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Threaded Discussions

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Don't keep your learners in isolation.

Web-Based Training does not mean "Post and Forget" (traditionally called "Publish and Forget.").

Learners need to be able to interact with both the instructor (Content Expert) as well as fellow learners.

Using Threaded Discussion Webboard technology it is possible for learners to post a letter or comment where a reply can be added to it. Additional replies can be added to the entail posting forming a thread.

There are several ways of implementing this concept and the CDC has a software application that can allow for several scenario.

In all scenario it is important to set ground rules about the content to be discussed as well as acceptable language. Rules are even important when dealing with professionals and adult learners.

Unmediated discussion:
In this situation any learner can post a note or comment to the message board. The message board would be a link at the top level of the WBT project. This is not recommended because a user might see a note in the thread and improperly assume that the information in the note is accurate and reflect official CDC policy.

Moderated discussion:
In this situation any learner can post a note or comment to the message. However, before the posting appears on the message board for all to see a Content Expert will review the note before posting. In this situation the fact that editing is taking place must be posted for all to see. It does require more work but the end results are a more successful learning expedience.

Limited access but un-moderated:
This requires some advanced planning and should be used if used. Each participant registers into the message board. They have a unique log-in identification as well as password. A screening process can take place so that only approved individuals participate. By limiting who has access to the message board it reduces the need to check each note being added.

Limited access and moderated:
This last situation will be the most labor intensive and is not likely to be used. It is a combination of required learner log-in and screening of notes before posting.

Before this project goes active make sure that an individual (or two) have the time to maintain the contents of this portion of the site. They should be contents experts since the moderating software application is easy to learn.


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