Difference between revisions of "Forum settings"

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{{Forum}}
 
{{Forum}}
[[Image:Adding a forum.png||thumb|Adding a forum, showing General and Grade sections]]To add a forum:
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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.
#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.
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==Activity settings==
#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.  
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To see all the settings expanded, click the link "Expand all" top right.
  
In an existing forum, the following settings can be found in ''Settings > Forum administration > Edit settings''.
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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.)
  
==Forum administration settings==
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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===
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===Forum type===
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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.
  
There are five forum types to choose from:
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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.
*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.
 
*Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format
 
  
A [[News forum]] is a special type of forum that is automatically created with a new course.
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===Forum subscriptions===
  
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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.  
 
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===Subscription mode===
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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.  
 
 
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 may be sent an email immediately after the 30 minute edit window is closed, or in a batch at a time fixed by the site administrator (see below).
 
 
 
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.  
 
  
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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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:
 
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).
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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).
* 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.
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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.
* There is also a "Subscriptions not allowed" setting which prevents Students from subscribing to a Forum. Teachers may choose to subscribe to a forum if they wish.
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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.
  
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====Subscribe to individual forum discussions====
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===Maximum attachment size===
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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]]
  
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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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.
  
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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'.
  
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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.
  
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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.
  
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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]].
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===Grade===
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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.
  
Forum posts can be rated using a [[Scales|scale]] (pre existing number or word scales). 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]].
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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]]
  
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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.
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===Restrict ratings to posts with dates in this range===
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If your Forum activity doesn't display as you wish, check the site settings below:
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.
 
  
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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. )
Color: as picture.
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For more information about using groups with forums, see the documentation [[Using Forum]]
Original Polybag and Tags.
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The '''group mode''' setting has three options:
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===Number of RSS recent articles===
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==Site settings==
  
This number sets the number of articles that go out via RSS. If this number is set to 5, then the 5 most recent articles will be sent to subscribers. As new posts (or discussions) get added, the oldest post/discussion gets replaced on the RSS feed. If your forum gets a lot of posts every day, you will want to set this number high.
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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 administrative cron (admin/cron.php) must run after the forum is created and posts or discussions have been made. Otherwise the user will receive an error "Error reading RSS data"
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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''.
  
Note: [[RSS feeds]] must be enabled for the site and for forums in order for the RSS settings to appear.
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===Subscription mode===
 
 
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==Locally assigned roles==
 
 
 
In ''Settings > Forum administration > Locally assigned roles'' selected users can be given additional roles in the activity.
 
 
 
===Forum moderator===
 
 
 
A student can be given the rights to moderate a forum by assigning them the role of non-editing teacher in the forum.
 
 
 
# In ''Settings > Forum administration > Locally assigned roles'' click on student
 
# Select the student from the potential users list on the right, and use the Add button to add them to the existing users list on the left. Multiple users may be selected by holding down the Apple or Ctrl key whilst clicking on the users' names.
 
 
 
See also [[Forum moderator role]].
 
 
 
==Forum permissions==
 
 
 
Role permissions for the activity can be changed in ''Settings > Forum administration > Permissions''.
 
 
 
[[File:Forum permissions.png|Frame|]]
 
 
 
Common permissions changes include:
 
 
 
===Enabling students to rate posts===
 
 
 
Click the Allow icon (+) opposite the capability to rate posts and allow the role of student.
 
 
 
===Archiving a forum===
 
 
 
A forum can be closed / archived so that students may no longer start new discussions, nor add replies, but can still read all the discussions by clicking the Prevent icon (X) for the student role for the capabilities 'Start new discussions' and 'Reply to posts'.
 
 
 
===Guests and posting in a forum===
 
 
 
There are certain things, such as posting in a forum, that guests are never allowed to do, despite the permissions interface suggesting otherwise.
 
 
 
The guest role has some special functionality, for example when a guest user attempts to post in a forum, they obtain the message "Sorry, guests are not allowed to post. Would you like to log in now with a full user account?"
 
 
 
If you wish guests to be able to post in a forum, you can [[Manage roles|create a similar role]], say "visitor" with very few permissions allowed, then create an account and assign it the role of visitor. Guests can then share this visitor account.
 
 
 
''Anything else you'd like to achieve with a forum permissions change? Please add your suggestions to [[Talk:Forum settings]]!''
 
 
 
==User administration settings==
 
 
 
Users can choose whether or not to track unread posts in their profile settings under 'Forum tracking'. The settings are:
 
 
 
* Yes: highlight new posts for me
 
* No: don't keep track of posts I have seen
 
 
 
If the user chooses 'Yes: highlight new posts for me' and the forum administrator has set the 'Read tracking for this forum?' to On or Optional then the user will have new posts highlighted for them. The posts will be highlighted in the following places:
 
 
 
* My home page
 
* Main Course page
 
* Within the forum itself
 
 
 
[[Image:MoodleDocs forum_show_unread_behaviour.png|frame|center|Show unread on forum page]]
 
  
==Site administration settings==
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'''New in 3.4:''' Administrators can select the default subscription mode for new forums from a drop down menu.
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===Timed forum posts===
  
The forum module has additional settings which may be changed by an administrator in ''Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Forum'' and, for 'Maximum time to edit posts', in ''Settings > Site administration > Security > Site policies''.
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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.
  
===Long and short posts===
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[[File:timedposts.png]]
  
The long and short post setting determine how forum posts on the site front page, social format course pages, and user profiles are displayed. (Note: There is currently an unresolved issue - "Site news - forum length setting has no effect for certain users" - MDL-4781.)
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===Changing the subject line of forum notifications===
  
===Enabling timed posts===
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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:
  
Timed forum posts may be enabled i.e. having the option to set a display start and end date for a new discussion. Timed posts can then be created by users with the [[Capabilities/mod/forum:viewhiddentimedposts|capability to view hidden timed posts]] (normally admins and teachers).
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[[File:forum1.png]]
  
===Maximum time to edit posts===
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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
 +
{$a->courseshortname} {$a->forumname} {$a->subject}
  
This specifies the amount of time people have to re-edit forum postings, glossary comments etc. Usually 30 minutes is a good value. The setting may be changed by an administrator in ''Settings > Site administration > Security > Site policies''.
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[[File:forum2.png]]
  
===Mark post read after 'X' days===
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Currently the placeholders available for use are:
  
This setting is forum_oldpostdays and specifies the number of days after which any post is considered to be read. E.g. If this is set to 14 days then any post older than 14 days will be considered read. If you set this to 0 then '''ALL''' posts are instantly considered to be read. If you don't want any posts to be considered read without the user reading them then set a high figure (e.g. 1000)
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{$a->courseshortname}
 +
{$a->forumname}
 +
{$a->subject}
  
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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}