Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.10. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Forum FAQ.

Forum FAQ

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How can I use permalinks?

A permalink allows you to link directly to a specific forum post so you can share it easily with others. You will see the permalink option when clicking to reply to a post. If you click the permalink (1), it is highlighted to the side (2) and you will have a particular web address (3) which you can then copy and paste to use elsewhere:

Linking directly to a single post

How can I easily see which posts I have read and not read?

  1. Go to the user menu top right and select 'Preferences'.
  2. Click 'Forum preferences' and for 'Forum tracking' select: Yes; highlight new posts for me
  3. When in the forum itself' you will see which posts are read and unread.


How can I get my forum to display in the Course overview block?

Set an 'Expect completed by' date in the Activity completion section of your forum.

Why are students unable to post in the forum?

The most likely reason is that the forum is an Announcements forum i.e. a special forum for news and 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.

Students may also be unable to post to a forum where a Group Mode other than 'No Groups' has been used but the student is not a member of any group in the course. They will see the message "Adding discussions to this forum requires group membership". In this case, either add the student to a group or change the Group Mode to 'No Groups'.

How do I enable ratings in my forum?

For the standard Boost theme click into your forum and then click the gear menu top right inside the forum. For other themes, find the administration block for the forum to one side of your course page. Then click Edit settings or Settings and scroll down to 'Ratings'. Expand this and from the Aggregate type dropdown, choose the type of rating you want. The help icon gives more information. Note: If you want to use a specific scale (such as 'Like', as mentioned below) then from the Scale section change the Type to 'Scale' and then select your chosen Scale.

How do I enable students to rate forum posts?

For the standard Boost theme click the relevant forum and then from the gear menu top right inside the forum, click 'Permissions' and then click the + symbol opposite the capability to rate posts and allow the role of Student. For other themes, click the forum and then, on the side of your screen, find the administration block for the forum. Click the + symbol opposite the capability to rate posts and allow the role of student.

How can I have a 'Like' button for my forum discussions?

  1. For the standard Boost theme, click Grades and then Scales. For other themes, find the side block Course administration and click Grades > Scales. Add a new scale with just one item. This could be 'Like' or it could be 'Useful' for example.
  2. Enable ratings in your forum and if you want students to 'like' the posts, follow the instructions above.

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 Announcements from a course?

  1. Delete the Announcements from the course homepage.
  2. In Administration > Course administration > Edit settings set "News items to show" to 0.
  3. Delete the Latest announcements 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 announcements?

See the section 'Display period' in Using Forum.

Why are forum post notification emails not being sent?

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

Tip: Try the default settings in the 'Outgoing mail configuration' in the Site administration. This generally works.

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 Forum poster role 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 Administration > Forum administration > Permissions click the Prevent icon (X) for the student role for the capabilities '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 Administration > 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 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"

To make a single thread read only, you need a forum which has already been closed/archived. Move the the thread to this read-only forum.

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.

Can I set up forum moderation or an approval process before a post appears?

Not in core Moodle.

Can I subscribe to just one discussion in a forum?

Yes. Please see Forum settings.

How can I receive forum emails in digest form?

You can select a daily digest of either complete forum posts or with subjects only via your user menu (top right) Preferences > Forum preferences.

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 Forum administration > Show/edit current subscribers.

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

A no-reply address and any allowed email domains may be set in 'Outgoing mail configuration' in the Site administration. See Mail configuration for further details.

How can I remove the words "Site news"?

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

  • As admin go to Administration>Site administration>Appearance>HTML settings and uncheck/untick Remove HTML tags from all activity names
  • Go to Administration>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.

Can I have different email digests for different forums?

Yes, you can specify how you want to receive notifications on the forum index page http://YOURMOODLESITE/mod/forum/index.php?id=2 (where YOURMOODLESITE is your Moodle and the =number is the course ID) e.g. https://moodle.org/mod/forum/index.php?id=5.

Per forum digest settings

How can a teacher see all of a student's forum posts in a course?

If a teacher clicks the Participants link and then clicks on the profile of a particular student, they can then access a link 'Forum posts' from the 'Miscellaneous' section of the student's profile.

How can a user see all their forum posts on Moodle?

A user can view all their forum posts via the forum posts link in their profile.

How can I remove a rating from a forum post?

A user can remove a rating that they made previously by selecting 'Rate...' in the dropdown menu.

It is not possible to remove a rating made by another user. However, if a certain poster gives inappropriate ratings on a regular basis, it is possible to create a custom system role preventing them from rating posts and assign the role for a limited time.

How can I enable forum grading?

See the section 'Forum grading' in Using Forum.

Any further questions?

Please post in the Forum forum on moodle.org.

See also

Moodle in English forum discussions: