Intro to Pilot: Discussions

This is an online version of the CTL's "Introduction to Pilot" workshops for faculty. To view the videos, you'll need QuickTime Player, a free download. You will also find the videos in iTunes U, where you can easily put them on your iPod.

These Tutorials were Made with an Earlier Version of Pilot

In the new version, many of Pilot's tools work the same as before, but the interface may have changed. To reduce clutter, many options have been tucked into expandable menus. Look for small, downward-pointing arrows next to key labels and headings. You can access many actions by clicking one of those arrows.

28 Overview of the Discussion tool

Watch video 28 | Find video 28 in iTunes U

The Discussion tool can be used to provide opportunities to interact between all participants in the class. The discussion tool is an asynchronous tool, which means that communication is not done in real time and participants can post at any time that is convenient to them. The Discussion Tool in Pilot needs to have the 2-heirarchical structure as all the other tools. This structure helps keep your discussions organized.

Forum

A Forum is to top level of hierarchy or bucket. All individual topics must be place within a topic. An example of a Forum might be Weekly Discussions. Then in this Form would be the individual topic postings of Week #1, Week #2, Week #3. Only the instructor can create a Forum.

Topic

The Topic is a subset of a Forum. Only the instructor can create Topics. It is actually the Topic that faculty and students click on the post their discussion messages.

Message

A Message is the actually content posted by the faculty or student. Both instructors and students can post messages.

29 Creating New Forums

Watch video 29 | Find video 29 in iTunes U

You need to create a 2 level hierarchy to make your discussion tool work. Only faculty can create new Forums.

  1. Go to the Discussions tool from Navbar link.
  2. Press New Forum.
  3. Give the Forum a title.
  4. You many chose to have message anonymous or be approved.
  5. You may also choose the option of when to have Forum available.
  6. You also have the option of adding Restrictions such as required test scores.
  7. Press Save.

30 Creating New Topics

Watch video 30 | Find video 30 in iTunes U

You need to create a 2 level hierarchy to make your discussion tool work. Only faculty can add new Topics.

  1. Go to the Discussions tool from Navbar link.
  2. Press New Topic.
  3. Choose a Forum to place the Topic.
  4. Give the Topic a title.
  5. You many chose to have message anonymous or be approved.
  6. You may also choose the option of when to have Forum available.
  7. You also have the option of adding Restrictions such as required test scores.
  8. To connect the discussion with the grades:
    1. Click the Assessment tab.
    2. In the Grade Item, select the pull down and select the Grade Item (which should have already been created).
    3. Put in the points in the “Score out of:”.
    4. Click Save.

31 Editing Forums and Topics

Watch video 31 | Find video 31 in iTunes U

  1. Go to the Discussions tool from Navbar link to have the list of Forums and Topics show.
  2. Click on the pencil to the far right of the Forum or Topic you wish to edit.
  3. You can change title or properties.
  4. To change Availability:
    1. Scroll down under Availability and select “Forum is visible for a specific date range”.
    2. Select “Has Start Date”
    3. Put in beginning date.
    4. Select “Has End Date”.
    5. Put in end date.
    6. Select “Display in Schedule” if you wish it to show in schedule.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Deleting a Forum or Topic
    Only faculty can delete a Forum or Topic. If you delete a Forum, all topics in this Forum will also be deleted.
    1. Click Discussion tool from Navbar link.
    2. Click on the Delete trash can.
    3. Select the Forums and Topics you wish to delete.
    4. Click Delete Selected.

32 Messages

Watch video 32 | Find video 32 in iTunes U

Both faculty and students can create messages in Pilot.

Creating Messages

  1. Go to the Discussions tool from Navbar link.
  2. Click on the topic you wish to reply to.
  3. Click on Compose.
  4. Put in a Subject and type your message in the box below. Faculty may choose to “Pin” their message, which means it will always be at the top of the message list.
  5. To include an attachment:
    1. Click on Add a File.
    2. Click Browse to find the file on your computer. Navigate to the file.
    3. Click Add to add another file.
    4. Click Upload.
    5. Click Post.
    6. You will see the message posted. You know there is an attachment if there is a paper clip to the left of the subject.

Replying to a Message

  1. Open the message that you wish to reply by clicking on the hyperlink to the subject message.
  2. Click on Reply.
  3. You can revise the subject (if you like) and add a message.
  4. Click Post.
  5. The reply will appear indented (threaded) under the message that you replied to.

Deleting a Message

Faculty can delete all messages posted from all participants. Students can ONLY delete the messages that they have posted.

  1. Click Discussion tool from Navbar link.
  2. Click on the topic.
  3. Click on the message to verify that this is the message you wish to delete. This selects the message by putting a check in the box next to it.
  4. Click on the trash can to delete it.
  5. Click Yes.