Forum (MoodleRooms)

Starting Jan. 21, 2018. The Forum (MoodleRooms) activity allows instructors to set up an area for organized course-related discussions. Forum discussions allow participants to post and reply when it is convenient for them and allows for multiple discussions. Students can create visable or anonymous posts as well as reply to others. The instructor acts as a moderator for discussions, and can remove any content that is not deemed constructive or appropriate for the discussion.

Getting Started

Adding/editing a forum

Instructors can create multiple forums for discussions that, while all still pertaining to the course, explore different aspects of course material.

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Forum emails...

Forums subscriptions will send an email for each post. The Instructor can set the forum to allow students to choose if they want emails or force the email subscription.

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Video within a forum...

Unfortunately, you are unable to embed a video into the forum, but you can link a video. Just, copy and paste the URL of the video into the forum post for the users to view.

  1. Select Turn editing on.
  2. Click on the Add an activity or resource link.
    screen image of activity pull-down list
  3. Choose the Forum (MoodleRooms) tool.
  4. Click on the expand all link to view all setting boxes
  5. expand

  6. Under the General section, type the Forum name (required) of the assignment into the text box.
  7. Choose the Forum type. There are five different types:
    1. Standard forum for general use: Displays a link to each discussion (by most recently posted/edited), and includes info about the creator, the number of replies, and the time of the last post.
    2. Single simple discussion: Students cannot post new discussions—only reply to the message that has been defined in the “Forum introduction” field.
    3. Each person posts one discussion: Similar to “Standard forum for general use”, with the exception being that students can only create one discussion each.
    4. Q&A forum (read more): The student post an initial question before seeing the other student’s posts. After the student has created their post, then they can see the other student’s posts and reply to those.
      NOTE: The instructor must create the first post "Add a new question". The students will reply to the instructor's post. After 30 min, the students will be able to view the other students' posts.
    5. Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format: All discussions are displayed (most recent at top) on the page.
      NOTE: This is the forum type most used for general discussion needs.
  8. Choose the Post Options.
  9. Options
    • Allow marking as substantive: If enabled this feature allows instructors to flag posts that have a substantive value.
    • Allow post bookmarking: If enabled, forum posts can be bookmarked.
    • Allow private replies: With this feature, instructors can send a private reply to a forum post. This reply is only viewable by the student that made the original post or reply and invisible to the rest of the students.
    • Allow anonymous postings: If checked, then the author's name for each post will be suppressed when viewing the forum.
    • Display word count: This setting specifies whether the word count of each post should be displayed or not.
  10. Choose the Attachement settings. Select the size and number of attachments.
  11. Choose the Subscription mode. How subscriptions are enabled, and if they can be turned off by the student.
    Note: If Forum subscription is enabled, participants in the Forum will receive an email for every new post.
    [Subscription (email) only works with the Standard forum for general use option]
  12. Choose the Discussion locking settings. Discussions may be automatically locked after a specified time has elapsed since the last reply. Users with the capability to reply to locked discussions can unlock a discussion by replying to it.
  13. Choose the Threshold for blocking settings. Students can be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a given time period. Users with the capability mod/hsuforum:postwithoutthrottling are exempt from post limits.
  14. Choose the Grade settings.
    • None: the forum is not graded.
    • Manual: the forum has to be manually graded by the teacher via the Gradebook.
    • Rating: use ratings for generating a grade.
  15. Common module settings.
    • Group mode (under the Common module section) can submit their files into one area. After the group is created, you can choose the name of the group from the list.
    • Visible determines if the Forum can be seen by students.
    • ID number is used for assigning a custom number to the assignment for easy reference when grading.
    • Restrict access allows the instructor to set a condition on the assignment until other assignment(s) are completed: Add restrict access image
      Add restrict access menu image
    • Date: Access can be restricted from or until a certain date and time.
      Note: ALL dates must be changed when copying courses. [We recommend that you do not use the DATE option in Restrict access. Dates can be set above within the Availability.]
    • Grade: determines grade conditions which must be met in order to access the activity.
      Note: Multiple grade conditions may be set if desired. If so, the activity will only allow access when ALL grade conditions are met.
    • Group: If groups are used in the course, it is possible to restrict the activity to a certain group.
    • User Profile determines access based on fields within the student's profile, such as department or email.
    • Restriction Set allows you to set nested restrictions (of those listed above).
  16. Choose either Save and return to course or Save and display.

Q&A Tips

If you choose the Forum type: Q&A (Questions & Answer), then there are some additional tasks required to have a successful forum.

  1. The instructor must add the first question so the students can reply. It will take 30 min after the instructor post before the student would be able to see it.
  2. Groups: If the instructor is using groups in the Q&A forum, then the instructor must post the first question for each group. At the bottom of the question post there will be a group pull-down list. In this example there would be 4 question posts for each of the 4 groups. To learn more about groups.
    screen image of groups

Forum posting

  1. Click on the Forum activity.
  2. Click on the Add a new discussion button.
  3. Type the Subject (required) and the Message (required) of the post.
    • Subscription sends the topic author emails of posts (if enabled).
    • Attachment is for adding files to the post.
  4. Click Post to forum.

Viewing a forum

  1. Click on the Forum activity.
  2. Shown are all the posts by the students/instructor.
    Note: The Forum will be displayed according to what Forum type was selected when creating the Forum.
    Note: This screen displays the name of the discussion, who it was started by, how many replies the post has, and the time of the most recent post.
  3. Clicking on the name of a discussion or the replies number will show a post with all its replies.
    Note: The layout of the discussion can be changed via the pull-down menu right above the original post. The pull-down menu to the right of this is used to move the discussion to another Forum, if necessary.
    screen image of forum layout options

Additional Features

Forum permissions

The Forum permissions are established by the system's administrator. The permissions are given to the various roles in order to grant them the ability to perform actions within the activity. The instructor can view these permissions with these steps:

  1. Click on the existing Forum activity.
  2. In the navigation block, click the Permissions to view all possible capabilities pertaining to Forum, and which roles have access to each capability. Alternatively, click the Check permissions button specifically view an a list of all enrolled individuals in the course.
  3. Click on the users name to check and then click Show this user's permissions.
    Note: Type the user's name into the search box in order to refine the display and more easily locate the intended user.
  4. This page lists all of the various actions that are capable within the activity. The list will tell whether or not the user is capable of each action.


Forum subscriptions

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Forum emails...

Forums subscriptions will send an email for each post. The Instructor can set the forum to allow students to choose if they want emails or force the email subscription.
NOTE: Only Standard forum for general use: Optional or Forced subscriptions works. This bug is being addressed.

When a student is subscribed to a forum within Moodle, they will receive email copies of all the posts that occur in the forum. The instructor can choose whether or not the student will have the choice for subscribing. If the instructor doesn't want the student to be able to be unsubscribed from the forum, they can leave the option at its default choice. If they wish to change this option:

  1. Click the Forum activity.
  2. Click the Edit settings button within the Administration block.
  3. Within the General section, click the Subscription mode pull down and choose the desired option.
    • Optional subscription - Participants can choose whether to be subscribed
    • Forced subscription - Everyone is subscribed and cannot unsubscribe
    • Auto subscription - Everyone is subscribed initially but can choose to unsubscribe at any time
    • Subscription disabled - Subscriptions are not allowed
  4. Click either Save and return to course or Save and display.

Blocking posts without preventing viewing

    After the forum activity is completed, you can choose to prevent students from posting additional post, but still allow the students to view.

  1. Click the Edit (gear) button and then the Edit settings link on the right of the forum.

    Forum Update

  2. In the Update view, click the Permissions link in the Administration box on the left .


  3. Type Forum in the Filter text box. This will remove all the other permissions not relating to the forum tool.

    Forum filter box

  4. Scroll down to the Start new discussion capability, click on the + "Prohibited" icon on the right.
    Forum Start New Discussion
  5. From the pull down list, choose Student and click on the Prohibit button.

    Forum Prohibit


Advanced forum search

  1. Click on the Forum activity.
  2. Click on the Search forums button (top right corner) without typing anything into the text box.
  3. screen image of an bringing up advanced search

  4. Fill out as many of the search options as desired. Click Search forums.
  5. Note: The advanced search feature will search through ALL of the Forums on the course website, not simply the selected Forum.
  6. Any discussions/posts that satisfy the search criteria appear in the results.