How to Probe/Follow Up Effectively
Following up with participants is one of the most important abilities of QualBoard. It ensures that participants are aware that someone is actively reading the words that they submit and causes them to feel obligated to submit thoughtful, well-written responses.
Tools for Following-up
1. Notify Participant via Email: This sends an email to the participant with the message you put in the reply and includes a link to log back in to QualBoard. Typically, this is only necessary if you do not expect the participant to login to the board for another session (when they log in, their "Project Alerts" will tell them how many unread followups remain).
Try to only use the Notify feature sparingly and when absolutely necessary. We find that when this feature is overused, participants begin ignoring your emails.
2. Canned Responses: You can store a variety of commonly used statements like "Thanks for coming," "Please tell me more about that subject," or instructions to participants. This makes it easy to select repetitive pieces of text.
3. Submit Reply vs Submit Private Followup: When you submit your probe, it follows the same masking rules of the original question. For example, if participants can see each other's posts, then they can also see each other's probes. If the conversation is public, then clicking Submit Private Followup will ensure that your probe is hidden from the other participants.
When the participants login to QualBoard, they will see a video on their dashboard that shows them how to navigate through the discussion, how to reply to posts and questions, and it directs them to the Project Alerts area a source of direction for both their Unanswered Questions and their Unread Followups. When they are logged in, they can click on either of these links to be taken to the earliest Unanswered Question or Unread Followup in the discussion.
Note: The participant does NOT have to answer an Unread Followup. Once the moderator follow-up has been on their screen for 10 seconds it will be removed from their Unread Followup count. This is to allow for instances in which moderators say "Hello" or simply reply with positive reinforcement as opposed to actually probing the participant with a question.