This tutorial is a crash course on using and setting up a conferencing environment at U-M called C.O.W. -- Conferencing On the Web. It's designed for course conferences, with teachers and students in mind, although the information here applies equally well to other types of conferences.

The tutorial is divided up into two parts: the Participant (student) section and the Fair Witness (instructor or conference administrator) section. The Participant section will step you through everything you need to do to use COW: sign in to conferences; create a personal profile; read topics and conversations; and post messages. The Fair Witness section will show you how to set up your own conference: create conference and topic messages; permit other people to enter your conference; take care of day-to-day business like freezing and thawing conversations. It will also give you tips on how you might want to organize your conference. We recommend that you first do the Participant lesson to become comfortable navigating your way around COW. If you are an instructor, you may then continue to the Fair Witness section to learn how to set up your own conference.

This tutorial assumes several things, among which are the following:

  1. You should be comfortable using Netscape or a compatible WWW browser.
  2. You should have a valid account set up with ITD here at U of M, including a working username (uniqname) and password.

When you are ready to begin, click on one of the links below...