By Pamela Hong
If the task of responding to your class discussion post on WebCampus is intimidating to you, you’re reading the right blog post. If the task isn’t intimidating to you, you can still take away a few tips and tricks to help you on your next discussion post assignment—so read on.
Make sure your post is easy to read. Serif fonts are the best choice for online writing. Formatting is not the place to stand out—avoid bright colors and loud fonts. Your post’s formatting should be consistent with the rest of your classmates’ responses.
WebCampus can be tricky—consider drafting your post in a text editor, e.g. Word, and then copying and pasting the response into the discussion thread. Using a text editor ensures that can save your work as you write and helps you avoid technical issues. Additionally, text editors have more features for formatting and editing than WebCampus.
The first step is to dissect the question your professor posts, because ultimately, you want to make sure you answer what you are expected to. Are you arguing for a stance? Are you expanding on a statement? Are you suggesting ideas to the group? It seems self-explanatory, but it’s very easy for a class to stray off topic as more people post responses. Much like the game of Telephone, a discussion can shift completely from what was originally intended; therefore, it is crucial to properly dissect the question for what it is actually asking before starting your own response or reading others.
In the next step of actually posting your response, you should strive for an answer that is an original, intelligent, and complete response to the discussion question.
Make sure to read what has already been posted (if there are any posts) before blindly responding with ideas that have already been said. It might even seem like you copied another student’s idea, regardless if that is true or not. The tone of your response should also be professional and constructive. When disagreeing with a previous post, argue your own viewpoint in a respectful and eloquent fashion. Incorporating personal experience can be an effective way to connect with your audience; however, you should remain on topic.
Your response should also be touching on all the points or parts of the question. Rather than answering one part and calling it finished, try re-reading the question and seeing if the entire discussion response you’ve drafted has every component that your professor wants you to answer.
Replying to your classmates’ posts is often a component of WebCampus discussion assignments—don’t forget to use your classmate’s name when replying. You can facilitate discussion in the replies with open-ended questions. Depending on your instructor’s requirements, try and respond to as many posts as possible.
4.) Finishing Touches
Add some extra flair to make your post stand out. Consider including multimedia such as photos, video, or audio. Additionally, you can provide links to related articles. WebCampus has a hyperlink feature that allows you to easily embed these links. If your post requires a title, make sure you create something clear and informative that will catch your instructor’s and classmates’ attention.
Finally, when you have your final draft ready to be posted, re-read it, then re-read again! Did you completely answer the question? Make sure your grammar is correct, that you answered the question or built upon another person’s response, and that you maintain a professional tone throughout your response.
Here’s an example of an original post and two replies:
Original Post: “The electoral college system is an accurate way of reflecting what the majority of the United States wants in a president because of its protection of the votes in smaller states.”
Weak Response: “The Electoral College is outdated, and anyone who thinks that it works is a no-good Trump supporter.”
Strong Response: “While the Electoral College may seem like a measure to restrict larger states’ voting power, there are many flaws in the design and construct. Some of these flaws include the following: the electoral vote doesn’t necessarily reflect the popular vote, the electoral system incentivizes campaigns to ignore states with smaller amounts of electorates, and the Electoral College places a disproportionate amount of power in individual votes from smaller states. Therefore, the popular vote should decide who is president.”
The weak response simply posits an opinion without any supporting evidence. The stronger response states an arguable claim and supports this claim with specific evidence. The stronger response also acknowledges the opposing view without attacking the writer.
Even though these assignments can be tedious, try to take advantage of WebCampus discussion posts as an opportunity to engage with the course material and to facilitate conversations with classmates.