Difference between revisions of "Forum settings"

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'''Note for Contributors'''
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{{Forum}}
This page should explain what can be seen on the <u>moodlesite.com/course/mod.php</u> page
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A teacher can add a Forum activity in a course when editing is turned on by clicking an 'Add an activity or resource' link (or, if not present, the "Add an activity" drop down menu) and selecting Forum.
when adding a forum
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==Activity settings==
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To see all the settings expanded, click the link "Expand all" top right.
  
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Give the Forum a name (which students see on the course page) and a description if required. (For the Single simple discussion forum type, your description must include the question or topic you wish to discuss.)
  
Creating or editing a forum activity, you will fill in the following data:
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Clicking the question mark icon [[File:helppopup.png]]next to any setting you don't understand will display extra help.
  
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===Attachments and word count===
  
==Forum name==
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The maximum file size that may be attached to a forum post depends on the Moodle site settings. The teacher may want a smaller size limit for the forum and should bear in mind the download speeds of the course participants.
  
A short name of the forum (e.g. "Favourite colour"), which will be displayed on the course homepage.
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If "Display word count" is enabled, then the number of words in forum posts will be shown at the bottom of each post.
  
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===Forum subscriptions===
  
==Forum type==
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When a participant is subscribed to a forum it means that they will receive notification (depending on the user’s messaging settings preferences) of each new posting. By default, forum notifications are sent about 30 minutes after the post was saved.
  
For now, there are three forum types to choose from:
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Participants can usually choose whether or not they want to be subscribed to each forum. However, the teacher can choose to force subscription on a particular forum then all course users will be subscribed automatically, even those that enrol at a later time.
  
# '''A single simple discussion''' - a single topic discussion developed on one page, which is useful for short focussed discussions
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The subscription mode and subscribe or unsubscribe links can be found via the gear menu inside the forum in Boost or via the Forum administration in Clean.  Teachers can quickly change the mode via the 'Subscription mode' options and view the current subscribers via the 'Show/edit current subscribers' link.  Teachers can manually subscribe or unsubscribe participants by clicking the 'Manage subscriptions' button. (Button renamed and re-positioned in 3.3; previously named 'Turn editing on'.)
# '''Standard forum for general use''' - an open forum where anyone can start a new topic at any time; this is the best general-purpose forum
 
# '''Each person posts one discussion''' - each person can post exactly one new discussion topic (everyone can reply to them though); this is useful when you want each student to start a discussion about, say, their reflections on the week's topic, and everyone else responds to these
 
 
  
==Forum introduction==
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Tips:
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* Forcing everyone to subscribe is especially useful in the news forum and in forums towards the beginning of the course (before everyone has worked out that they can subscribe to these emails themselves).
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* Changing the setting from "Auto subscription" to "Optional" will not unsubscribe existing users; it will only affect those who enrol in the course in the future. Similarly changing "Optional" to "Auto subscription" will not subscribe existing course users but only those enrolling later.
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* There is also a "Subscription disabled" setting which prevents students from subscribing to a Forum. Teachers may choose to subscribe to a forum if they wish.
  
Type the description of the forum here. Include precise instructions for students regarding the subject of the forum and, if necessary, the grading criteria.
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====Subscribe to individual forum discussions====
  
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In a forum with optional or auto subscription you can choose which discussions to subscribe to by clicking the subscribe / unsubscribe icon to the right of the discussion.
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[[File:forumsubscribe.png|thumb|center|600px]]
  
==Can a student post to this forum?==
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When you reply to a post you will see a tickbox 'Discussion subscription'. It will already be ticked if you have chosen in your forum preferences to be subscribed to discussions you post in by default. If you have chosen not to subscribe to forum discussions by default, then you can tick this box to be notified of posts from this particular thread.
  
This option allows you to restrict students from posting new content in this forum. Again you have three options to choose from:
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===RSS===
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If [[RSS feeds]] are enabled for the site and for forums, then an expandable section for RSS settings will appear. Here the teacher can turn RSS feeds on or off for that forum.When set to “Discussions,” the RSS feed will send out new discussions to subscribers. When set to “Posts,” the RSS feed will send out any new posts to subscribers.
  
# '''Discussions and replies are allowed''' This option leaves students unrestricted, which is the case for most forums. Thus, you choose to allow them to start new discussion topics (threads), and also to post replies within those threads.
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Cron must be working regularly for the RSS feed to work; otherwise participants will see ' Error reading RSS data'.
# '''No discussions, but replies are allowed''' This option should be chosen the option if only teachers are to be allowed to start new discussions. Students will still be allowed to reply within those threads (for example within the news forum on the site home page).
 
# '''No discussions, no replies''' Choosing this option babs students from starting new discussion topics and replying within those threads. This is useful for the News forum when you only want teachers to post new items that appear on the course main page.  
 
  
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===Blocking posts===
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By default, course participants can post any number of messages to forums. If you want to restrict this number and block them after a certain number or time, the expandable section 'Post threshold for blocking' allows you to specify your choice. You can also send a warning that they are about to be blocked.
  
==Force everyone to be subscribed?==
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===Grade and Ratings===
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Forums use a rating [[Scales|scale]] which you can customise. You can also set a "Grade to pass" which  may be connected with [[Activity completion]] and [[Restrict access]] such that a student will not be able to access a follow up activity until they have obtained a required grade (rating) in the forum.
  
When a person is subscribed to a forum it means that they will be sent email copies of every post in that forum (posts are sent about 30 minutes after the post was first written).  
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By default, only teachers can rate forum posts, though students can be given permission to do so if desired (see forum permissions below). This is a useful tool for giving students participation grades. Any ratings given in the forum are recorded in the [[Gradebook|gradebook]].
  
People can usually choose whether or not they want to be subscribed to each forum.  
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You can set an 'aggregate type'  to decide how all the ratings given to posts in a forum are combined to form the final grade (for each post and for the whole forum activity). See [[Ratings]] for an explanation of aggregate types and which one is best for you.
  
However, if you choose to force subscription on a particular forum then all course users will be subscribed automatically, even those that enrol at a later time.
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===Other settings===
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Depending on what is enabled for your site and course, you may also need to explore [[Common  module settings]], [[Conditional activities| Restrict access]] and [[Activity completion]]
  
This is especially useful in the News forum and in forums towards the beginning of the course (before everyone has worked out that they can subscribe to these emails themselves).  
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If you want your forum to display in the [[Course overview block]], you need to add an 'Expect completed by' date in the [[Activity completion]] section.
  
If you choose the option "Yes, initially" then all current and future course users will be subscribed initially but they can unsubscribe themselves at any time. If you choose "Yes, forever" then they will not be able to unsubscribe themselves.
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If your Forum activity doesn't display as you wish, check the site settings below:
  
Note how the "Yes, initially" option behaves when you update an existing forum: Changing from "Yes, initially" to "No" will not unsubscribe existing users, it will only affect future course users. Similarly changing later to "Yes, initially" will not subscribe existing course users but only those enrolling later.
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===Using groups with Forums===
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For 'Group mode' in the expandable Common module settings section allows you to specify how your forum works with groups. (Note that Single simple discussions cannot be used with groups as this feature is not implemented. Use a standard forum instead. )
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For more information about using groups with forums, see the documentation [[Using Forum]]
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The '''group mode''' setting has three options:
  
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==Site settings==
  
==Read tracking for this forum?==
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A description for the Forum may or may not be obligatory depending on  ''Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Common settings''.
  
If 'read tracking' for forums is enabled, users can track read and unread messages in forums and discussions. The instructor can choose to force a tracking type on a forum using this setting.  
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The forum module has additional settings which may be changed by an administrator in ''Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Forum'' and, for 'Maximum time to edit posts', in ''Administration > Site administration > Security > Site policies''.
  
There are three choice for this setting:
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===Subscription mode===
  
# '''Optional [default]''' - students can turn tracking on or off for the forum at their discretion
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'''New in 3.4:''' Administrators can select the default subscription mode for new forums from a drop down menu.
# '''On''' - tracking is always on
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===Timed forum posts===
# '''Off''' - tracking is always off
 
  
==Maximum attachment size==
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Teachers (and others with the capability [[Capabilities/mod/forum:viewhiddentimedposts|mod/forum:viewhiddentimedposts]]) can then set a display period of a date and time for the forum post to appear.
  
Attachments can be limited to a certain size file, chosen by the person who set up the forum.
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[[File:timedposts.png]]
  
Sometimes it is possible to upload a file larger than this size, but the file will not be saved on the server and you might see an error.
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===Changing the subject line of forum notifications===
  
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Normally when forum subscribers receive emails from forums, the subject line is of the form: Course short name + Subject of post:
  
==Allow posts to be rated?==
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[[File:forum1.png]]
  
Here you will have to consider whether or not enable two options:  
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The subject line can be changed - for example to: Course short name + Forum name + Subject by going to ''Site administration>Language>Language customisation'' and in forum.php changing the string ''postmailsubject'' to
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{$a->courseshortname} {$a->forumname} {$a->subject}
  
====Use ratings====
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[[File:forum2.png]]
 
If you decide to rate posts on the forum, you will have to define settings of the three following aspects:  
 
  
* '''Users'''
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Currently the placeholders available for use are:
  
If you want everybody to rate posts, choose 'Everyone can rate posts'. Otherwise, pick 'Only teachers can rate posts'.
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{$a->courseshortname}
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{$a->forumname}
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{$a->subject}
  
* '''View'''
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[[de:Forum konfigurieren]]
 
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[[fr:Ajouter/modifier un forum]]
If you want to keep the grades known only to the individual students graded, you should choose the option 'Students can only see their own ratings'. If there is no such a need, opt for 'Students can see everyone's ratings'.
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[[ja:フォーラムの追加/編集]]
 
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[[es:Configuraciones del foro]]
* '''Grade'''
 
 
 
There are several grading scales you can choose from. You can give a number of points to each post (from 1 to 100) or you can opt for two other scales: '''Scale: satisfactory''' (Outstanding, Satisfactory and Not satisfactory) or '''Separate and Connected ways of knowing''' (Mostly Connected Knowing, Separate and Connected, Mostly Separate Knowing). More information about the latter one are to be found [[Separate and Connected ways of knowing|here]].
 
 
 
====Restrict ratings to posts with dates in this range====
 
 
 
If you enable the '''Use ratings''' option, you will also face the necessity of choosing whether or not enable another option restricting ratings to posts in terms of time.
 
 
 
 
 
===Group mode===
 
 
 
The group mode can be one of three levels:  
 
 
 
* No groups
 
 
 
There are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community
 
 
 
* Separate groups
 
 
 
Each group can only see their own group, others are invisible
 
 
 
* Visible groups
 
 
 
Each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups
 
 
 
 
 
The group mode can be defined at two levels:
 
 
 
* Course level
 
 
 
The group mode defined at the course level is the default mode for all activities defined within that course
 
 
 
* Activity level
 
 
 
Each activity that supports groups can also define its own grouping mode. If the course is set to [[Force group mode|"force group mode"]] then the setting for each activity is ignored.
 
 
 
==Visible to students==
 
 
 
You can hide the activity from students by selecting "Hide" here. It is useful if you wouldn't like to make the activity available immediately.
 

Latest revision as of 14:48, 12 September 2018

A teacher can add a Forum activity in a course when editing is turned on by clicking an 'Add an activity or resource' link (or, if not present, the "Add an activity" drop down menu) and selecting Forum.

Activity settings

To see all the settings expanded, click the link "Expand all" top right.

Give the Forum a name (which students see on the course page) and a description if required. (For the Single simple discussion forum type, your description must include the question or topic you wish to discuss.)

Clicking the question mark icon helppopup.pngnext to any setting you don't understand will display extra help.

Attachments and word count

The maximum file size that may be attached to a forum post depends on the Moodle site settings. The teacher may want a smaller size limit for the forum and should bear in mind the download speeds of the course participants.

If "Display word count" is enabled, then the number of words in forum posts will be shown at the bottom of each post.

Forum subscriptions

When a participant is subscribed to a forum it means that they will receive notification (depending on the user’s messaging settings preferences) of each new posting. By default, forum notifications are sent about 30 minutes after the post was saved.

Participants can usually choose whether or not they want to be subscribed to each forum. However, the teacher can choose to force subscription on a particular forum then all course users will be subscribed automatically, even those that enrol at a later time.

The subscription mode and subscribe or unsubscribe links can be found via the gear menu inside the forum in Boost or via the Forum administration in Clean. Teachers can quickly change the mode via the 'Subscription mode' options and view the current subscribers via the 'Show/edit current subscribers' link. Teachers can manually subscribe or unsubscribe participants by clicking the 'Manage subscriptions' button. (Button renamed and re-positioned in 3.3; previously named 'Turn editing on'.)

Tips:

  • Forcing everyone to subscribe is especially useful in the news forum and in forums towards the beginning of the course (before everyone has worked out that they can subscribe to these emails themselves).
  • Changing the setting from "Auto subscription" to "Optional" will not unsubscribe existing users; it will only affect those who enrol in the course in the future. Similarly changing "Optional" to "Auto subscription" will not subscribe existing course users but only those enrolling later.
  • There is also a "Subscription disabled" setting which prevents students from subscribing to a Forum. Teachers may choose to subscribe to a forum if they wish.

Subscribe to individual forum discussions

In a forum with optional or auto subscription you can choose which discussions to subscribe to by clicking the subscribe / unsubscribe icon to the right of the discussion.

forumsubscribe.png

When you reply to a post you will see a tickbox 'Discussion subscription'. It will already be ticked if you have chosen in your forum preferences to be subscribed to discussions you post in by default. If you have chosen not to subscribe to forum discussions by default, then you can tick this box to be notified of posts from this particular thread.

RSS

If RSS feeds are enabled for the site and for forums, then an expandable section for RSS settings will appear. Here the teacher can turn RSS feeds on or off for that forum.When set to “Discussions,” the RSS feed will send out new discussions to subscribers. When set to “Posts,” the RSS feed will send out any new posts to subscribers.

Cron must be working regularly for the RSS feed to work; otherwise participants will see ' Error reading RSS data'.

Blocking posts

By default, course participants can post any number of messages to forums. If you want to restrict this number and block them after a certain number or time, the expandable section 'Post threshold for blocking' allows you to specify your choice. You can also send a warning that they are about to be blocked.

Grade and Ratings

Forums use a rating scale which you can customise. You can also set a "Grade to pass" which may be connected with Activity completion and Restrict access such that a student will not be able to access a follow up activity until they have obtained a required grade (rating) in the forum.

By default, only teachers can rate forum posts, though students can be given permission to do so if desired (see forum permissions below). This is a useful tool for giving students participation grades. Any ratings given in the forum are recorded in the gradebook.

You can set an 'aggregate type' to decide how all the ratings given to posts in a forum are combined to form the final grade (for each post and for the whole forum activity). See Ratings for an explanation of aggregate types and which one is best for you.

Other settings

Depending on what is enabled for your site and course, you may also need to explore Common module settings, Restrict access and Activity completion

If you want your forum to display in the Course overview block, you need to add an 'Expect completed by' date in the Activity completion section.

If your Forum activity doesn't display as you wish, check the site settings below:

Using groups with Forums

For 'Group mode' in the expandable Common module settings section allows you to specify how your forum works with groups. (Note that Single simple discussions cannot be used with groups as this feature is not implemented. Use a standard forum instead. ) For more information about using groups with forums, see the documentation Using Forum The group mode setting has three options:

Site settings

A description for the Forum may or may not be obligatory depending on Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Common settings.

The forum module has additional settings which may be changed by an administrator in Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Forum and, for 'Maximum time to edit posts', in Administration > Site administration > Security > Site policies.

Subscription mode

New in 3.4: Administrators can select the default subscription mode for new forums from a drop down menu.

Timed forum posts

Teachers (and others with the capability mod/forum:viewhiddentimedposts) can then set a display period of a date and time for the forum post to appear.

timedposts.png

Changing the subject line of forum notifications

Normally when forum subscribers receive emails from forums, the subject line is of the form: Course short name + Subject of post:

forum1.png

The subject line can be changed - for example to: Course short name + Forum name + Subject by going to Site administration>Language>Language customisation and in forum.php changing the string postmailsubject to

{$a->courseshortname} {$a->forumname} {$a->subject}

forum2.png

Currently the placeholders available for use are:

{$a->courseshortname}
{$a->forumname} 
{$a->subject}