Forums *** Papers
Using the Forums

Much of our discussion will be done on the Forums (from the Forums and Web Links site). "Live" forums will be posted for each assignment before the class meets; sometimes you will be directed to a particular one for your primary posting and messages. There will also be group feedback forums (which will remain active) which will be attached to pages presenting links to your papers; here you will post helpful critiques and ideas for revisions on the papers.

You should prepare a thoughtful response to the assigned work(s), one which goes beyond the "I like" or "I don't like" stage to focus on ideas, issues, or particular passages. This is not a paper, but a paragraph or two. This should be written when you read the work and before you join the forum; if you like, you can type it into a WORD or WordPad (text) file, save to your disk, and then open the file in that program, copy it (mark and Control-C), and paste it (Control-V) into the message box. I would recommend WORD for those of you who have typing/spelling problems, so you can run a spell check on it. The subject line will be blank; you need to give your posting a subject that will give some hint of what you have written about. If the assigned work is already designated by the forum, your subject line can be a question or an issue that you are raising or some other provocative kick-off to discussion. Think of it--and your posting--as starting a thread of thought which other students can respond to.  I may start the forum with some leading questions or topics; those will be posted initially with the forum. If your posting fits under one of those subjects, that's where you should be--or perhaps you will find that idea or question to be one that you'd like to explore for your posting.

During the class time (or if you can't do that exactly, during the 24 hours that the forum is "live"), you should read through all the postings as they appear and write your responses (at least 3-4 substantial ones) to the ideas or questions that have been proposed. This is not a chat room, however, and I hope that your responses will not be personal in that sense (you can always e-mail the person from the Student Site if you wish to speak directly to them.) Just saying "I really like your ideas" is encouraging but it doesn't add to the discussion; however, if you wish to talk about particular ideas or phrasings that you like (and why), that's just fine!
Remember, you should be on-line for the FULL class period, posting at the very beginning, then reading and responding for at least an hour (your work is time-marked) for full credit for class participation. This can also include time you spend after the class period.

Technical Details about the Forum: Editing and Archiving
Yes, you can go back and edit your posting or message when you see that word that your fingers mistyped, or when you think up more to say on your subject. Just click on Edit Your Message. (You can't edit anyone else's message) Make sure that you don't back space and send your message twice. If you don't see your message appearing on the Forum, then you need to Reload or Refresh the page (up in the Toolbar). At any time you can archive the forum discussion by clicking on Archive. What that does is to give you the full discussion text to that point (after you scroll down past the message headings). Sometimes students like to do this after there are a number of messages toward the end of class, just to see if there are messages they missed.

The forum will be inactive and the archive will be posted on the Links Page no less than 24 hours after the class meeting time. Although I hope that you will participate during the class time, when you can get some good interaction going, I realize that sometimes that will not work out. You may post and respond, then, later, but you will likely not get responses to what you have said (and that's not nearly as much fun!). 

Writing and Submitting Papers

Writing the Paper:
You may write your paper in any word-processing program (WORD, Wordpad, Notebook, etc.) that you are familiar with and that has tools., like a spell check, dictionary, or thesaurus, that you find helpful. After you finish, then you should turn the paper into an html file. If you use WORD (7, 97, 2000), you can create a Web file to write on; open a New File and then request the Web Page format. Your file will save in html and you'll be set (you can even put in hot links) Or, if you like, you can simply write the paper in Netscape Composer (it does have a spell check); go to Netscape and File/New/Blank Page to begin. Make sure that you give your file a name without any blanks in it! (WORD tends to put those in) In fact, it would help if you named the file according to the assignment, such as reread.htm or authorpaper.htm. [If you have written the paper in another wordprocessing program, see me on how to convert it.]

Netscape Composer:
You get to the Composer by simply going to Netscape (2.0 and up) and going to File/New/Blank Page, by opening a file already created in html, or by going to your file on-line and clicking on Edit Page. You'll see that the Toolbar on Netscape Composer is very much like any wordprocessing program--font, size, bold, italics, underline. On the far right of the Toolbar, from the edge, are the location of text (left, center, right margin), then the indent (this is great for marking long quotes).

You can put hot links to Web sites in your Netscape file by marking the text you want to link, right clicking, Insert New Link, and typing or copying the link address.

Submitting the Paper :
You now have your paper in an html file, and are ready to submit it to the class. This is a little tricky, so you may have to write down the steps.
1. You begin by going to the Student Site and clicking beside your name on Student Tools. Type in your WCB login and password. 2. At this point, you will see two options for turning in papers: Submit Assignments and Create/Edit Project.
3. IF the paper is to come to me and not to the class, as for a test or exam, then you go to Submit Assignments. You'll Browse for the file and submit it. Please note that the program will not accept an assignment AFTER its due date!
4. For class papers, you go to Create/Edit Project. Here you have two choices, and you should take the second, Upload Project Files. That will let you browse to your disk so that you can get that paper you just saved in html.
5. If, for some reason, you'd like to avoid the html route, you can go to Create/Edit Project and that will give you a blank page where you can copy your paper (or type it). This is particularly helpful if the computer you are using does not have a updated Netscape or Explorer, and so the browse option doesn't appear. For more directions on how to create a project this way, see the Student Help.

Posting the Paper in Your Portfolio:
OK, you've managed to upload your paper. But we still can't see it! So you go back to Student Tools and
1. click on Create/Edit Portfolio. That will give you 3 slots to post your papers--you'll need more eventually, so click on Add and ask for 5 or 6.
2. To post a paper, go to the top BLANK slot, click on File and find that paper that you just uploaded. If you typed or copied your paper into the Project area, then choose that Project. OR, if you've written the paper and posted it on your own web site (some people actually have those), then type in the URL.
3. Then be sure to put a title in the Title Box, for example, Paper 4: Rereading of "Livvie."
4. Then go down and click on Submit. Now the class can read your paper from your Portfolio. If you are uploading a new version of a paper (make sure that you used the same file name), don't forget to reload your Portfolio so you can make sure that it's there!