Forum Activity

This article demonstrates how to add a Forum Activity to your course.

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Introduction to the Forum Activity

The Forum module allows learners and trainers to have discussions that can take place over an extended period of time. 

Learners and trainers can subscribe to a forum to be notified of new forum posts. A trainer can set the subscription mode to optional, forced, or auto, or even prevent subscription completely. If necessary, leaners can also be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a specified period of time; this can prevent individuals from dominating discussions.

Forum posts can be rated by trainers or learners (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade, which is recorded in the gradebook.

Forums can be a convenient addition to any type of course, and can provide a variety of uses. It can be used as a social space for students and groups to get to know one another. It can also be used to discuss a variety of course topics, such as course content or reading materials, or any new course announcements. 

Through using hidden groups, forums can also be used by trainers to communicate with one another, or to provide a support area for private student-teacher communications. 

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Types of Forums

There are several forum types to choose from, such as:

Standard Forum: A forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time. This forum type cannot be used with separate groups.

One New Discussion Form: A forum where each learner can post exactly one new discussion topic, which everyone can then reply to.

Q&A Forum: A forum where learners must first post their perspectives before viewing other learners' posts.

Standard Forum (Blog 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 (General Use): An open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time. 

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Creating a Forum Activity

To add a Forum module to your course page:

1.  On your desired course homepage, click the Turn Editing On button.

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2.  Create or select an appropriate Activity block, and click the 'Add an activity or resource' link.

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3.  Select the Forum option from the Activity section and click Add at the bottom of the page. 

4.  Expand the General section.

 In the Name field, enter an appropriate name for your forum.

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Using the Forum Type drop-down menu, select your desired forum type.

5.  Expand the Subscription and Tracking section:

Using the Subscription Mode drop-down menu, select an appropriate subscription preference. 

Optional Subscription: Learners can choose whether to be subscribed.

Forced Subscription: Every member of the forum is automatically subscribed, and cannot unsubscribe.

Auto Subscription: Every member of the forum is initially subscribed, but can choose to unsubscribe at any time.

Subscription Disabled: Subscriptions are not allowed for learners, although trainers can still subscribe.

Using the Read Tracking drop-down menu, select whether or not learners can track read and unread subscription posts. 

8.  Expand the Restrict Access section. If necessary, select an appropriate category to restrict your forum by, and configure its corresponding settings.

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Configuring the Restrict Access section can help direct learning in your course.

For example, you can restrict activities to ensure that learners complete 'prerequisite' activities beforehand.

You can also restrict resources based on passing grades, so that learners who did not pass a certain quiz or assignment can receive extra resources.

9.  Configure the following settings under the Activity Completion section:

Using the Completion Tracking drop-down menu, select how the completion of your forum activity is tracked.

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You can also enable and enter post, discussion, and reply requirements for your users to fulfill. 

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10.  Once you are complete, click either Save and Return to Course or Save and Display at the bottom of the page.

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