of the previous terms?

    Yes, there is. Please click on 'Student', or 'Teacher', and select the appropriate term using the reference situated in the upper right-hand corner. To display the list of discussion groups, click on 'Discussion Groups'.
  30. I cannot find a post I have read before. And what is the compressor?

    When a post expires, it is removed. The posts in discussion groups expire when there has been no reaction to them posted for more than a month. The posts in the Off-Topic sections are removed when there has been no reaction to them posted for two weeks.
    The compressor is a tool that merges the neighboring messages older than a month into one unless these represent parts of different branches. Provided the messages are merged this way, the word compressor is added to the first line of the newly-created message.

    The expired messages can be found in the Discussion Groups Archive, which can be accessed from the main Discussion Groups page. Since the Archive is in the XML format, to be able to easily browse the text it contains, you should use a special software tool.


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