Discussion Forums

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By default, each course in Moodle has a News forum; additional forums can be added to a course site to promote and help facilitate interactive discussions between students, and with the instructor.

Types of Forums

News forum is automatically created for each course and is a place for general course announcements and news. There are four different types of discussion forums an instructor can choose from:

  • A single simple discussion – A single topic discussion developed on one page. Note: group mode cannot be used with this type.
  • Each person posts one discussion – Each person can post only one new discussion topic; however, students are not limited in the replies they can make on one another’s discussions.
  • Q and A forum –Instead of initiating discussions, the instructor poses a question to the class. Students may reply with an answer, but cannot see the replies of other students until they have posted their own response to the question.
    • Note: In order for this forum type to properly function, the instructor must go into the forum after creating it and then click on “Add a new question” to pose the question for their students to answer.
    • When students answer the question they should click reply in the thread where the instructor has posed the question. They should not answer the question by clicking “Add a new question.”
  • 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 topic at any time and any student can reply to any posting.

Important Note: A forum’s type cannot be modified after it has been created and students have posted to the forum. It is important to select the proper format type forum for an online discussion before you create a forum.

Creating a Forum

  1. Click on TurnEditingOn.
  2. Go to the desired module, click on the Add an activity drop-down menu, and select Forum#1
  3. Provide a name for the discussion forum and specify the type of the forum. #2
  4. Type a description for the forum, which provides participants with a discussion prompt and instructions on the use of the forum. #3
  5. Scroll down and click Save-and-Return-to-Course to create the forum.




Additional Forum Creation Settings

Display description on course page: If checked, this option will show the description of the forum on your Moodle course page.

subscriptionSubscription mode
: When one is subscribed to the discussion forum, it means the participant will receive email copies of forum posts. There are four types of subscriptions:

  • Optional subscription – Participants can choose whether to be subscribed. (Default and preferred.)
  • Forced subscription – Everyone is subscribed and cannot unsubscribe. This option can create a large volume of emails and is not recommended.
  • Auto subscription – Everyone is subscribed initially but can choose to unsubscribe at any time.
  • Subscription disabled – Subscriptions are not allowed. NOTE: It is suggested to avoid the use of forced subscriptions because of the amount of email messages this will send to participants.

Read tracking for this forum?: This option will highlight which forum postings have been read and which remain unread.

Maximum attachment size: This option specifies the largest size of file that can be attached to a forum post.

Maximum number of attachments: This setting specifies the maximum number of files that can be attached to a forum post.

:This option allows an instructor to establish a maximum number of postings per student in a given time period within a discussion forum. Once the number has been reached, a warning will be displayed that will inform the student that they may not post to the forum. Setting the warning threshold to 0 will disable the warning to students. Setting the blocking threshold to 0 will allow students to post as many times as they want.

Grade category: This setting controls the category in which this activity’s grades are placed in the gradebook.

Ratings: Posts may be given a rating or a number grade. Only teachers and non-editing teachers may give ratings to forum posts. (Grading discussions is elaborated on the “Grading Discussion Forums” section)

Group mode: Allows an instructor to create groups and restrict group members to be assigned to specific discussion forum areas. (For more information please see the Collaborative Activities tutorial.)
Note: Single Simple discussion forums cannot be used in group mode.

Visible: Allows an instructor to Show (make available) or Hide (keep hidden) a newly created forum.

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For further information, please contact:

Faculty Center for Professional Excellence (FCPE)
Alumnae Hall, Room 123
p – 516.877.4221
e – fcpe@adelphi.edu

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