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Home Info for universities, colleges & schools News Members' Forums Improvements to Forum

Improvements to Members' Forums

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Welcome to the UKCISA members’ forums.  This discussion board allows you to share information with other members in an easily accessible format on the subjects that interest you most. It is also how you can alert UKCISA to important issues. This page explains how you can get the most out of using our forums and about the changes introduced in August 2014.  If you are new to using the forum, the information below will also be very useful.

Please Log in!

You must log in to use the forum.  If you have already registered for the UKCISA website, we encourage you to simply log in at the start of each day and make it part of your routine. 
If you have never registered on the website before, click on the ‘log in’ button at the top right hand of any page and follow the instructions.  You will be asked for your personal details and you can then set up your own password.

What’s different in the August 2014 version?



The main changes that we have made are:

  • We have reduced the number of categories you subscribe to. This will make it easier to follow discussions and to choose which discussions to post to.
  • We have amended the headings to make it clearer:
    • You subscribe to a ‘category’. Only two have sub-categories (Immigration and Employment & Work).
    • The ‘topic’ is where you post your message.  

    • A discussion ‘thread’ is a collection of posts about a topic.
  • We have made the useful features more prominent.  The search function is easier to see and we have added a quick link to the most recent posts – see the box at the top called ‘What’s New?’.  If you log in and go straight to What’s New – you can catch up on all the conversations that have happened since you last visited.  This way you don’t need to rely on the e-mail alerts.
  • When you subscribe to a category, you automatically receive an email when someone creates a new discussion or posts to a category or thread you are watching.  You will now be able to read the topic of the discussion in the subject of the e-mail.

Questions and Answers on using the forum

Do I need to do anything?

Yes. We have amended the categories so the first time you log in after the changes, please review which categories you are subscribed to and amend your choices. (If you post a message in a category that you are not subscribed to, you will automatically be subscribed).  The screenshots below show where to check your subscriptions and how to subscribe and unsubscribe.

Why do I still have to log in to the forum?


The forum is a protected member’s space and only members can post messages. There are subscribers to UKCISA (for example government departments or other national organisations) who cannot  access the forum.  For this reason, we also advise you not to copy and forward messages outside the forum.

How do I find the information I’m looking for?


As before, you can browse through the discussions inside each category to see what these contain, or you can use the search to look for any posts that mention specific key words.

How can I find previous posts now that the categories have changed?


All the previous discussions are all still there. We have moved them into the condensed categories and you can find them using the search function.

It’s difficult to follow the discussion in the e-mails – have you made that easier?

You receive an e-mail to let you know that someone has posted a new message.  If you read the messages inside the forum, it is much easier to follow discussions.  Remember that the most recent post appears at the end of the thread.

Can I view the contact details of the person posting to the forum in the e-mail?


Sometimes these appear in the body of the message, but most members have added their contact details in their profile so if you read the message in the forum, you will see full contact details there and be able to reply.

How can I mark useful messages so I can refer to them again later?


The easiest thing to do is save the forum post in your bookmarks or use the search function - it works well. (You could save a list of discussion titles that you have found useful to make it easier to search for them later.) This also means that you will be able to read any later communication on the same topic.  

Can I reply off list?


The idea of the forum is to create a space to share information and ideas so as far as possible we encourage you to reply in the forum - but please do not post confidential details or information.  If you are posting a topic that you think is more sensitive and you think members may not wish to discuss on the public forum, you can add your own e-mail address to the text and ask for replies (or you may have added your e-mail address to your signature). If you do this, we would encourage you to report back to the forum later, with responses anonymised.  That way all members can benefit from the information.  

Tips on using the forum

Make the forum part of your routine. We suggest that you log in to the UKCISA website every day and read the forum from there.  You should be able to save your log in and password  to make this quick.  If you do rely on the e-mail alerts, if you are already logged in, the link from the e-mail will take you straight to the message.

Personalise your profile.  Before your first post, it's a good idea to add your details to "My forum profile" so that helpful information such as your signature automatically appears each time you post.  Please make sure that you add a signature, with at least your name, job title and institution, either via the profile, or manually when you post, so that other users know who you are.  Although it’s optional, we encourage you to upload a photo. This helps to enhance a sense of community and might help you network with colleagues at training and other events.  If you don’t want to you use your personal photo, why not use your institution’s logo – if this is permitted?  

  

 

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Use the ‘What’s new’ link to catch up on recent discussions.  
Click on this to see a list of discussions in all the categories.  This is useful if you read the forum regularly and are subscribed to several categories as you can avoid having to click in and out of each one to read the latest discussions.

Add to discussions that have already started.  If you want to add a new post, please first check whether there is a suitable existing discussion to which you can add your query (use the search function).  For example, if there's a previous query about meet and greet programmes, you can add yours to that discussion thread so that other users can find related material in one place. If you want to reply to an existing post, click on the topic title, then use the "reply" button (all other subscribers will receive an e-mail to let them know there is a new post but you won’t).

Start a new discussion
.  If there is no existing discussion to add to, select which category you want to post in, click on ‘add topic’ and post your message.  You will receive a message on screen that your message  has been posted (all other subscribers will receive an e-mail to let them know there is a new post but you won’t)

Avoid multiple postings. 
You will notice that each time someone updates a post, you receive an e-mail alert. This happens even for very minor changes. To avoid members receiving too many e-mails, please double check the details before you post (URL, dates, contact details etc).  If you later notice a minor error (eg spelling), which doesn’t affect the meaning of the message, please just ignore it and only update it if the information has changed.

And a reminder of netiquette on the forum:

Do
be courteous to other forum users - we may suspend you if you are not respectful of other users.

Don't
use the forum inappropriately eg don't share confidential information, especially relating to individuals, and don't use it to advertise a service.  

Don't
use the forums to seek advice.  Please use other UKCISA resources and /or call us on the advice line. Click on the 'how to get advice' box in the forum for a reminder.

Don't
assume that a post has our approval and/or support unless it comes from UKCISA staff, as postings to the forum are not moderated prior to posting.

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