Discussion Forums

Resources for creating online discussion forums:

How to get students to participate in online discussions

How to facilitate robust online discussion forums

Questions that promote critical thinking

To create a Moodle Discussion Forum:

  • On the course homepage > click Turn Editing on
  • In the section where you want the assignment to appear > click Add an activity or resource
  • Click the radio button beside Forum
  • Click Add

Set up the Forum:

  • Add a Forum Name and Description
    • The description should contain instructions for how students can participate in the forum and your netiquette expectations.
  • Select a Forum Type
    • A single simple discussion – Discussion of a single topic
    • Each person posts one discussion – Each participant can post only one new discussion topic. This is a good forum type for peer reviews
    • Q and A forum – Students don’t see other replies until after they have posted their own reply
    • Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format – Any participant can start a new discussion topic and topics are displayed on one page with “Discuss this topic” links
    • Standard forum for general use – Open forum in which any participant can start a new discussion topic at any time
  • Attachments and word count section > configure number and size of file attachments per post, and whether to display word counts
  • Subscription and tracking section > configure subscription (who gets notified when new discussion items get posted) and tracking
  • Post threshold for blocking section > set the number of times a participant can post to the forum
  • Grade section > add forum grade to a grade category
  • Ratings section > configure forum grading
  • Common module settings section > set forum visibility to students and groups
  • Restrict access > configure when students can access the forum
  • Click Save and display

Start a New Discussion Topic:

  • Click Add a new discussion topic
  • Add a Subject (the topic of the discussion)
  • Add a Message (the prompt you want participants to respond to)
  • Mail now check box forces Moodle to send subscribed forum participants an email immediately (within 30 minutes) instead of waiting until the end of the day
  • Click Post to forum

 Note: Groupings are a great way to split classes up into smaller group discussions. Moodle has a random grouping feature or you can select students for each group.