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Forum FAQ

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Why are students unable to post in the forum?

The most likely reason is that the forum is a News forum i.e. a special forum for general announcements which is automatically created for each course, and which by default only teachers and administrators can post in.

To create a standard forum in which students can post, turn editing on for the course, click the 'Add an activity or resource' link and then choose Forum.

How do I enable students to rate forum posts?

In Settings > Forum administration > Permissions click the + symbol opposite the capability to rate posts and allow the role of student.

Why can I not get ratings to work on my forums?

Assuming you have followed the instructions above correctly and still cannot see ratings, then check you have json support enabled on your server. You can see this in Settings>Site administration>Server>PHP info.


See also this discussion:[]

How can I create a teacher-only forum?

A teacher/tutor-only forum may be added to a course by creating a hidden forum. Teachers are able to view hidden course activities whereas students cannot.

My users can't add attachments to my forum, either with drag and drop or with the file picker.

Check that in the forum settings that you have changed the maximum number of attachments allowed to a number greater than 0 ;)

How can I remove the news forum from a course?

  1. Delete the news forum from the course homepage.
  2. In Settings > Course administration > Edit settings set "News items to show" to 0.
  3. Delete the Latest news block.

How can I remove test messages from a new forum?

There are several options (Here is a nice graphic). Remember you can

  • Move the discussion/thread to another forum
  • Edit the post with your moderator powers
  • Delete the post with your moderator powers
  • Split the thread at a particular post and move it to another thread
  • Split>move>delete your test messages.

How can I set a display period for news forum announcements?

Timed posts are disabled by default, but the feature can be enabled by checking the forum_enabletimedposts checkbox in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Forum. Timed posts can then be created by users with the capability to view hidden timed posts (normally managers and teachers).

Why are email copies of forum posts not being sent?

The most likely reason is that the cron is not set up. Please refer to the cron instructions.


  • Try the default settings in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Message outputs > Email. This generally works.
  • Make sure that 'Allow user to select character set' in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Message outputs > Email is set to No.

Why can't students in separate groups reply to a forum discussion started by a teacher?

When using groups, teachers are given the option of adding a new discussion topic for all participants or for a selected group. To enable students in separate groups to reply to a discussion, the teacher must copy and paste their discussion topic for each separate group, selecting each group from the dropdown menu at the top left of the forum page before clicking the "Add a new discussion topic" button.

How do I enable guests to post in a forum?

It's not possible to enable guests to post in a forum, though there is a workaround. Please see the section 'Guests and posting in a forum' in Forum settings for details.

How can I close/archive a forum?

  • You might want to do this if, for example, you want to put an end to a student discussion topic but still want them to be able to see posts which had been made without being able to reply any more.
  • In Settings > Forum administration > Permissions click the Prevent icon (X) for the student role for the capabilites 'Start new discussions' and 'Reply to posts'.
The screen and relevant capabilities. (Click to enlarge

NOTE: If you are a teacher in a course, you should be able to do this by default, but if you don't see these options, ask your admin to do the following:

  1. Go to Settings > Site Administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles
  2. Edit the teacher role and change the capability moodle/role:safeoverride to allow
  3. Click the button "Save changes"
  4. Click the tab "Allow role overrides" (in Settings > Site administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles)
  5. Check the appropriate box(s) in the teacher row to set which role(s) they can override. Most likely it will just be the student role, so check the box where the teacher row intersects with the student column
  6. Click the button "Save changes"

How can I quarantine a forum post?

If a student makes an inappropriate post, rather than deleting it, you can "quarantine" it by sending it to a hidden forum and then alerting your superior and the child's guardians. To do this you first need to create a forum "Hidden forum for Offensive Posts" (for example) and hide it with its eye.

    • Find the offensive post and click 'split' (between 'edit' and 'delete')
    • This will take you to a second page where you will be asked to verify the split. Confirm it by pressing the 'split' button near the top of the page.
    • The post(s) will now be split. You should see the post/discussion individually on a separate page. In the right-hand corner will be a dropdown bar and a button that says 'move.'
    • Choose 'Hidden Forum for Offensive Posts' in the dropdown and click 'move.'

Make sure you inform the child why their post has been quarantined, as well as your superior and the child's guardians. (with thanks to Ben Reynolds)

Can I subscribe to just one discussion in a forum?

Not at present, though please see MDL-1626.

How can I receive forum emails in digest form?

A daily digest of either complete forum posts or with subjects only can be enabled in Settings > My profile settings > Edit profile.

How can I allow students to add new questions in a Q & A forum type?

Only teachers and managers by default see the "add a new question" button. If you wish students to be able to add new questions, they need to be given the capability mod/forum:addquestion

How can I make sure my students are notified of forum posts?

For students to be notified of forum posts, they need to be subscribed to the forum. A teacher can choose to force subscription on a particular forum either initially (auto subscription) or permanently (forced subscription) using the subscription mode setting. See the section on subscription mode in Forum settings for further details.

A teacher can also subscribe selected students to the forum via Settings > Forum administration > Show/edit current subscribers.

How can I change the 'From' address for forum notifications sent via email?

By default, a user's email is set as the 'From' address for forum notifications (unless the user has hidden their email address in their profile) so that recipients can choose to reply personally rather than via the forum. To set as 'From' address for all forum notification emails, untick the forum_replytouser checkbox in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Forum.

How can I remove the words "Site news"?

You can change the words to something else from Settings>Forum administration>Edit settings but to have no words at all - and without touching the code - do the following:

  • As admin go to Settings>Site administration>Appearance>HTML settings and uncheck/untick Remove HTML tags from all activity names
  • Go to Settings>Forum administration<Edit settings (for the site news) and type:


  • Save. What this does is code a space into the name field so Moodle thinks there is something in the required field - but that something is a space, not words.

See also

Using Moodle forum discussions: