Forum settings

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Note for Contributors
This page should explain what can be seen on the page
when adding a forum

Creating or editing a forum activity, you will fill in the following data:

Forum name

A short name of the forum (e.g. "Favourite colour"), which will be displayed on the course homepage.

Forum type

For now, there are three forum types to choose from:

  1. A single simple discussion - a single topic discussion developed on one page, which is useful for short focussed discussions
  2. 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
  3. 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

Type the description of the forum here. Include precise instructions for students regarding the subject of the forum and, if necessary, the grading criteria.

Can a student post to this forum?

This option allows you to restrict students from posting new content in this forum. Again you have three options to choose from:

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.

Force everyone to be subscribed?

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).

People can usually choose whether or not they want to be subscribed to each forum.

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.

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).

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.

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.

Read tracking for this forum?

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.

There are three choice for this setting:

  1. Optional [default] - students can turn tracking on or off for the forum at their discretion
  2. On - tracking is always on
  3. Off - tracking is always off

Maximum attachment size

Attachments can be limited to a certain size file, chosen by the person who set up the forum.

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.

Allow posts to be rated?

Here you will have to consider whether or not enable two options:

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'.

  • 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 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

This sets the group mode of the choice activity to one of the following three:

  1. no groups
  2. separate groups
  3. visible groups

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.