Print book


This book covers:
BlogChoiceDatabaseDialogueForumGlossaryLessonsQuizzes, and Wikis

Site: learnonline
Course: learnonline Help (Students)
Book: Activities
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Monday, 30 November 2020, 6:47 PM

In this book you will find information for activities that you will be interacting with on your course site, they could contribute towards your final grade, or they may just be a formative activity. This information will be defined in your course outline and by your course coordinator. We have help available on the following activities:

  • Blogs
  • Choices
  • Databases
  • Dialogues
  • Forums
  • Glossaries
  • Lessons
  • Quizzes
  • Wikis

Many of these activities utilise on screen Editing Tools. To learn more about the Editor please see the help pages here.

Most activities in LearnOnline utilise the text Editor tool. Click the image below if you would like to know more about how to use the editor.

Editing Tools


Blogs are a form of online journal consisting of a series of postings, generally made by one user. Within learnonline, every person with a user account receives a blog.


Select Name

First, select your name in the top right corner of any learnonline page.

Add a new entry

From here, select "Add a new entry" under the Navigation pane.

You can then enter your

  • Entry title - The name of your blog posting
  • Blog entry body - Your main text goes here
  • Attachment - If you need to attach any files
  • Publish to - Who do you want to be able to see your blog?
    • Anyone on this site - Any learnonline user can see your blog posting
    • Myself (draft) - Only you, and learnonline administrators, can see this posting
  • Tags - Keywords about your blog that others will be able to use to search for it

View, edit, or delete a blog

Click the Title, Edit or Delete

        A) Select the title to view your blog posting.
        B) Select Edit to make changes to your post.
        C) Select Delete to remove your blog posting,


The Choice activity is a simple poll - a single question with a certain number of suggested answers.

View and record a choice

Select choice on course page

First, select the Choice on your course page.

Select option and save

  1. Select your preferred options
  2. Select Save my choice

View or edit a choice

View Choice

    A) Change your option and
    B) Select "Save my choice"


    C) Select Remove my choice

Please note that the availability to remove your choice can be changed by the Course Coordinator.


A database can allow students to build, display and search a bank of record entries about any topic. The format and structure of these entries can be images, files, text and URLs.

Add or edit an entry

Add or Edit

    A) Select Add entry to create a new database entry


    B) Select the cogs icon to edit your entry

Enter Fields

  1. Fill in the fields required
  2. Select Save and view

Search entries

View and Search

  1. Select the Search tab
  2. Decide how you wish to sort your search
  3. Enter what you are searching for into the fields
  4. Press Save settings

The database entries found will then appear


A dialogue allows students to maintain separate communication threads with different users (teacher to student, and also between students if the instructor allows it).   It is more private and targeted than a forum.

Open a new dialogue

Select dialogue

  • Select the link for the dialogue on the course site.

open a dialogue

  • Select Open a Dialogue

The page will refresh.

  • Select a User from the drop down menu.
  • Enter a Subject.
  • Enter a mesage.
  • Drag a file to the upload section to attach it.
  • Select Submit dialogue.

Open an existing dialogue



A forum is an online discussion.  Conversations in forums start with one person posting a comment or question. This is referred to in learnonline as a topic. A discussion topic could be a comment, question, or a topic to be used as the starting point for discussion.

Once a discussion topic has been added anyone who is allowed can submit replies to that topic. Comments and questions submitted within forums are referred to as ‘posts’.

You don’t need to be online at the same time as your lecturer or fellow students when using forums.

Create new topic

Add new topic

  • Select Add a new discussion topic
  • The page will refresh
  • Enter your
    • Subject
    • Message
    • Subscription - Choose whether you want email notifications of updates to the forum
    • Attachment
  • Select Post to forum

View and reply to a topic

View a topic

  • Select the topic title to view the discussion.

Reply to a topic

  • Select Reply

Search Forums and Forum Subscription

Search and Subscribe

    A) Enter text into the field and press Search forums to perform a search on all forums within the course
    B) Select Subscribe to this forum to receive email notifications of new posts and replies to the forum

Information on the how to remove read posts from your daily digest can be found at Forum daily digest settings

Forum and Online Discussion Board Netiquette

What is a forum or online discussion board?

A forum (or discussion board) is a tool for holding online conversations among a group of people asynchronously (i.e. without everyone needing to be present in the same room or at the same time). Each conversation (called a thread or topic) takes place in the form of messages, called posts.

There are some important differences from face-face conversations in the way people interact:

  • Posts are mostly written texts, without the help of vocal expression and body language to assist in getting the intended message across.
  • Replies can be made immediately, or over a few days, or a few weeks.
  • Participants can choose to consider, research and prepare their replies before they submit a post.
  • Posts are stored online and available to the group for future reference.
  • Depending on how the discussion board is set up, a post may need to be approved by a moderator after submission and before it becomes visible to the rest of the group.
  • Participants may be allowed to create new conversations with their own choice of topic – or they may only be able to reply to existing threads (created by a moderator).

In the University setting, forums and discussion boards are used for a variety of different purposes. They can provide a space to focus on particular learning activities, for group collaboration, or to hold a general class discussion. Forums can be set up for students to ask questions of each other and course staff, to share technical problems and solutions, or to explore specific course topics.

Discussion boards and forums can form part of the academic requirements for programs and courses. For example, student activity (such as the scope and frequency of posts) may be assessable items and contribute towards a course grade


The term netiquette, or ‘network etiquette’, refers to the informal rules of good online communication, founded on the principles of common courtesy and respect for individuals – their backgrounds and beliefs, their experience and expertise, resources, time and bandwidth. (Shea, 1994)

In the University setting, netiquette concerns guidelines for student-student and student-staff dialogue, such as the content of posts, their frequency and length, appropriate language, style and grammar.

Student behaviour in online discussion boards and forums should be guided by the University of South Australia’s Code of Conduct for Students and Guidelines for Students on Use of IT Facilities.

In brief, the three principles that underpin student behaviour at UniSA are:

  • acknowledgement that all members of the University community have rights
  • respect for the rights of others
  • recognition that rights come with responsibilities.

The University of South Australia recognises that contemporary Australia is made up of many cultures, including those of Indigenous Australians. It is committed to achieving reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and believes that educational institutions have a particularly valuable contribution to make to this process by educating the community about the cultures, languages, history and contemporary experiences of Australia's Indigenous peoples.

As in other classroom spaces, University teaching staff in the online environment have a responsibility to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to learn – regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, social background, disability, sexual preference, or religious beliefs and customs – in an environment free from discrimination, bullying and harassment, where students feel safe to communicate various perspectives and views, and where freedom of expression is respected.

Equally, students are expected to respect the rights of others (both staff and students), as well as the academic requirements of programs and courses.

Netiquette for students – Considerations when starting

  • Be prepared to participate!
  • Be polite and be professional. Act at the level appropriate for your status as a (beginning) professional and academic.
  • Treat every person with courtesy, and respect regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, social background, disability, sexual preference, or religious beliefs and customs.
  • Be respectful of others’ views and opinions, and sensitive to differences.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate the breadth of experience and intellectual resources that people from diverse backgrounds bring to the University. Promote awareness, understanding and acceptance regarding the differences that exist between cultural groups.
  • Share knowledge. Ask and answer questions. Encourage and support your peers. Challenge ideas, without resorting to personal attacks, and allow your own ideas to be challenged.
  • Be aware of the impact your posts can have on others.

Purpose and content of posts

  • Discussion boards can be used for a variety of different purposes as part of your course. Refer to your course outline for expectations on the specific content of posts.
  • Should your posts directly respond to weekly course tasks? Do your posts form part of an assessment task? If so, refer to the course outline or assessment task rubric for guidelines on standards and criteria.
  • A discussion board is public, visible to course staff and fellow students. Unrelated topics, personal communication, or extended 1-1 conversations don’t belong on the discussion board.
  • Stay on topic, or start (or request) another thread. If appropriate, send a private message or email instead. If there is something you want to say that you’re not sure is suitable for public display, then don’t post it.
  • Be concise. Encourage others to read your posts by making them brief and to the point. Posts are usually longer than a single line of text – but shouldn’t be longer than necessary to communicate the essentials. Refer to your course outline for direction on expectations regarding the word length of posts and other communication guidelines.
  • Think about the reader. Change the subject line when replying to reflect the content of your post. (Why should others want to read this post, what new information have you contributed?) In your posts, try summarizing or quoting the specific content or idea to which you are responding.
  • Do your homework. Read other contributions before you post, so you’re not repeating the same ideas when the conversation has already moved on.
  • Add value to the conversation. Don’t just agree or disagree, but consider what will your post add to the discussion? Edit out irrelevant information.
  • Don’t necessarily respond immediately to other posts (especially if you are in a hurry, frustrated or annoyed). Take some time to reflect on the conversation, research, prepare and review your posts.
  • Where next? Will your comments discourage further conversation or help it to move forward? Don’t be judgmental or simply dismiss other people’s ideas. Do offer criticisms and challenges. Refrain from inappropriate language and derogatory or personal attacks. Never insult, demean, harass or embarrass others.

Composing a post – language and style

Always avoid the use of terms and language that could be seen as offensive to other participants. Remember that racial harassment can be understood to include verbal or written racial slurs, epithets, jokes, comments or terms; or repeated remarks to a person that contain racial, derogatory or demeaning implications. (The term 'racism' refers to discriminatory attitudes, beliefs, behaviour, distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences that are based on presumptions about a group or person's ‘race’.)

Consider the following:

  • What is the appropriate language and “tone” for this course/thread/post? Refer to your course outline or assessment task rubric for specific guidelines on appropriate interaction and style.
  • Humour and sarcasm can be misinterpreted without the usual visual and aural cues of conversation. Try reading your post aloud to yourself or someone else before you submit.
  • Always use standard spelling, capitalization of words, punctuation, and grammar. Avoid using texting abbreviations OR WRITING IN CAPITALS.
  • The University’s guidelines on academic integrity, copyright and plagiarism still apply to electronic discussion boards. If you use someone else's ideas, cite them appropriately. Always provide links and references to materials that you have used.

Before pressing submit

  • Read and read again – Check spelling and grammar.
  • Don’t post anything you wouldn’t say to your reader’s face in a public forum.

If you would like to know more about how to use the post editor please see the Editing Tools help.

Online Moderation

University Program and Course staff are responsible for monitoring and facilitating the academic goals of activities such as online discussion forums, while ensuring that participants are abiding by the netiquette guidelines for ethical, courteous and respectful behaviour.

A staff member may be an active participant of an online discussion board or forum (using posts to add comments, answer or pose questions, suggest new topics for discussion or to correct misinformation). At other times, course staff may take a less visible role, taking a back seat to student discussion and collaborative activities.

In either case, a course staff member will act as a moderator, to ensure that discussion meets the University’s Code of Conduct for Students and Guidelines for Students on Use of IT Facilities.

The role of the moderator is to:

  • Hide or delete posts that are in breach of the University’s Guidelines for Students on Use of IT Facilities, including any material that is in breach of copyright, infringes on the privacy of others, is libellous or defamatory, or otherwise likely to hurt others and affront relevant community standards of debate and dialogue.
  • Inform discussion board participants that such statements are not permitted.
  • Promptly investigate and respond to complaints.
  • Model good behaviour for students as to the appropriate style of interchange and discussion.
  • Encourage all those who post to the discussion board to demonstrate that they understand and abide by the conventions of respectful and robust public dialogue, debate and critique.

Inappropriate behaviour and its consequences

The University has a duty of care to ensure a safe learning environment for all members of the University community, including the online learning environment such as discussion boards and forums. The University is obliged to take immediate action where a student’s behaviour is inappropriate or interferes with the freedom of another member of the University community in pursuing their studies, research, academic or professional duties, or University life.

Where a breach of the University’s policies and procedures also breaches the law, the University will report the criminal activity to the police.

Full details are included in the Code of Conduct for Students.


What is Academic Integrity?, University of SA,

‘Forums’, Activities  - Student help, University of SA,

Carter, S & Birbeck, D How to Use Discussion Boards: For Students, University of South Australia,

Shea, Virginia, 1994 Netiquette, Albion Books

University Policies and Guidelines

‘Academic Integrity, in Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual (Section 9)

Code of Conduct for Students

Guidelines for Students on Use of IT Facilities,


This Netiquette guide has been adapted from the following resources:

Compiled by Dr Ruth Fazakerley for DIV EASS. Revised by Dr Stuart Dinmore LTU 2014.


A Glossary is used to create and maintain a list of definitions like a dictionary.

View a Glossary

Select Glossary

  • Select to open the Glossary from your course page.

Search, browse tabs, or browse by alphabet

You can view the glossary using

A)  Search function  
B)  Browse tabs, or
C)  Browse by alphabet

Add or edit an entry

Add new entry

  • Select Add a new entry

Fill in details

1) Enter a word to be defined
 Enter the words definition 
 Enter associated keywords 
 Drag to upload a file
5) Select Save changes


A)  Entry is shown
B)  Delete the entry
C)  Edit the entry


A lesson is a series of web pages normally ending with a question.  To advance to the next screen you answer the question and your choices determine the flow of the lesson.

Complete a Lesson

select lesson

  • Select the Lesson on your course page

lesson features

A)  Points earned.
B)  Links to jump ahead will be shown here.
C)  Lesson text or question
D)  Answer options
E)  Submit answer button
F)  Progress bar
Note: Some features may not be enabled in every Lesson.


Online quizzes are sets of questions that can take a variety of forms and may be designed for a number of purposes:

  • to help you focus on key aspects of a certain topic
  • to test your knowledge and understanding of a topic
  • as part of the assessment schedule of a course

In some quizzes the questions and answers may be shuffled for each student and it is also possible that questions are randomly taken from a database, so that no-one will have exactly the same quiz. These features can come combined with a floating timer that limits your access to the quiz, as well as with password unlocking.

Question Types

The different question types are:

True/False questions display a statement and ask you to decide whether that statement is true or false.



Multiple Choice questions ask you to select the circle adjacent to the answer you consider to be most correct.
Note: When more than one answer is allowed select the check boxes instead.

Multiple Choice


Essay questions require a free-text answer.



Matching questions require you to match answers from two list together.



Short answer questions provides spaces for you to provide possible answers.

Short Answer


Numerical questions require a numerical answer.



Continue or re-attempt a quiz

Where quiz settings selected by your Course Coordinator permits you may be able to either:


Select a Quiz

  • Select the link to the Quiz on the course site.


Continue a quiz

Continue last attempt

  • Select Continue the last attempt.


Re-attempt a quiz

Re-attempt quiz

  • Select Re-attempt quiz.


View Results

If enabled by your Course Coordinator you may be able to view the results of your quiz attempt.

Select a Quiz

  • Select the link to the Quiz on the course site.


Select your mark

  • Select the numerical value for the mark awarded.


Review attempt

     A)  Information regarding your attempt at the quiz.
     B)  Choose either page numbers or
Select Show all questions on one page


Review summary

     A)  Feedback on each question.
     B)  Finish review.

Answer a quiz

Select a Quiz

  • Select the link to the Quiz on the course site.


Select Attempt Quiz now

  • Select Attempt quiz now.


Answer each question

A) Select your answer
B) Select Next
C) Change questions by selecting the number
D) Selecting finish attempt will take you to the quiz summary.


Attempt Summary

A) Return to a question
B) Confirm that you have answered all questions
C) Select Submit all and finish to submit your quiz answers.


  • Select Submit all and finish on the confirmation screen


A wiki is a type of Web site that allows students to collaborate on writing projects by contributing to a single online document.  The best known wiki is Wikipedia

The first page can act like the table of contents or home page of a website. This is a wiki page, so it can be edited by students.  The wiki will grow as students add more pages and anyone who can edit the wiki can add new pages.

Here is a 7 minute video from engineering showing basic editing as a student.

A key principle is that pages on a wiki should be linked together in some way.  In order to ensure this happens, you have to create a link to the new page before you can create the new page itself.

Be careful about titles - once a page has been created, the title can't be changed.

Wiki Structure

 Wiki Structure

    A) View the current page
    B) Edit 
the current page
    C) View and create a comment on the current page
    D) History of changes to the current page
    E) View a Map of all the pages in the wiki
    F) View Files on the wiki
    G) Create a New page.
    H) Title of the current page
    I) Content on the current page
    J) Link to other page

Add a page

Select New

  • Select New

Enter title

  1. Enter a Title
  2. Select Create page

Enter content and tags

  1. Enter any content you wish the page to have
  2. Enter any Tags you wish the page to be associated with
  3. Select Save

[["page name goes here"]] denotes a new page

  • Putting text inside of two square brackets [[    ]] like above, will also create a new page and link to it, once the content is saved

Edit a page

Navigate to page and select edit\

  • When you are on the page you wish to make changes to, simply select Edit


Select comments

  • When you are on the page you wish to make a Comment on, simply select Comments

Comments page description

    A) Add a new Comment
Edit an existing comment that you created
    C) Delete an existing comment that you created

Wiki history

Select History

  • Select History

History page explanation

     A) Select versions to compare
     B) Version number
     C) Select to Compare selected versions

Compare page explanation

     A) View version as full page
     B) Restore page to old version
     C) Changes between shown versions are highlighted in green