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This image is the Discussion Forums page title bar. Like all title bars of the Student Support site, it is blue and shows a picture of a group of students talking at a table.

Discussion Forums

(Populi Support)

About this Page

Discussions are used often in HBFGSAS online courses.  Often times, grades reflect student participation and effort.  However, your confidence in posting involves students knowing how to use discussion forums in Popuil and using the feature often. 

On this page, you'll learn the

  • terms of a discussion

  • preparing posts

  • how to access and post to a discussion forum

Parts of a Discussion

Use this document to learn all the different terms concerning discussions, such as "forum," "thread," "prompt," "post," and "replies." A diagram will also illustrate each of the terms. 

Preparing Posts

Effective Practices

When writing discussion posts, the best method is to write the post in Word with the appropriate formatting marks and shortened links. Then, you can copy and paste your work into Populi discussions with little or no formatting issues.

Please note that sometimes in Word there is a hidden code or characters that break the discussion interface; therefore, sometimes text looks like it have been posted but hasn't. Therefore, always refresh your browser to check that the text was actually posted.

Here are a few workarounds:
1. You can type your post in Word and copy, save, and post the discussion comment in Populi.  If it doesn’t post after you refresh, you can type directly in Populi using your pre-written post in Word as a guide. 
2. You can write your post directly in Populi without using Word as a back-up; however, you can lose all your work if you lose internet connection. It is recommended to occasionally copy, paste, and save in a Word document just in case something happens.
3. There is software that will strip hidden code from a Word document. Populi recommended pasting the text from Word into Notepad. Then, copy and paste from there into Populi as that will strip the hidden code.

Basic Text Formatting

Populi uses a slimmed down version of Markdown to style discussion posts. This means we can create a measure of styling and content linking in our posts with little to no knowledge of HTML/CSS markup.

Here is the Populi markdown breakdown.

*bold*  =bold

_italics_  =italics

#underlined#  =underlined[1]

^superscript^  =superscript

~subscript~  =subscript

+highlighted text+  =highlighted text

Inserting Links

Populi’s markdown has no method of creating contextual links. So instead of writing “look here is a contextual link,“ we have to write “look here is a URL link:”. Populi will automatically turn links into clickable links.

Not all links are short links; some links are quite long. Here are some guidelines (not rules) concerning the posting of links within Populi discussion posts:

  1. If you use a small number of links, it is OK to post them in the text.

  2. If you use a large number of links, please consider footnoting them and including them at the bottom of your post.


Adding Videos

Embedding media from certain services is easy. All you have to do is paste the link from the media into your discussion post. Populi will automatically embed them.

Discussion Etiquette

Refer to the Online Etiquette/Netiquette section that is described on the Online Learning Tips page.

Video Tutorials

Accessing and Posting in a Discussion Forum

Below is a tutorial that shows how to post in a discussion forum. 

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