Career Step’s Online Community: Using the Forums
In the absence of a traditional classroom, Career Step’s Online Community site is one of the best resources available to our student and alumni population. In this 2-part series, I will cover some of the main features of the community and how to make the most of them.
If you’re not familiar with our online community, it has been around for over 10 years and provides a place for students and graduates to gather to discuss anything from the coursework to employment to the shocking conclusion of your favorite TV show. The community is private and moderated by approachable and fair moderators who strive to ensure that all students and graduates have a safe and enjoyable experience in the site. Let’s dive into talking about the forums.
What are forums?
Forums are similar in concept to bulletin boards. You can post a topic and then other members can respond to that topic. Forums are not typically a “real-time” communication method. You will post your topic and then come back later to see if someone has responded. Career Step’s forums are organized by subject, called a category, and then further broken down inside the category to specific areas such as students, graduates, resources, etc.
How do you use Career Step’s forums?
Let’s discuss the basic steps to use the forums. The first step is to log in to the community site at http://community.careerstep.com. If you do not yet have an account, you can sign up for one pretty quickly. Just click on Sign Up on the login screen. If you have an account, just log in.
Once logged in, you should see the community menu:
Click on the Forums button to be brought to the forum category page. Click the category you’d like to access and you should see a list of all forums within that category. Click the forum you’d like to enter. Once you’re inside the forum you’d like to be, start exploring the topics. You can read any topic (also called a thread) by clicking on the name of it or the arrow next to it.
If you’d like to reply to a thread, click the Post Reply button at the bottom of the thread you’re in:
If you want to start a new topic in that forum, click on the Post New Topic button on the top right side of the forum:
How do you make the most of the forums?
The forums really take the place of normal interactions students would have in classrooms. Use them to connect with other students in your program and with graduates of your program. You have the unique opportunity to be a part of a worldwide classroom of students. Many great and lasting friendships have formed in our community between members. Don’t be afraid to dive in, ask questions, help each other out, and provide support.
Many students don’t realize that our community has been alive for over 10 years. Because of this, there is a wealth of information that already exists. Even if you don’t want to participate actively in the community, you can use it like a database of information. You can click on the Search button in the community menu to find any threads that discuss the words or phrases you type in. Oftentimes the questions you have are the same questions other students before you have had, and there are great threads of advice that already exist in the community. Play around with that Search tool and get comfortable with it. That tool can really help you to find just about anything in the community.
We hope this information helps introduce you to our community forums. In the next installment, we’ll discuss using the community’s Chat Events and Chat Rooms, as well as proper chat room etiquette to make the most of them. Onward and upward!