Looking At a Topic

How It Looks

If you were to click into one of the topics in your conference, you would end up in a page that looks something like the picture below:

As you can see, the very top of the page has a link back to the conference, and the index number of this topic. Just below that is the name of the topic, again in large bold text.

The Topic Message

The topic message is usually few sentences explaining the purpose of the particular topic. In the case of a course conference, the topic message might be:

After that you will find the name of the person who created the topic message, and the date he or she created it. Note that this person's uniqname is written as a link within parenthesis after his name. If you click there you will be taken to his COW profile page.

New Activity

The New Activity section is the part where the actual conferencing takes place. This is the area that lists the new messages posted, and from which you can place your own messages to start a new conversation or in reply to an already existing conversation. To form a loose analogy, this section corresponds to you checking your answering machine, except that the messages are arranged in categories. Let's do this by example. The New Activity section for Conferencing On the Web, Topic 2 looks like this:

(example list; these are not actual links!)

New Activity for Conferencing On the Web, Sign Me Up!:








Directions COW is headed

The Number column simply numerates the list of conversations. The Total column indicates how many messages in total are within a given conversation. And the New column indicates how many of the total messages are new, that is, how many you have not read yet.

Related Topics

This section may or may not show up in a topic page. Basically, it allows you to link to some of the other topics in the conference that might somehow be related. A professor might choose to link two related chapter summaries together. The related topics section might look something like this:

Related Topics:



Topic Name



General Interest

The Toolbar

At the bottom of the topic page there are three rows of buttons. They look like this:

The third row is the same one described in the Setting Up section, so I won't take the time to explain it again.

The second row includes the Search feature, which was briefly described earlier, and it includes the Read button. With the read button, you can type the number of a specific conversation (for example, 2 for Directions COW is headed), and you can type a number for how many days ago you want to check (say 13), and click 'Read'. This will bring you to a page that lists just messages for that conversation from the past 13 days. Hypothetical situation: Say you're in a class and your class' COW topic 'Homework' has a conversation called 'help with problem sets'. If you know that problem set #5, which you need help on, was assigned roughly 8 days ago, you could use the 'Read' feature to get only at those messages that were posted in the past 8 days.

The first row is specific to the topic level of COW. Here's what the buttons do:

Next Section

Last Modified: Friday, 15-Feb-2002 15:35:50 EST

Originally generated by Shahaf Abileah and Aaron Rosen for OIT.
Now maintained by the COW Administrators

Copyright 1996-1998 Regents of the University of Michigan