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 included in all topics (you do not need to create it).

Set up a forum

  1. Turn editing on

  2. In the 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 Due date (close) dates. Note that the Allow posts from date will not block students from replying to posts. If you want students to reply during a specific period, use the 'Display period' instead. The 'Display period' settings are located under 'Advanced' when writing or editing a post. Note the Due date will not stop students from posting or replying to discussions. Use the cut-off date to set a hard due date where students will not be able to post or reply to the discussion after the date chosen.

    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

    Timeline block: The 'due date' will show to students in the Timeline block.

  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 section, 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 marking in a forum

There are two ways to mark a forum in FLO:

  • Whole forum grading allows you to mark a student’s entire contribution to a forum as a cohesive whole
  • Ratings allow you to rate individual forum posts and choose how those ratings aggregate to a final score

Whole forum grading
  1. Create or edit a forum and open the Whole forum grading settings

  2. Choose Point or Scale from the Grade menu

  3. Choose Checklist, Marking guide or Rubric from the Grading method menu. For more information about these options, view our resource on setting up a feedback template

  4. Click Save and display

  5. Once you have saved your changes, click on the cog icon in the top right corner of the page, and then select Advanced grading

  6.  On the Advanced grading page, select Define a new grading form from scratch

Rating individual posts

  1. Create or edit a forum and open the Ratings section

  2. Set the Aggregate type
    • Average of ratings (default) – useful if there is more than one post/one marker
    • 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

  3. Set the Scale:
    • 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

  4. 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

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