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
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:
- The syllabus
- Other general information about the course
- A summery of a chapter in the class' book
- Notes from a particular lecture
- Information and a link to a related WWW page
- An article pertaining to the class
- Information about the next assignment
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.
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.
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:
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:
- Mark all as Read: this button only shows up if the conference fair witness wants it to, because it allows you to mark all of the conversations as if you had read them, so that you don't have to go through and read them all. It's a good way to catch up on your reading, without actually reading.
- Start New Conversation: this button is good for those times when you have something to say that doesn't fit as a response to any of the messages in the other conversations. Click here an you go to a page that has a box where you type your message, and another where you type the title of your message (like the 'Subject:' category in an e-mail). The rules for typing a message here are the same as those for changing your profile. To review these rules click here.
- Last Ten Conversations: this button will be useful in topics that have been around for a long while and hence contain a large number of conversations. Basically, it will take you to a page that lists the ten conversations that contain the newest messages in order newest to oldest.
- Last Twenty conversations: this button works like the previous one except that you get a list of twenty messages instead of ten.
- Show All Conversations: remember that when you enter a topic you see a list of only those conversations that have new messages. If you want the bigger picture--all conversations--click this button.
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Last Modified: Friday, 15-Feb-2002 15:35:50 EST
Originally generated by Shahaf Abileah and Aaron Rosen for OIT.
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