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Advanced Forum

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Advanced Forum Module

Advanced Forums enhance Moodle Forums by providing teachers and students with quick, simple views into the forums and their discussions. Allowing users to sort and search discussions easily and in multiple layouts is key to Advanced Forums increased usability. Read tracking is a feature in Advanced forums that highlights unread posts, making it even easier to manage a forum. This saves the student time in viewing and responding to posts, and saves the teacher time in finding the posts that are most relevant to the class. Teachers are empowered to create anonymous interactions with students while still being able to provide accurate grading with advanced grading methods.

For detailed end-user documentation please see the Advanced Forum Manual

Note: The open source edition of Advanced Forums does not have a grading interface, and as a result the following features are not available:

  • Ability to see all students on one grading screen, with the number of posts each one has made to a forum, broken out by total posts, posts, and replies.
  • Ability to click on the number of posts a student has made and then see them, consolidated on a separate tab (so you don’t leave the grading screen).
  • Ability to enter a single grade for a student’s total participation in a forum and to enter narrative comments, both of which appear on the same grading screen and go into the gradebook automatically. (These functions can be accomplished in Moodle 2 via ratings and comments set up in the gradebook, but again, much less elegant than in Joule.)

We are working on providing these features in a later version, stay tuned!


Advance Forums requires the installation of a single plugins:

Once installed, visit the Site Notifications page of your site to install the plugins within Moodle.

About the Contributors

This plugin was contributed by the Blackboard Product Development team. Blackboard is an education technology company dedicated to bringing excellent online teaching to institutions across the globe. We serve colleges and universities, schools and organizations by supporting the software that educators use to manage and deliver instructional content to learners in virtual classrooms. Blackboard is headquartered in Baltimore, MD.


Q: Will Advanced Forums overwrite my existing Forums?

A: No - A new module was created so that it would not interfere with existing forums available in Moodle.

Q: Why is the plugin packaged as 'hsuforum'?

A: The Advanced Forum module is an example of building upon open source contributions. Many of the original concepts from Humboldt State University were applied to a clone of Core Forums.

Q: Why do I get a warning message when setting the Grade Type to 'Manual'?

A: There is no interface to allow instructors to grade student activity within an Advanced Forum within the forum itself - this must be done manually within the Moodle gradebook. We felt that instructors should be warned about this approach since it will require that they navigate between the forum and the gradebook.

Q: Can I convert my existing forums to advanced forums?

A: No - there is no automatic conversion tool that is available out of the box. However, since advanced forums were born from Core forums, the schema should be familiar to Moodle developers who wish to partake in such an endeavor. Interested parties should contact the maintainer (Blackboard Open LMS Development).