An e-learning forum can be a confusing place.

What goes on in there? How does it all work? And what should you say when you post on forums?

Your e-learning forum will quickly become familiar when you start using it to interact with the other students in the course.

But you can get a head start by knowing the 5 golden rules of posting. Why learn the rules the hard way, by trial and error?

Let’s talk about them now.

Posting on an e-learning forum – The 5 golden rules

1. Be polite

An e-learning forum is the online version of a face-to-face tutorial. The same rules of courtesy apply. Personal or negative comments can really sour the conversation, and stop people wanting to join in.

Naturally, it’s OK to have a different opinion from other people. You won’t always agree. But try and keep your comments constructive, and polite.

2. Keep your message brief

A discussion board post is not an essay. It’s a short summary of your thoughts on a particular topic. A couple of brief paragraphs (or less) are usually enough.

3. Stay on topic

When you post on forums, remember that like you, most of your fellow learners are really, really busy. Try not to stray off-topic. Everyone’s time is at a premium.

(And staying on topic is a good habit to get into – it can also help you improve your grades…)

4. Post regularly

Make time to do your postings every week or so, depending on the course schedule. By posting regularly, you interact more often with your fellow learners. You also reinforce key concepts as you progress through the materials.

If you post regularly, you also save yourself the stress of having to submit 25 compulsory messages the day before the course closes!

5. Back up your posts

Sometimes you’ll post a message in the e-learning forum, and later find that it’s completely disappeared. Weird technological stuff can happen, so it’s a good idea to save copies of your posts to your own computer before you hit the Submit button.

Then, if the message is sucked into the vortex of cyberspace, you won’t have to come up with all those ideas again from scratch.

As you can see, it’s not so hard to post on forums. Once you’ve done it once or twice it’ll come quite naturally to you.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Liz Hardy is the owner of and the author of E-learning 101, the friendliest online study guide around. Dr Hardy takes a unique approach to online learning. Blending simple e-learning strategies with a little humour and pictures of friendly dogs, she presents accessible e-learning advice that works.