The Message Board gives users the ability to communicate and share information. The Message Board serves as an online discussion area where users can participate in conversations in the form of posted messages.
The Message Board consists of Categories, Threads, and Posts. These components assist in organizing the topics that are discussed within the Message Board. Think of these components like a tree structure or the way you would organize documents under folders and sub-folders. The table below describes each of the Message Board components and basic user interaction within these components.
- Category: Categories are created by those users assigned with elevated access. Categories are used to group discussion Threads.
- Thread: Threads are created under a Category. There can be multiple Threads under one Category. Each Thread is based on a single conversation or single topic. A user initiates a Thread by identifying the Subject Name (a high level title for what the Thread is about) and adds the first post for the Thread with intentions to get a discussion started among other users.
- Post: Posts are created under a Thread. There can be multiple Posts under one Thread. A Post is a reply or a comment made back to another user's Post.
This user guide section is geared toward assisting users with creating Threads and Posts. It also walks users through creating new Threads and Posts as well as subscribing to Threads and Posts for the purpose of receiving email notifications about updates to conversations of interest. The final portion of this user guide section provides instructions on creating a new Category.
Permissions: Managers and Moderators of Communities and Exercises can create, update, move, manage permissions on, and delete categories. By default, members of the Community or Exercise can create new threads, reply to threads and posts, and subscribe to categories and threads. However, these permissions may be altered by a Manager or Moderator.
Creating a Thread
The steps below will assist users on how to create a Thread.
If the thread should be in a particular Message Board Category, select the Category name.
Select the blue New Thread button.
Provide a Subject. The Subject will appear in the table listed under a Category.
Optionally include text in the Body field. This will be the first Post listed under this Thread.
You may also optionally include attachments with your post, if needed. (Note that the Attachments section may be collapsed and must be expanded in order for the field to be seen.)
(Note that by default, you will be automatically subscribed to any threads you create. To opt out of this subscription, expand the "More Settings" area and uncheck the Subscribe Me checkbox.)
When you have added all needed content, select the blue Publish button at the bottom of the content area.
Reply to a Post
The steps below will assist users to reply to another user's Post.
Navigate to and select the target Thread name.
Select the blue Reply button.
This will present you with a simple text box where you provide your reply.
Optionally, you may include an attachment with your reply. To do so, select the plus sign icon to the left of the text box.
(Note that by default, you will be automatically subscribed to any threads on which you reply. To opt out of this subscription, uncheck the Subscribe Me checkbox.)
After providing your reply, select the blue Publish button at the bottom of the content area.
You may alternatively choose to Reply with Quote, which will present the same options as the typical Reply option, but the comment made by the user you are replying to will automatically be copied over into the top of your Reply. This feature can be beneficial when multiple users are posting to a Thread or when there are many posts in one Thread. It provides you with a means to call out a specific post within the Thread on which you are replying.
You can subscribe to Categories and/or Threads. Subscribers will receive email notifications for new threads and posts created under those Category or Threads. If you do not want a notification for all posts under one Category, select the specific Threads you want to follow.
Subscribe to a Category
If viewing a list of Categories, select the hamburger menu for the target Category in the list and select Subscribe.
If viewing the contents of the target Category, you may select the hamburger menu above the list of contents and select Subscribe.
Subscribe to a Thread
If viewing a list of Threads, select the hamburger menu for the target Thread in the list and select Subscribe.
If viewing the contents of the target Thread, you may select the hamburger menu above the list of contents and select Subscribe.
Add a Category (Managers Only)
Additional Categories and Subcategories can be added to your Exercise or Community. To add a Category, click the Add Category button in the target location (top level or within another Category).
You must provide a Name for your new Category. You can optionally provide a description and choose to display Threads in the new Category as questions and answers instead of as regular posts. You can change the permission settings on the Category. (Due to the way in which PrepToolkit is configured, Message Board Categories in Exercises and private Communities cannot be made visible to Guests, regardless of the settings implemented here.) Click Save when the proper settings are in place.
Unless other users are granted special elevated permissions by a manager, only managers (e.g., Community Managers or Exercise Managers) can add new Categories and Subcategories.