Moodle 3.0, 3.2: Add a Discussion Forum
Applies to: Moodle 3.0, 3.2
Forums are like online message boards. They are used for asynchronous, online discussions. They allow students and instructors to exchange ideas by posting comments as part of a thread.
There are two different types of discussion forum tools in Moodle: Forum and Forum+.
In this article:
By default, forums allow students and instructors to:
- Create new discussions.
- Reply in others’ discussion threads.
- Include images and links in posts.
- Attach documents to posts.
Forums can also be set up so that:
- Discussions can only happen within small student groups, see Use Groups with Forums.
- Instructors can rate student posts, see Rate or Grade a Discussion Forum.
- Instructors can assign a grade for posts (Forum+)
- Instructors can lock discussions after a specific period of time (Forum)
Note: In future versions of Moodle, the Forum+ features will be integrated into the regular Forum tool, and Forum+ (beta) will be retired. Forums created with the Forum+ (beta) tool might not be migrated to new course sites. You may have to manually recreate any forums created with this tool in future versions of Moodle.
Forum+ has most of the features available in the standard Forum. In addition, Forum+ has the ability to set up:
- Anonymous posting
- Allows forums to be completely anonymous, with the option to reveal your identity when replying to a post.
- Private Replies
- Allows private communication in forum replies.
- Bookmark a post, indicating that it needs to be addressed later.
- Mark posts as Substantive to indicate that the posting is significant or relevant to the topic in some way.
- Manual Grading
- Allows grading through the grade book instead of directly rating forum posts.
Only use Forum+ (beta) if you need one of these features.
- Go to the course homepage and click Turn editing on.
- Click Add an activity or resource in the section where you want to add the [item].
- Select Forum or Forum+ (beta) and click Add.
- In the Forum name text box, enter the name of the forum.
- In the Forum Description text box enter a description and instructions for the activity.
- For Forum type, choose one of the following:
- Single simple discussion –The instructor can create only one discussion. This keeps the conversation focused on one topic. Users are allowed to post replies but cannot start new discussion topics.
- Each person posts one discussion – Each person in class can start only one discussion. This forum type can be useful if each student needs to post one question or choose only one topic from a reading. Each discussion can have multiple replies.
- Q and A Forum – Use to present a question and answer format that requires students to post their answers before viewing other student postings. Once a student sends a post, they must wait 15 minutes (the allotted time to edit their own post) before viewing and responding to other posts.
- Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format - Anyone can start a new discussion at any time. Discussion topics are displayed on one page with a snippet of the discussion included.
- Standard forum for general use – Anyone can start a new discussion at any time. Each discussion is on a separate page.
- Select and complete additional options (see Commonly Used Settings below).
- Scroll down and click Save and display.
Use Moodle Help next to each setting for more information.
- Subscription and tracking: Subscription mode - Controls whether emails are sent from the forum when posts are made. Note: Students can also choose through their profile whether they receive an email every time someone posts or whether they receive an email at the end of each day with a compilation of all that day’s posts.
- Optional: Students can choose to subscribe to the forum or not.
- Forced: Everyone is subscribed and cannot unsubscribe (not recommended)
- Auto: Everyone is subscribed initially, but can unsubscribe
- Disabled: subscriptions are not allowed
- Post threshold for blocking - Sets a maximum number of posts allowed for students during a particular time period, e.g., no more than three posts per day.
- Discussion locking - Discussions (in 3.2) can now be locked after a specific period of time. The default is not to be locked. A period from a day to a year may be selected. Instructors can override a locked discussion by posting a reply.
- Ratings - To grade a discussion, select an Aggregate type and Scale. If the scale is numeric, it will be calculated as part of the grade. If the scale is non-numeric, it will not be calculated. To allow only certain posts to be rated, select a date range.
- Restrict access - Select the dates for allowing access. When the activity can't be accessed, you can choose to show it grayed-out, or hide the activity entirely. You can also restrict access according to criteria that you define.