Sylvia tipped me on using rss to get around the above problem, which I'm using now. Now I wish I had used the rss feed for all the previous SCoPE seminars so I could read them chronologically.
I wonder what features or tools you really appreciate or would appreicate if they existed in supporting online dialogue.
These days good search tools are essential. I used to be a sorter, carefully moving items into their proper places. Now I mostly rely on good search tools. Gmail has sure helped me in that regard, so I appreciate having email subscriptions to forum posts.
Browser tabs is another feature I couldn't live without. I open different threads in different tabs to revisit earlier contributions from participants that are relevant to the new post I'm composing.
Now I'm using wiki together with this discussion. I found that it'd really neat if there were a button that I can push to send any highlighted passage of text to the wiki page automatically. It'd be very similar to the annotation feature we have already in the forum. I think it's a matter of adding that button to the annotation tool. The rationale behind this idea is to collect useful materials for composing a reply/wiki page/paper without interrupting the flow of reading. How do people like this idea?
Another tool that is invaluable is spell check. The Firefox browser provides a spell check (but not grammar check). I also encourage our students to compose their answers in Word so they get the spell check and grammar check capabilities, then copy and paste it into their discussion posting.
If you are using IE, there is a tool called IESpell that works really well for this, too. I'm not sure if it's been updated for IE 7, but the link is at: http://www.iespell.com/.
I hope that helps.
What I was complaning about was the lack of ability to sort all postings by date or reverse date across all discussion topics/thread within a forum. Unfortunately you can't do this except using the rss feature to put all postings into a blog reader.
P.S., just came back from the CADE conference in Winnipeg. I have a lot to catch up in this forum!
That said, I don't find it particularly useful - I sometimes use the sort by date in a particular discussion, but often prefer the fully threaded version - as then you can see what the post was in answer to - especially when people haven't quoted what they've said.
Sorting posts is one of the few things that WebCT does better than Moodle I think - while you can't get RSS / email notification of them (not in Campus 4 anyway - not sure about WebCT Vista), but, you can have all the messages in a course - regardless of which forum/ thread they're in sorted by date, or by author, (and hide those you've already read) - or you can do the same in a particular forum. That's one of its (rather few...) good features.