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Bulletin Board/Blog/Forum Tool

Bulletin Boards, blogs, and forums are often a different name for the same thing.  For the purpose of this Help Doc the term bulletin board will be used. 

The Bulletin Board/Forum/Blog tool is a main body tool that is often used by districts and individual teachers as a way to gather information and ideas from parents, students, and anyone who visits their website.

Depending on how the district or teacher defines the properties of the tool, approval may be required by a designated administrator before the post becomes visible on the webpage.  As is true for all web pages through the CMS4Schools system, this tool can be added to a password-protected page, thereby requiring a user to log in before posting.  As further means of protecting the contents of the posts on a bulletin board, a CAPTCHA box can be added, ensuring that the response is generated by a human being.

Finally, files may be attached to a post making this tool a valuable resource to share larger amounts of data.

What does a bulletin board look like on a webpage?

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The bulletin board above has been set up to allow for the user to create new topics, search by keyword, and by clicking on the topic, takes the user to a screen where all previous posts are displayed and where the user can add their own message to the topic.

Add the Bulletin Board/Blog/Forum Tool

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  1. Add Tool to this page: Select Bulletin Board/Forum/Blog from the list
  2. After: Choose the position of the tool. The default is at the bottom of the page. The first tool added will only have the "Place at top of page" option. When there is more than one tool, select the item you want to add the tool after.
  3. Select Add to open the Add Bulletin Board screen

Bulletin Board Tool Properties

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  1. Tite: Enter the desired title for the bulletin board
  2. RSS Graphic: Choose if you wish to display an RSS graphic
  3. Force Posts to be Approved: Determine if you wish to require that posts be approved by an administrator before viewing
  4. CAPTCHA Protection: If Force Posts to be Approved, you can choose to include a CAPTCHA box. We strongly recommend the inclusion of a CAPTCHA box
  5. Allow Users to Create Topics: Choose Yes to allow users to create new topics on the bulletin board
  6. Allow Users to Submit New Messages to Existing Topics: Choose Yes to allow users to submit new messages on the bulletin board
  7. Provide a Keyword Search: Select Yes to have a search box available 
  8. Email Address: Provide an email address where a message will be sent when a post is added

Finally, select Add to create the Bulletin Board.

Bulletin Board Tool Options

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  1. edit: Add/edit/remove tool heading, change tool status to inactive/active, or schedule a status change. See the Tool Heading and Status article for more details.
  2. Update Bulletin Board's Properties: Opens the Update Bulletin Board screen, allowing you to make changes to the Bulletin Board's properties.
  3. Create New Topic: Opens a New Topic screen on the website where you can enter the desired information.
  4. Posts awaiting approval: If the Force Posts to be Approved property is selected for the bulletin board this will display the number of posts awaiting approval. Selecting this link expands the tool to display the posts. See the Force Posts to be Approved section below for more information about approving/denying requests.
  5. Topic: Selecting Topic on the Bulletin Board tool will open the Topic Thread. See the Topic section below for more information.
  6. Posts: Displays the number of posts for a topic
  7. Created By: Displays the name of the user that created the topic
  8. Date Created: Displays the date the topic was created
  9. Last Modified: Displays the date the topic was last modified
  10. Update: Opens the Update Thread screen allowing you to change the Created By and Topic Name fields.
  11. Delete: Allows you to delete a topic from the Bulletin Board

Force Posts to be Approved

If the Force Posts to be Approved option is selected for a Bulletin Board, the Bulletin Board tool will display a "+ There are # posts that are awaiting approval" after a post has been submitted. If an email address was added to the properties, and email would also be sent at the time the post was submitted.

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  1. When the + There are # posts that are awaiting approval link is selected, the Bulletin Board tool will expand to show the posts that are awaiting approval
  2. Use the radio buttons to select to approve or delete the post
  3. Select the + Message, to expand the table to show the post content

Select Submit to complete.

Topic

After selecting the topic on the Bulletin Board tool, you are able to see all of the details for the topic.

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  1. Allows you to add a message to the selected topic
  2. Back to Threads brings you back to Bulletin Board tool
  3. Topic/thread title
  4. Name of poster and date and time of post
  5. Post message
  6. Post status
  7. Opens the Update Thread Post screen allowing you to make changes to the post and approve the post (if applicable)
  8. Allows you to delete the post
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