Creating a Moodle Forum

A Moodle forum is an activity/page that lets students and teachers exchange their ideas by posting them (comments) on the forum page. News forums are usually created automatically for every Moodle course and it shows at the top of the home page of the course. Before you create a forum, you will be required to consider the aim of your discussion, in order to come up with a relevant one.

Deciding On The Forum type That You Want

• A Single, Simple Discussion Forum

This type is best suited for a short, precise discussion of a solitary topic. It this forum type, the students will be able to reply to the topic that has been posted. They could also reply to the response of another student. Nevertheless, this type of forum does not allow the students to commence a new discussion topic.

As an instructor, if you try to create extra threads, when the forum is already submitted, the new post will not be shown in the view. But it will be shown on the home page of the course as an ‘Unread Post’. You can use a Standard Forum for copy-pasting the similar discussion topic for every group that is active. However, you can set a restriction, which will block the students from creating new discussions.

You could put up a single, simple discussion for every topic on the home page of your course. This will help to ease the discussion of the topic, for that week.

• Open to Post Forum

This forum lets anyone post a discussion. It is not that free like the Standard Discussion, neither is it as proscribed as the Single, Simple Discussion. Anyone can post just a single discussion topic, though they are free to reply to all the other topics without any restrictions.

You may use an intro Forum on the home page of the course, where the peripheral students can post any introduction and view the introductions of other students. In this category, every student will be allowed to post a thought on the topic of the week, which will be open to other viewers to respond.

• Question and Answer Forum

This is suitable if you have a question and you need every student to give their answers, within the topic/question being discussed. In this type, the students will be required to post a certain response to the question provided prior to viewing the responses of other students.

• Standard Forum: The Blog-style Format

This is similar to the Standard forum, if it is for a common use, nevertheless, it has a different display altogether. The first post of a given topic will be the only thing that will display on the page of the forum. It will appear starting from the most recent, just like in a blog. The users will have to click on ‘Discuss this Topic’, in order to see and join the discussion in progress. The students are not restricted to start their personal discussion thread.

• Standard Forum, for a General use

This is suitable for a detailed discussion that you wish to guide/monitor, for the sake of a social forum, which are led by the students. Every topic and their tallying replies will be displayed at a go. The layout will be selected according to the user’s preference, if none is chosen, the default type is the nested form. Here, students are able to begin their own discussion thread whenever they want.

Creating a Moodle Forum

Once you have decided on the type Moodle Forum that you would use, you will now need to start creating it.

1. Click on Add an Activity/Resource on the Moodle course home page. Then select Forum and click Add.
2. Click on Expand All on the Adding a new Forum page. From the General section, do the following:

  • Insert the name of the Forum
  • Give a Description. The description is expected to contain all the relevant information and stimulus resources that will guide your students on what to post.
  • Select the type of the Forum (as discussed above).

3. From the Attachments and Word Count section, check the following:

  •  The Max attachment size and number of the attachment. This is meant to regulate the size of file/content posted in the forum.
  • Select if you want the word count to Display on every forum post.

4. In the Subscription and Tracking, select the mode of Subscription in from the drop-down menu that shows. If you want the users to select if they want to subscribe to the forum, you will choose the Optional Subscription. But if you want automatic subscription, devoid of unsubscribing, then you will select the Unsubscribe Subscription.

The Forced Subscription is recommended for the News forum, or any created at the start of the course.

  • You can select the Auto Subscription, which auto-subscribe all the available users for a while, but they can unsubscribe later on.
  • If you do not want the subscription option, you can select Subscription Disabled.

Select if you want to allow the users to track the read and unread posts in the forum, from the Read Tracking.

5. From the RSS, choose Posts or Discussions to be entailed in the selected feed, if you want to activate the RSS feed. Then select the RSS recent articles, from either posts or discussion, between 5 and 20.

6. Place the relevant restriction on the forum posts from the Post threshold for blocking. You can either place:

  • Post Threshold for Blocking, which regulates the number of times one can post prior to being blocked from further posting.
  • Time Period blocking controls the time in which the users are allowed to post.
  • Post threshold for warning controls the number of posts that a user can be allowed to post.

7. The other remaining sections will be set according to your preference, then you click on Save and Display.

8. Once you have your new forum, click on Add a new Discussion Topic, then insert the Subject and message. The message can be as a video, text or audio. Your forum is now ready and the topic up for discussion.

The Moodle forum that you decide to use will be determined by the type of discussion you wish to conduct, so consider the discussion target/type prior to choosing the forum.

Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.