About the Project Discussion Forums

Project Discussion Forums allow project members to communicate without transmitting any sensitive information over email. Members can post new messages, add attachments, reply to existing messages, and read messages from other project member. The discussion forums operate similarly to bulletin board.

Clicking the Discussion forum link will take you to the Discussion forums page for the current project. On this page, you can see all of the forums associated with the project. You can add new forums, search forums, subscribe to forums, or select a forum to view.

Adding new forums

To add a new discussion forum, click the Add new forum link on the Discussion forums page. This link will take you to the Add discussion forum page. Enter a name and description for your forum in the fields provided and click the Add forum button. An email message will be sent to all members of the project notifying them that a new discussion forum has been created.

Searching forums

To search for information in discussion forums, click the Search forums link on the Discussion forums page. This link will take you to the Search discussion forums page. Enter the keywords you wish to search for and click the Search button. Keywords must be more than three characters in length and entered exactly as they appear in the discussion posts. Search will return results for all messages that contain the entered keywords in the subject or body of messages across all forums to which you have access.

Subscribing to forums

You can subscribe to a forum by clicking the Subscribe button on either the Discussion forums page or the Discussion forum messages page. Once you have subscribed to a forum, you receive an email notification each time a new message is posted to the forum and messages in the forum will appear in the My discussion forums section of your start page. This gives you quick access to those forums you are most interested in. You can view forum messages from your start page by simply clicking on the subject name.

You can unsubscribe from any discussion forum by clicking the Unsubscribe link anywhere within the forum.

Viewing messages

To view and post messages in an existing forum, click on the forum name on the Discussion forums page. This link will take you to the Discussion forum messages page where you can view, sort and post messages. This page provides drop down boxes that allow you to customize your view and sort messages. The Show drop down box allows you to choose the level of detail you wish to have displayed in the message list. To change your list view or sort messages, select the desired view and click the Update view button. The following options are available:

Overview of discussion threads
This view shows the threads of discussion within the forum, the number of replies to each thread, and the date of most recent posting within each thread.
Summary of all messages
This view shows a list of all messages in the forum with the subject, poster, and date Depending on the sorting paramaters, the list may use indentation to show replies. Unread messages are marked with an "unopened envelope" icon. Message with attachments show "paperclip" icons for each attachment.
All messages with body text
This option displays the poster, date and body test of all messages in the forum.

You can sort messages in either ascending or descending order by selecting one of the sort options from the Sort by drop down box and clicking the Update view button. The available sort options are Thread/subject, From, and Date.

In all views and sorts, unread messages have a closed envelope icon beside them. When you view a message, it is automatically marked as read and the icon disappears; however, you may want to mark a message as unread so that it will continue to appear in the list of unread messages on your start page. Likewise, you may wish to mark an unread message as read to remove it from your list of unread messages. To mark messages as read or unread, click on the check box next to the message then click the Mark as read or the Mark as unread button.

To view an individual message, click on the subject name. The full message is displayed along with a listing of all messages in the thread. Messages that you posted will also include the Message tracking tab where you can see which other project members have read your message. The message tracking tab lists all members for who the message is marked as read, whether the member has read the message or manually marked the message as read.

Posting messages

You can post message to a forum either by starting a new thread or replying to a previously posted message.