Forums enable staff and students to communicate in a public module forum asynchronously. Your lecturer will determine how Forums are used. This could be for general questions, an online seminar, group work, or getting to know your peers.  A Forum can be limited to a group or open to all students enrolled on the module.

Remember – all messages you post to the Forums on a module are available to staff and students enrolled on that module. It is therefore important to behave appropriately online.

Different Types of Forum

Announcements Forum

Most modules will usually have an Announcements Forum. The Forum is available for staff to post important messages about the module and typically appears at the top of the module. Students enrolled on the module are automatically subscribed to this forum and will receive these posts in their University inbox. Students cannot respond to posts made in a News Forum.

Standard Forum

The standard forum is most useful for large discussions that the Lecturer intends to moderate or for social forums that are student-led, such as student cafes. In this type of forum, both Lecturers and students  can start as many new topics (discussion threads) as required.

Forum Communication Settings

Forums provide an area where students and teachers can communicate by posting comments. Subscription to a Forum means that you will receive any posts made to a Moodle forum as an email, to your University email inbox, as well as being able to view it on your Moodle module. This is useful for keeping up to date with posts made within modules. Staff may subscribe you to forums in order to send out important messages about your course or to include you in module activities. To help manage your forum posts there are a few settings within the edit profile that you can change.

Forum Subscription and Tracking

To help manage your forum posts in your inbox there are a few settings within the edit profile that you can change.

To configure your settings, click the User menu in the top navigation bar in Moodle and choose Preferences followed by Forum Preferences.

  1. Email Digest Type: If set to No digest you will receive an email to your inbox each time a post is sent from the forums you are subscribed to. Select the Complete or Daily option if you would prefer these posts to be collated into one email that is received at the end of each day.
  2. Forum auto-subscribe: If you do not want to be automatically subscribed to a forum after you have posted to one then select No. Please note: this may mean you miss out on important messages from your module and lecturer.
  3. : We recommend setting your forum tracking to ‘Yes: Highlight new posts for me”. This will mean that it is clearer when you access your module that you have new forum posts.

Once you have made changes, click Save Changes.

On a module page, you can also change how you are subscribed to specific Forums.

  1. From the top of the module page click ‘This course‘.
  2. Select Forums from this list.
  3. On the page that appears you can choose to subscribe to a forum and change your digest for a specific forum. Please note; if your lecturer has forced subscription you will not be able to change this preferences

Participating in a Forum

Add a new post/discussion topic

  1. Click Add a new discussion topic to post a new message.
  2. Add a Subject
  3. In the Message input box write your message. The Message box is an HTML editor which enables you to format your text and to add in links. Please note, if you take longer than 1-hour writing your post, Moodle will time you out and you will lose everything that you have already written.
  4. For information on how to add URL links or images or learn about formatting your message please view our guidance on the Moodle editor.
  5. Remember to spell check before you post using the ABC icon.
  6. You can click the Send forum post notifications with no editing-time delay option (which sends the email immediately). If not, Moodle waits 30 minutes before sending your message, so you can make changes. You will get 30 minutes to edit your post. After 30 minutes has elapsed you will not be able to edit your post and if the subscription has been enabled your post will be emailed to those enrolled on the module.
  7. Click on ‘Display period‘ to find an option to enable both a start and end date. This allows you to display forum posts during a specific time period, for instance, to enable you to set up posts in advance that are only released once the specified start date is reached.
  8. Click Post to forum to send out your message.

Reply to a post (n.b. students cannot reply to News Forums)

  1. To open a Forum to post a message or to read messages already posted click on the title of the Forum from the module homepage.

A. You will also be able to access all Forums from the This Course menu at the top of the page. You can then select the relevant Forum.

  1. Click on the link to the Discussion name to read the discussion and click on reply to post your reply to the topic.
  2. Follow the steps above to continue.

Forum Netiquette

Moodle forum is an effective form of online communication and collaborations group work with academic staff and peers.    By following the simple guidelines set out below you will be contributing to effective learning and teaching forums.

  1. Read the description of the Forum before you post to ensure that you are posting to the right Forum. Some modules have a number of Forums for different purposes.
  2. Read previous posts to check if a topic/question has already been covered and answered before you post.
  3. Always start a new discussion thread by clicking Add a new discussion topic when introducing a new subject.
  4. Always use a clear subject line.
  5. Re-read your messages before you post to ensure that your message is clear.
  6. Try to keep messages short and to the point.
  7. Be positive: acknowledge and support your fellow students.
  8. Try to add value to the discussion rather than posting one-word replies.
  9. Ask open-ended questions to progress the conversation.
  10. Avoid sarcasm, irony, shouting (writing in CAPITALS).
  11. If you want to disagree with someone start by restating what you think they have said in your own words.
  12. Do not disrupt Forums by posting rude, inflammatory and/or off-topic posts and replies.
  13. If you are copying something written by someone else, put it in quotation marks and give them credit.
  14. Try to differentiate between fact and opinion – when speaking from your own perspective.
    Use emojis to ‘humanise’ your messages 🙂