Friday, July 13, 2018

Tools to keep your Blackboard posts error-free

Text: It's really nice to know there is additional support if you need it

Hello Global Campus Cougs!

My name is Lois, and I’m one of your WSU Virtual Mentors.

My story is similar to many of yours…I put my university studies on hold for a bit while my children were young; as they got older, I had the time and motivation to complete my 4-year degree, but our frequent moves seemed like a road-block to me finishing up. During those years we were never in one location long enough for me to complete the couple years (at *one* university) that I needed to graduate, although I kept accumulating credits for work-related classes in various states. WSU’s Global Campus (then called the Distance Degree Program) was exactly what I needed! The online format allowed me to work on my degree through several moves (in WA, HI, and TX) and I graduated with much satisfaction in 2008.

Like the other VMs you’ve met in this series, I’ve continued to stay connected with WSU through the Virtual Mentor program. I know how grateful I was for an alternative to the brick-and-mortar path to a degree, and I like to be involved in helping others reach that same goal.

One question Virtual Mentors are often asked is “Can I edit my post?” In most graded discussion forums, it is not possible to edit posts after they are submitted, but there are a few tricks that can help catch errors before you submit, especially if you make a habit of using them.

Composing in Word can catch grammar and spelling errors and is always recommended. In addition, these Blackboard tools can be used to see how the post will look once it is submitted and give an additional chance to catch last minute errors or formatting problems.

1. The Preview tool:

After composing your message, select the icon that looks like a computer screen in the upper right of the message window.

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2. The Save Draft feature:

Create a post like you normally do, but instead of selecting Submit when you are finished, select Save Draft.

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When you do this, your discussion board post will be saved, but it will not be visible to other students, and you can come back and add to or edit it.

You will be able to see your draft post in the list of posts in the discussion board with the word “draft” to the right of the title. When you select your draft to work on it again, it will show the formatting that it will have in its final, submitted version. You can select Edit at the bottom of the post and fix any problems you see in your post.

Make sure you actually select Submit when you are finished editing or your work will not be posted to the Discussion Board for a grade.

I hope you find these tools as useful as I do,

Lois

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