|Getting Started - Moderator||DISCUS Administration Instructions|
This tutorial will be most valuable if you are actually performing the actions as you are directed in this tutorial. For this purpose, we recommend that you open a new browser window to access your board or that you print out a hard copy of this tutorial before proceeding further.
This tutorial goes into depth covering basic information that you as a moderator will need to know to utilize the Discus program fully. It will take approximately 20 minutes for a new user to complete this tutorial. We suggest that you do this tutorial in one time block with minimal interruptions. Once you get the feel of the program, you will be able to figure out most everything for yourself without consulting tutorials or instructions.
Once your username and password has been supplied, you will see the administration program Main Menu in the left frame and the first screen of the Page Manager in the right frame.
2. Locate the administration instructions
3. Choose a topic to edit
When you have chosen a topic to edit, you will be presented with the Page Manager interface to edit the first page in that topic. The Page Manager contains a lot of functionality to manipulate subtopic and message pages. Scroll down the Page Manager to get an idea of what functionality is available. Here is a quick tour of what you will see.
Quick Navigation/Quick Options -- these items always appear on Page Manager pages. Quick Navigation gives you an idea of where in the discussion you are, and it allows you to move quickly between parent pages (one level above the current location), sister pages (same level as the current location), and child pages (one level below the current location). You can also jump directly to the user interface and start from page you are editing by clicking "Go to this page on the board," and you can view all the subtopics in the topic you are editing in a graphical tree view by clicking "Show all subtopics." Quick Options allow you to jump down the page to the section you wish to edit.
Subtopics/Add a Subtopic -- these items appear if subtopics are contained on the page. You can delete, move, change the properties of, edit, add, and reorder subtopics from this section.
About Message -- this appears if an about message is contained on the page. It allows you to place a message onto a page that appears below all subtopics but above all messages. It allows you to describe the purpose of a page.
Messages -- these items appear if messages are contained on the page. You can delete, move, edit, add, view, view information about, and reorder messages from this section.
Page Layout -- this always appears on Page Manager pages. It allows you to select which discussion elements appear on a page (any combination of subtopics, about messages, and messages). Changing Page Layout settings affects what functionality is available in the Page Manager and in the user interface when viewing a page.
4. Change the layout of the page
5. Add your first subtopic
Your first subtopic will be created to hold all subtopics and messages you will create in the future. Think of this first subtopic as creating a "directory" for your future subtopics in this tutorial. (This does not technically happen but it is the best explanation for what you are trying to accomplish.)
For the "Name" of the subtopic, enter "Frank Smith's first subtopic" (substituting in your own name). For the options under the name, leave "New discussion page" and "Private Index" checked -- we'll see later what these options do. Click on "Add this Subtopic" to create this subtopic.
6. Navigate into your new subtopic
A more interesting approach is to find your subtopic on the list of all subtopics. Scroll up to the Quick Navigation section and click on "Show all subtopics." Locate your new subtopic from the list and click on it. If you just can't seem to find your subtopic, use the navigation bar at the top of the page to go back to the last page linked in the navigation bar and use the easy way of just clicking the name of your subtopic from the Quick Navigation or the "Subtopics" table.
In the future, you can just use one of the "Easy" ways. This step was designed to demonstrate the use of the graphical tree functionality which will be useful later in your "career" as a moderator.
7. Create a bunch of subtopics
You can also create links to documents on the WWW and make them look like subtopics. This is useful to organize frequently added items and is used in a variety of ways. To create a link, first give the subtopic a name of "Discus Home Page - right frame." Then check "Link to external document" and choose where the link is to be displayed using the "Right frame" option. Give the URL of "http://www.chem.hope.edu/discus" in the appropriate blank. Create two more links as well, using the "Top (replace board)" option for one and the "New browser window" option for the other.
8. View the subtopics in the user interface
9. Add a user account
Click on "User Manager" from the Main Menu to bring up the first User Manager screen. Select the group that you wish to edit by clicking on the link. Note that the number of user accounts in the group is indicated, as well as whether the group allows public posting or requires a login to post (i.e., private posting).
Upon clicking on the group, you will see five sections on the User Mananger screen. The first section, "Users," shows all user accounts (or, if you have more than 25 user accounts, a portion of the user accounts is displayed as well as options to select alternate ranges). The second section, "Special Permissions," allows you to set group-wide properties; we'll address this in step 10. The third section, "Profile Permissions," gives you the power to disable certain aspects of user profiles. The fourth section, "Add a User," allows you to create one user account; we'll do this momentarily. The fifth section, "Add a User List," allows you to paste in a delimited user list, such as from a spreadsheet program or database, to create user accounts rapidly without ever having to enter the names manually.
Under "Add a User," create a user with username "apple" and password "orange" and then click on "Add this User" to create the account. When the page reloads, you should see the user added to the user list at the top of the page.
10. Configure public posting
[ ] Log into administration program
[ ] Access Page Manager
[ ] Change page layout
[ ] Create an initial subtopic
[ ] Navigate into that initial subtopic
[ ] Create six new subtopics with various layouts
[ ] Look at the board to see what you've done
[ ] Return to administration program
[ ] Access user manager
[ ] Add a user named "apple"
[ ] Enable public posting
You should continue to experiment with administrative tools and the posting interface to determine how the board works. To learn more about specific administrative functions, continue reading these administration instructions, or experiment on your own.
|Copyright © 1998, Kevin W. Paulisse and William F. Polik, all rights reserved|