Internet forum

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Internet forum

A website that provides an online exchange of information between people about a particular topic. It provides a venue for questions and answers and may be monitored to keep the content appropriate. Also called a "discussion board" or "discussion group," an Internet forum is similar to an Internet newsgroup (see below), but uses the Web browser for access. Before the Web, text-only forums were common on bulletin boards and proprietary online services. However, Internet forums include all the extras people expect from the Web, including images, videos, downloads and links, sometimes functioning as a mini-portal on the topic.

Forums can be entirely anonymous or require registration with username and password. Messages may be displayed in chronological order of posting or in question-answer order where all related answers are displayed under the question (see message thread).

Forums/Newsgroups vs. Chat Rooms
Forums are like Usenet "newsgroups," the original Internet discussion groups, and both systems keep postings online for some period of time. Users can scroll back in time and do not have to be logged in the moment they are posted. In contrast, chat rooms are interactive, real-time sessions, and users must be present to read them. See newsgroup and chat room.

Turn a Site into a Forum
There is a variety of forum creation software for the Web, typically written in Java, PHP, Perl or ASP. The software can be used to create forum-only sites or to add a discussion section to any Web page. See Google Groups and Reddit.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Each type of prompt was presented in the discussion board for student response.
"The discussion board is one of our most important tools to allow our consultants to pitch in on questions and get answers from fellow franchisees with the same 'feet on the street'," said Schooley Mitchell President Beth McMillan.
"I felt quite relieved and decided to put a post on Earley Residents Discussion Board. I got a really good response and loads of positive comments. This is an active discussion board managed by AICPA staff.
To foster further interaction, Seelig assigned the students who were more active to become part of the teaching team and had them sift through and respond to the thousands of comments on the discussion board.
Email summaries are also sent when comments are made on the discussion board.
In recent interviews with experienced online faculty, Meyer and McNeal (2011) and Meyer (in press) found that faculty had developed myriad uses for the simple discussion board. One faculty person had used the discussion board as a blog, where one person could post his or her learning insights or a group of students could reflect on what was learned during group projects.
Scholars of distance pedagogy have devoted considerable attention to best practice for student and instructor interaction on asynchronous discussion board (Jahng, Nielsen, & Chan, 2010; LaPointe & Gunawardena, 2004; Mazzolini & Maddison, 2002; Swan, 2002), because it is prevalent in online courses (Drouin, 2008; Woods, 2002).
Blaylock present the findings of a study comparing face-to-face and discussion board communication rates.
Yet they are not granted the freedom to differ from the position quoted above on a publicly funded discussion board. This appears to be intended to give the impression that there are no other voices.