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Using Moodle Forums September 9, 2011

Posted by Tournas Dimitrios in Moodle.

Forums are an important communication tool in a Moodle course . These threaded discussion boards allows post and replay messages   between students/teachers and students/students ( interactive communication) .Benefits of Forums could be :

  • Share ideas and encourage critical thinking
  • Learn collaboratively
  • Exposure to a variety of perspectives and diversity of thoughts .
  • Promote cohesion .
  • Immediate feedback to students shows that the instructor is active in their learning .
  • Flexibility and convenience
  • Equal opportunity for all students to participate in discussions ( oftentimes students feel shy or intimidated by dominating personalities )
  • …….

Moodle offers several different types of forums to choose from :

  • Standard forum for general use : an open forum where anyone can start a new topic at any time (multiple threads going on simultaneously) . This is the best general-purpose forum .
  • A single simple discussion : is just a single topic that the instructor  begins , students are not able to start a new topic . Useful for short , focused specific discussions (to stay on topic)
  • News Forum : This is a special form for general announcements and news ( included by default in every course) . A course may only have one News forum . The default setting forces every enrolled person to be subscribed to the News forum so they will receive a copy of each item at their regular email address
  • Each person posts one discussion : Each person can post exactly one new discussion topic , everyone can reply to them though . A good example would be , the instructor initiates a thought by posting an article, video , etc and have each student develop a discussion topic . Benefits of this type of forum : minimal amount of threads may be easier to manage .
  • Q&A forum : this forum requires students to post their perspectives before viewing other students postings .Eliminates copying of ideas , although is can be bypassed , because students have 30 minutes to edit their post  . After the initial posting , students can view and respond to others postings . This feature allows equal initial posting opportunity among all students , thus encouraging original and independent thinking .

Enabling a Forum :

  • Login in your instructor’s account and navigate to your course section .
  • First click “Turn Editing on ” and go to the topic or week section in which you want to create a forum .
  • Click the “Add an Activity ” drop-down menu .
  • Select the “forum”
  • In the “Forum name” box  type in a name for the forum
  • From the “Forum type” drop-box select the type of forum
  • In the “Forum introduction” box type a descriptive text , precise instructions for the students
  • From the “Force everyone to be subscribed” drop-down menu select an option
    a) “NO” means each student can choose whether or not to receive an email copy of every forum post .
    b)”yes , initially ” allows all current and future course users to be subscribed initially  but they can unsubscribe themselves at any time .
    c)”yes , forever” means the forum members will not be able to unsubscribe themselves
    d)”subscriptions not allowed ” prevents students from subscribing to a Forum . Instructors may choose to subscribe if they wish .
  • From the “Maximum attachment size” drop-down menu select an option . You can select from a range up to your course upload limit .
  • All options are not explained in this section. See Moodle Docs for more information.



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