Difference between revisions of "Forum settings"

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{{Forums}}
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{{Forum}}
There are 4 sections in a forum's settings: "General", "Grade", "Post threshold for blocking", and "Common module settings".  
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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.
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==Activity settings==
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To see all the settings expanded, click the link "Expand all" top right.
  
[[Image:Adding a forum.png|thumb|center|Adding a forum, showing General and Grade sections]]To add a forum:
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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.)
#As an editing teacher for a course, click "Turn Editing On", and go to the topic or week section in which you want to create the forum.
 
#From the dropdown menu labeled "Add an activity", select "Forum".  This will take you to the forum settings page titled "Adding a new forum" page.
 
  
In an existing forum, use the "Update this forum" button to see the forum settings page.
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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===
  
==General==
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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.
  
5th Grade
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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.
  
===Forum type===
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===Forum subscriptions===
  
There are four forum types to choose from:
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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.  
*A single simple discussion - A single topic discussion developed on one page, which is useful for short focused discussions
 
*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
 
*Q and A Forum - Instead of initiating discussions participants pose a question in the initial post of a discussion. Students may reply with an answer, but they will not see the replies of other Students to the question in that discussion until they have themselves replied to the same discussion.
 
  
A [[News forum]] is a special type of forum that is automatically created with a new course.
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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.  
  
===Forum introduction===
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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'.)
  
Place the description of the forum here. It has the standard Moodle [[HTML editor]] toolbar to assist the teacher.
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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.
  
:''TIP:'' It is a good practice to include precise instructions for students regarding the subject of the forum and the rating and grading criteria that might be used in this forum (see below).
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====Subscribe to individual forum discussions====
  
===Force everyone to be subscribed?===
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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]]
  
When a person is subscribed to a forum it means that they will be sent email copies of every post in that forum.  This will over ride some [[Edit profile|student settings in their profile]]. By default, posts are recorded about 30 minutes after the post was first written.  Depending upon the email settings of each forum member, they maybe sent an email immediately after the 30 minute edit window is closed, or in a batch at a time fixed by the site administrator.
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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.
  
People 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.  
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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.
  
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Cron must be working regularly for the RSS feed to work; otherwise participants will see ' Error reading RSS data'.
  
If the teacher selects the option "Yes, initially" then all current and future course users will be subscribed initially but they can unsubscribe themselves at any time. If the teacher chooses "Yes, forever" then the forum members will not be able to unsubscribe themselves.
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===Blocking posts===
====Subscription Tips====
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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.
* 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 "Yes, initially" to "No" will not unsubscribe existing users, it will only affect those who enrol in the course in the future. Similarly changing "Yes, initially" will not subscribe existing course users but only those enrolling later.
 
* From Moodle 1.6 onwards there is an "Subscriptions not allowed" setting which prevents Students from subscribing to a Forum. Teachers may choose to subscribe to a forum if they wish.
 
  
===Read tracking for this forum?===
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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.
  
"Read tracking" for a forum allows users to track read and unread messages in the forum.  
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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]].
  
There are three options for this setting:
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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.
* Optional (default) - students can turn tracking on or off for the forum at their discretion
 
* On - tracking is always on in this forum for all members
 
* Off - tracking is always off in this forum for all members
 
  
===Maximum attachment size===
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===Other settings===
The maximum file size that may be attached to a forum post will first be determined by the Moodle site settings.  The teacher may want a smaller size limit for the forum.  Server file capacity, student downloading speeds and discouraging images in a document centered discussion are a few reasons to limit file size.
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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]]
  
==Grade==
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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.
Forum posts can be rated using a [[Scales|scale]] (pre existing number or word scales). By default, only teachers can rate forum posts.  The [[Override permissions|role override]] feature can allow students to rate each others’ posts (see [[Forum permissions]]). This is a useful tool for giving students participation grades. Any ratings given in the forum are recorded in the [[Gradebook|gradebook]].
 
  
===Aggregate type===
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If your Forum activity doesn't display as you wish, check the site settings below:
{{Moodle 1.9}}In Moodle 1.9 onwards, you can set an aggregate type, in other words, 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).  Some scales do not lend themselves to certain types of aggregates.
 
  
There are five options:
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===Using groups with Forums===
====Average of ratings====  
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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. )
Average of ratings (default) is the mean of all the ratings given to posts in that forum. This is especially useful with peer grading when there are a lot of ratings being made.
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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:
  
====Count of ratings====
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==Site settings==
The counts the number of rated posts which becomes the final grade. This is useful when the number of posts is important. Note that the total can not exceed the maximum grade allowed for the forum. A count may be used if the teacher simply wants to acknowledge that a reply was given in the case students being required to make a certain number of posts in the discussion. Note: Count of ratings does not work for the "Separate or Connected Ways of Knowing" scale or custom scales due to the limitation imposed by the max grade.
 
  
====Maximum rating====
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A description for the Forum may or may not be obligatory depending on  ''Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Common settings''.
The highest rating is returned as the final grade. This method is useful for emphasising the best work from participants, allowing them to post one high-quality post as well as a number of more casual responses to others.
 
  
====Minimum rating====
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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''.
The smallest rating is returned as the final grade. This method promotes a culture of high quality for all posts.
 
  
====Sum of ratings====
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===Subscription mode===
All the ratings for a particular user are added together. Note that the total is not allowed to exceed the maximum grade for the forum. Note: Sum of ratings does not work for the "Separate or Connected Ways of Knowing" scale or custom scales due to the limitation imposed by the max grade.
 
  
===Grades===
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'''New in 3.4:''' Administrators can select the default subscription mode for new forums from a drop down menu.
This is a pulldown menu which sets the [[Scales|scale]] used in [[Grades|grading]] a forum post.  See "Aggregate type" above for options on how multiple, rated posts of a student are entered as a single grade in the gradebook.
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===Timed forum posts===
  
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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.
  
===Restrict ratings to posts with dates in this range===
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[[File:timedposts.png]]
The teacher can allow only posts within a certain date range to be rated. This is useful if the teacher wants to keep students focused on the most recent content and maintain a specific pace within the forum or course.
 
  
==Post threshold for blocking==
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===Changing the subject line of forum notifications===
  
===Post threshold for warning===
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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:
  
Students (only) will be blocked from posting after a specified number of posts in a given period - this option is for setting the number of posts a Student may make before receiving a warning. Set to 0 to disable warnings.
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[[File:forum1.png]]
  
===Post threshold for blocking===
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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}
  
This option is for setting the number of posts a Student may make in the period defined below. Set to 0 to disable blocking. If blocking is disabled, warnings will automatically be disabled.
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[[File:forum2.png]]
  
===Time period for blocking===
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Currently the placeholders available for use are:
  
Earlier version of Moodle had an this option.  See  "Restrict ratings to posts with dates in this range" above.
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  {$a->courseshortname}
 
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{$a->forumname}
==Common module settings==
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  {$a->subject}
 
 
===Group mode===
 
 
 
The [[Groups|group]] mode setting has three options:
 
 
 
# No groups
 
# 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
 
 
 
If the group mode is set to separate groups:
 
[[Image:Forum set to separate groups.png|thumb|Adding a new discussion topic to a forum set to separate groups]]
 
* Teachers are given the option of adding a new discussion topic for all participants or for a selected group. If a teacher adds a new discussion topic for a selected group, then only group members can reply to it. If a teacher adds a new discussion topic for all participants, then students can't reply to it. (This is to ensure that groups are kept separate.)
 
* Students can only start discussions for their own group.
 
* Students can only reply to discussions started by other group members or discussions for their own group started by a teacher.
 
 
 
If the group mode is set to visible groups:
 
 
 
* Teachers are given the option of adding a new discussion topic for all participants or for a selected group. If a teacher adds a new discussion topic for a selected group, then only group members can reply to it.
 
* Students can only start discussions for their own group.
 
* Students can only reply to discussions started by other group members or teachers.
 
 
 
Teachers, and other users with the capability [[Capabilities/moodle/site:accessallgroups|moodle/site:accessallgroups]] set to allow, can view and post in all forum discussions, regardless of the group mode setting.
 
 
 
:''Note'': Single simple discussions cannot be set to separate groups (as this feature is not implemented). Instead, a standard forum should be used, with the teacher copying and pasting the same discussion topic for each separate group. If required, a permissions override may be set to prevent students from starting new discussions.
 
 
 
===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.
 
 
 
===ID number===
 
 
 
Setting an ID number provides a way of identifying the forum for grade calculation purposes. If the activity is not included in any grade calculation then the ID number field can be left blank.
 
 
 
==Pre-Moodle 1.7 settings==
 
 
 
Note: From Moodle 1.7 onwards, forum permissions may be accessed via the Roles tab on the update/edit forum page and the override roles link.
 
 
 
===Can a student post to this forum?===
 
 
 
This option allows you to restrict students from posting new content in this forum. There are three options to choose from:
 
 
 
#'''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.
 
#'''No discussions, but replies are allowed''' - This option should be chosen 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 bars 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.
 
 
 
===Use ratings===
 
   
 
If you decide to rate posts on the forum, you will have to define settings of the three following aspects:
 
 
 
*Users - If you want everybody to rate posts, choose 'Everyone can rate posts'. Otherwise, pick 'Only teachers can rate posts'.
 
*View - 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'.
 
 
 
==See also==
 
 
 
*[[Forum permissions]]
 
*Using Moodle [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=65162 No discussions, no replies?] forum discussion
 
*Using Moodle [http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=86487 Forum Ratings - Some Students Cannot Be Rated] forum discussion
 
  
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[[de:Forum konfigurieren]]
 
[[fr:Ajouter/modifier un forum]]
 
[[fr:Ajouter/modifier un forum]]
 
[[ja:フォーラムの追加/編集]]
 
[[ja:フォーラムの追加/編集]]
[[de:Forum anlegen]]
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[[es:Configuraciones del foro]]

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}