Forum / Announcements - create a discussion forum

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forum iconThis entry relates to the Forum activity.

You can create a discussion forum in any topic module. Note: The Announcements forum is in all topics, in Module 0 (you do not need to create it).

Set up a forum

  1. In the topic, click Turn editing on

  2. In the week/module where you want to add the forum, click Add an activity or resource 
    Add an activity or resource

  3. Select Forum and click Add

  4. Give the forum a Name and Description

  5. Select Forum type from the drop-down menu:
    • 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. For students to be able to post to a Q and A forum, a teacher must first post a question for students to respond to
    • 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
      forum type

  6. Enable Availability (if required). If enabled, students will retain their ability to view the forum outside of the dates supplied, but will be prevented from further posting. Choose the Allow posts from (open) and Allow posts until (close) dates. You can also set a date time for an individual forum to show/hide in the Display period section of a forum post

  7. availability

  8. In the Attachments and word count option, select Yes to enable (if required), and set a maximum number of attachments and the size
    word count

  9. In the Subscription and tracking, set the subscription mode and the read tracking (optional or off)
    subscription tracking

  10. In the discussion locking section, you can automatically lock a discussion after a specified time has elapsed since the last reply
    discussion locking

  11. If required, students can be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a given time period. This restriction can prevent individuals from dominating discussions
    block threshold

  12. Select an Aggregate type for the forum to appear in the Gradebook. If 'No ratings' is selected the activity will not appear in the Gradebook
    rating aggregrate type
    Ratings can be restricted to items within a selected date range, select your aggregate type and tick the Restrict ratings to items with dates in this range: and select the date range.

  13. Group mode can be selected in Common module settings

  14. Click Save and display

Set up ratings in a forum

One way to assess forum posts is to rate them. You can set up a forum so that only teachers can rate posts or so that students can also rate posts through the Roles with permission to rate option.

If you set up forums for rating, the forum item will automatically appear in the Gradebook. Otherwise, if you want to assess the forum you will need to manually add it to the Gradebook.

  1. Click on the forum

  2. In the Forum administration section> Edit settings, or click on the cog (edit) edit cog icon next to the forum link

  3. In the next screen, scroll down and open the Ratings section  ratings tab

  4. Check the Roles with permission to rate list. If you want students to rate posts, you will need to add Student to this list. To do this, contact your eLearning support team

  5. Set the Aggregate type
    • Average of ratings (default) – useful if there is more than one post/one marker
    • Other options:
      Count of ratings: The number of rated items becomes the final grade. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity 
      Maximum rating: The highest rating becomes the final grade;
      Minimum rating: The lowest rating becomes the final grade
      Sum of ratings: All ratings are added together. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity

  6. Set the Scale Type:
    • if set to Scale, the Scale will automatically be set to Non-graded pass so no Maximum points can be set
    • if set to Point, you can set the Maximum points (default is 100)
      Note: You can leave the default at 100, as if you set the weighting of the final grade for this assessment in Gradebook, the grade will be automatically scaled down

  7. If you tick the box Restrict ratings to items with dates in this range: you will need to set the dates
    • From: The date and time that ratings can begin being submitted – this could be a few days before the forum closes
    • To: The date and time that ratings will no longer be accepted – this could be the forum close date
      forum ratings

  8. To set up what the forum assessment is worth, in the gradebook (Administration block > Grades), go to the Setup tab

  9. Look for the forum assessment item (because you have set up ratings, it should automatically be added to the gradebook), and  'Weighted mean of grades' is the default. The Weight column becomes editable, so set this to whatever the forum assessment is worth as an overall percentage of topic assessment. In this example, the forum is worth 15% of all assessment items. The maximum grade should be set to whatever you chose for Maximum rating in step 5 above
    gradebook setup

Create separate discussion forums for groups in a topic

First you will need to create groups and groupings in your topic. You will also need to organise the groups into a grouping

  1. In the topic, click Turn editing on 

  2. In the week/module where you want to create the forum, click Add an activity or resource  

  3. Select Forum and click Add
  4. Give the forum a Name and Description
  5. Complete the required fields

  6. Under Common module settings, change Group mode to Separate groups to give each group their own private forum, or Visible groups to create a forum for each group and allow other groups to view (but not post to)
    Common module settings

    forum - group mode

  7. Change the Grouping setting to be the grouping containing the groups you want to use for the forum
    grouping name
  8. Click Save and display

» How-to glossary