University of Birmingham


Introduction to WebCT

Before you start to access any online material, you will need to familiarise yourself with WebCT. The information below explains how to find your way around WebCT's various screens and how to use some of the tools that your tutors may have made available.

My WebCT

The first page displayed when you log in is called My WebCT. Below the logo bar and the toolbar are a series of rectangular areas called channels.

My WebCT

Some channels, like the Calendar Day, To Do List and Personal Bookmarks, can be modified to suit your individual needs. The Course List channel displays a list of all the WebCT sections to which you have access. This list is specific to you. The list will appear similar to the one below:

Course List

To access a WebCT section, simply click on its title. Icons underneath the course details indicate new information, such as new mail and discussion postings.

Using a Learning Module

On entering a Learning Module, you are presented with a table of contents. Clicking on a link will display the corresponding page of content. An action menu appears at the top of each page of content. These buttons enable you to bookmark the current page, create a printable view of one or more pages, edit a note for the page, retrace your path, go to the previous page and go to the next page.

Using Threaded Discussion Topics

Many courses make use of WebCT's Discussions tool, which allows you to engage in an ongoing dialogue with staff and other students. The Discussion tool is divided into topics (which may be grouped into categories). There are also three types of discussion topics: threaded, blog and journal. When the course toolbar is used to access discussions, a full list of topics (and categories) is shown. However, all other icons and links to discussions will lead directly to a topic.

Messages in a threaded topic can have different subject titles identifying sub-themes. A list of messages can be displayed either unthreaded, as a simple list, or threaded where messages are shown grouped by subject and with replies indented from earlier messages. Threaded view is designed to show the progress of a dialogue. In threaded view, click the '+' icon to expand and collapse a thread.

Message Topic List

To view a message, click its subject title. Alternatively, you can click the thread button to display a compilation of all messages with the same subject title.

Discussion Message

Click the Reply button to post a response to a message. A new thread can be started by clicking 'Create message' when viewing a topic.