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Create a Forum Activity

Forum activities are generally used to create an online discussion place.

Enter your course and turn editing on.

Scroll to the section you want to add a forum to.

Click the corresponding Add an activity or resource link.

There are two types of forums you can choose from:

  • Forum – Default Moodle forums.
    • Clicking on a student’s picture will bring you to their course level profile which teachers and other students can see more details like email and any other information a student has chosen to make public in their profile.
  • Open Forum – previously called Advanced Forums or Moodlerooms Forums, these forums can do everything that a default Moodle forum can do as well as:
    • Allow for display of most recent posts to forum from main course page.
    • Allow the teacher to respond to a student’s post privately.
    • Allow students to post anonymously.

Once you’ve picked the Forum type of your choosing, click the Add button.

Set up the basics for your forum under the General section:

  • Set the Forum name
  • Enter a Description – we suggest putting directions, due dates, examples and grading information here.
  • Determine whether or not to Display description on page – if your above Description is rather long then this is probably not ideal.
  • Determine whether or not to Display recent posts on course page (Open forum only) – this will display the name, avatar, Discussion title, and time of posting of the most recent 5 posts made to this forum once folks have started posting.

Also under the General section we’ll need to choose a Forum type from one of five options:

  • A single simple discussion (DEFAULT)
    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
    For more information about this forum type see this article on Q and A forums
  • 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

OPTIONAL: if you’ve chosen a Open forum you should expand the Post options section and check of the desired settings: 

  •  – If enabled, forum posts can be bookmarked.
  • Allow private replies – With this feature, instructors can send a private reply to a forum post. This reply is only viewable by the student that made the original post or reply and invisible to the rest of the students.
  •  – If checked, then the author’s name for each post will be suppressed when viewing the forum.
    NOTE: This will default to students posting anonymously but will allow for any to opt-in to sharing their identity on each post. Rating style and rubric grades can still be applied to these posts.
  •  – This setting specifies whether the word count of each post should be displayed or not.
    NOTE: This will display the word count after the post is submitted.

By default, forums will be set for Optional Subscription which means students must opt in to get emails about new posts to a forum. 

If you want to change this you can expand the Subscription section and change the Subscription mode to your desired setting.

NOTE: To find out more about Subscriptions in Moodle for students and staff see our Managing Forum Subscriptions article.

Expand both the Grade and Ratings sections and choose how you want to set up how this forum will be graded:

OPTION 1:
Same Page Grading (Ratings)

  1. If applicable, set a Grade category to control where in your grade book this forum is applied.
    NOTE: To learn more about the grade book and categories see our article on Moodle Gradebook Construction.
  2. Under Ratings, set the Aggregate type, we suggest Sum of Ratings as it will total all given ratings a student has up to the points possible (extra credit will not happen here)
  3. Set the Maximum grade value to the numerical Point value that you want this forum worth.

OPTION 2: 
Overview of Forum Activity (Whole Forum Grading)

  1. If applicable, set a Grade category to control where in your grade book this forum is applied.
    NOTE: To learn more about the grade book and categories see our article on Moodle Gradebook Construction.
  2. Under Whole Forum Grading, set the Type, we suggest Point
  3. Set the Maximum grade value to the numerical Point value that you want this forum worth (extra credit will not happen here.)
  4. OPTIONAL: Change the value of Grading method to Rubric if you’d like to grade forums with a rubric.

OPTION 3: 
Manual Gradebook Entry

  1. If applicable, set a Grade category to control where in your grade book this forum is applied.
    NOTE: To learn more about the grade book and categories see our article on Moodle Gradebook Construction.
  2. Set the Grade type to Manual
  3. Set the Maximum grade value to the numerical Point value that you want this forum worth.
  4. Set Grading method to Simple direct grading.

Grade Forum posts directly in the gradebook via the Single View.

OPTION 4:
No Grade/Not in Gradebook

  1. Set Grade type to None
  2. Under Ratings, set the Aggregate type to No Ratings

No grading is required.

OPTIONAL: if you want to disallow late work you can set the Restrict ratings to items with dates in this range setting.

  • This will NOT prevent students from posting after forum posts are due.
  • It will prevent the grader from applying Ratings to posts made outside of this time range.

Scroll to the bottom of the page.

Click the Save and display button to look over your new (Open) forum and ensure things look as expected.

 

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