Many instructors have requested a step-by-step guide that outlines how to set up CN Post and begin engaging students. In response, we prepared this article. You can successfully engage your students in CN Post by following these simple steps:
STEP1: Select A Course Category
When you first enter the CN Post page of your course, you will be prompted to select a course category. CN will automatically connect your course with other courses that belong to the same category. You can add multiple categories.
Note: You can always modify the course category from Settings tab by clicking on Global Class Settings on the left menu.
If you want to connect your course to specific courses, you and the instructors of the other courses should select “Other” and define a unique course category.
STEP2: Select A Pre-defined Post Visibility Setting (optional)
By default, there is no pre-defined post visibility setting. Students must select a visibility setting for each of their post.
You may go to "Post Settings" from the left menu, select a default post visibility setting for your class.
This way, your students won't need to select a post visibility setting each time. However, they can still change the default setting on specific posts if they want to.
STEP3: Define Discussion Topics
We cannot emphasize the importance of using hashtags in a social learning environment. Encourage your students to use hashtags to label their posts, polls and events. As a course instructor, you'll want to define a few course discussion topics, and you can gradually add more as the course progresses.
Hint: When defining discussion topics, you don’t need to include the hashtag (#) in front of the terms. Just simply type each term in and press Enter to save it into a little block. After you submit the entire form, the topics will automatically turn into hashtags.
STEP4: Modify Course Anar Seeds Table and Set up a Course Seeds Goal
You and your students can click the Course Anar icon on the black analytics bar to view the course Anar Seeds table.
As a course instructor, you can modify this table and set up a course Anar Seeds goal from the left menu.
Hint: You don't have to edit the default Anar Seeds table. If you are going to make modifications, we do not suggest major changes. We encourage slight adjustments on seeds allocation and modifications on the minimum word count for creating posts and reflections.
200-300 seeds is a good start to test an Anar Seed goal and set up for your course. If you want to create an assignment in your LMS (Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, etc) and let CN send seed-based points back to your LMS’ Grade book, please check the following guides:
Guide for Canvas: https://support.thecn.com/hc/en-us/articles/235467027
Guide for Moodle: https://support.thecn.com/hc/en-us/articles/235466887
Guide for Blackboard:https://support.thecn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003568227
STEP5: Create A Few Starter Posts
For example, create a welcome post where you clarify the rules of posting in CN, share CN help materials, and encourage students to complete their CN Portfolio and create a post.
You can also create a poll to survey students’ learning backgrounds and help them get to know their peers.
Create the first course-topic related post to give your students post ideas.
Hint: Discussion in CN is based around student-centered and informal learning. You don’t have to (we also do not recommend that you) apply a sophisticated discussion structure and monitor every single post.
STEP6: Give Students Badges and Recommendations/Compliments (optional)
When students begin posting, you may browse their content as your time permits (you can use the CN mobile app), rate their posts, make comments and, more importantly, award them badges and give them recommendations/compliments. You can award a student a badge in less than 4 seconds. Writing a recommendation/compliment takes only two clicks.
You can award badges and give recommendations/compliments on post:
You can award badges and give recommendations/compliments from the Course Roster page:
You can also go to the Badges page from the left menu to use advanced badge-awarding methods.
Continue Reading: Pedagogical Tips to Engage Students in Social Based Online Discussion