Online discussion forums can be used to get students communicating and interacting. They can also be used for peer reviews and assessment of student learning. Well-posed questions and active facilitation is at the heart of meaningful discussion forums. For more information about how to manage a discussion forum, click the following links:
To create a Moodle Discussion Forum:
Set up the Forum:
Start a New Discussion Topic:
Discussion forums on Moodle are an excellent way to engage students outside the classroom. There are five forum types available on Moodle.
The 5 forum types are:
To begin adding a forum to your Moodle course,
Forum name and description are required fields
Attachments and word count - you may give students an opportunity to upload a video or document for others to view. The limit to the number of files is 100. You can also have the word count displayed on the post in the event you require a minimum or maximum number of words.
Subscription and Tracking - These options can be directed by you. If you choose Forced, students will not have any options in whether or not they are notified of new posts. Tracking allows students to see which posts have not been read. In our version of Moodle, this feature is either optional or turned off.
Post threshold for blocking - One way to prevent students from posting excessively is to limit the number of posts during a given time period.
Ratings - Forum discussions can be rated and tied to entries in the gradebook. There are a number of ways to calculate the grade for the grade book. It can be as simple as counting the number of rated entries, an average of all ratings, the highest rating, or the sum of all ratings. The type of grading can be a scale or point system. If points are chosen, the maximum number needs to be entered. You may also restrict the ratings of entries to a particular date range, i.e., all entries from Monday, August 17 - Friday, August 21 will be rated. All other entries will not be graded.
If you choose to use SCALES for forum discussions, you can make your own set of scales in the Advanced Grade section.
Common Module Settings - The group mode can be very useful when dividing the class up into sections for smaller online discussions. The group mode is also used when you teach more than one section of the same course. You may still make separate groups under USERS/GROUPS. This feature is useful when creating and assigning group projects. To learn about making groups, follow this link.
Restrict Access - this toggle allows you to give access of this discussion to any one group. Conditions may be added so that other groups receive access at a later date.
The single, simple discussion forum is a basic way to introduce one discussion topic for all students in the class to respond.
Each person can post only ONE discussion topic in the forum, but may reply to other topics posted. This format is excellent to use when getting students to introduce themselves online.
Instructor and students may add one new discussion topic. Once the topic is added, the screen looks like this:
In the Question and Answer Forum, students may not read other entries until they have posted their own.
This is what the screen looks like once the question has been posted:
The blog-like forum is a standard discussion forum, but the posts and replies appear blog-like on the screen. Students and instructors may post topics and all may reply. The posts and replies are in blog-like format. See examples below:
This is a forum with 2 topics posted and one of the topics has 2 replies. The instructor and students may click on Discuss this topic to enter the discussion.
One a contributor has entered the discussion, the screen looks like this:
In this forum, the instructor and the students may post topics and reply. Parameters may be set within the forum to limit posting and posting dates, but this forum is the most general and simple to use.
Once a topic has been posted, the screen looks like this:
When the student clicks on the new discussion topic, a screen will open up that allows them to reply.