I incorporate WebBoard into my classes as well. There will be days when the class does not meet but each student needs to post a significant answer to questions I post to the class WebBoard dealing with the major themes of the unit we are covering at that time.

The main reason I use this software -- and I only do this about 4 or 5 times per semester -- is to provide those students who do not feel easy speaking out in class a way to be able to see and respond to. I hold WebBoard days as an attendance requirement so that every student has to take part and complete the assignment. The most common assignment I post to the class WebBoard will be to ask the students to respond at some length (a couple of paragraphs or so) to a selection of readings we discussed in class, providing quotes from the readings to support their idea of what the authors were trying to say and their response to those authors. Feedback on these assignments has been almost universally positive. In addition to making my students think critically, student responses are favorable towards the WebBoard because the software allows them to have a freer format to the class. Other comments have convinced me that students are helped in developing some basic technology skills and are forced to become more responsible for their time. The largest obstacle I have to these assignments is that some students just are not comfortable using the software. To combat this obstacle, I spend one day during the first week of class in the lab with my students allowing them to work with the WebBoard and have a sample assignment that day where they have to post some background information on themselves, such as what their major is, what history classes they have taken in the past, etc. When the actual assignments during the course of the semester are done, I post the question I want students to respond to a week in advance and then the students have the remainder of that week (up until when class would normally be done that day) to post their individual responses. If they do not get their postings done on time, I make the board read only. Students are aware they have that week but no longer to complete their responses.