The forum activity module enables participants to have asynchronous discussions i.e. discussions that take place over an extended period of time. To add a new forum:
- Turn editing on in the upper right hand corner of your course page
- Select ‘Add an activity or resource’ in the section where you would like to add the forum
- Select ‘Forum’ from the list of activities in the pop up that appears’
- Give the forum a name (what students will see on the main page of your Moodle course to get to the forum) and a description (this is a good place to outline your expectations for how the forum is used, whether it’s posting writing drafts, responding to readings, or even sharing images of your workspaces).
- Next, choose the type of forum; the default option is Standard forum for general use, which allows a lot of flexibility in how you and your students utilize the forum:
- A single simple discussion – A single discussion topic which everyone can reply to (cannot be used with separate groups)
- Each person posts one discussion – Each student can post exactly one new discussion topic, which everyone can then reply to
- Q and A forum – Students must first post their perspectives before viewing other students’ posts
- Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format – An open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time, and in which discussion topics are displayed on one page with “Discuss this topic” links
- Standard forum for general use – An open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time
A teacher can allow files to be attached to forum posts. Attached images are displayed in the forum post.
Participants can subscribe to a forum to receive notifications of new forum posts. A teacher can set the subscription mode to optional, forced or auto, or prevent subscription completely. If required, students can be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a given time period; this can prevent individuals from dominating discussions.
Forum posts can be rated by teachers or students (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the gradebook.
Forums have many uses, such as
- A social space for students to get to know each other
- For course announcements (using a news forum with forced subscription)
- For discussing course content or reading materials
- For continuing online an issue raised previously in a face-to-face session
- For teacher-only discussions (using a hidden forum)
- A help centre where tutors and students can give advice
- A one-on-one support area for private student-teacher communications (using a forum with separate groups and with one student per group)
Once a forum is created, students will see the option to ‘Start a New Discussion’ (you’ll also see this when you click into the forum). Students can also reply to each others’ posts. Please note: by default, students have a 5 minute window to edit their posts after submitting them.
You can also change your preferences in Moodle to select how you receive email notifications for forums you are subscribed to.