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2.2.8 Forum

This is basically a bulletin board. You may create a forum to discuss various topics for your class. To add a “Forum,” select “Forum” from the “Add an activity” menu. This will take you to the “Forum” page:


Again, there are help buttons next to each pull-down menu (the “?” buttons). You will be required to give the forum a name, and an introduction. The “Forum type” offers four choices: “A single simple discussion,” “Each person posts one discussion,” “Q and A” or “Standard forum for general use.” In “A single simple discussion,” you have just a single topic, all on one page. Useful for short, focused discussions. In “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. The “Q & A” forum requires students to post their perspectives before viewing other students' postings. After the initial posting, students can view and respond to others' postings. This feature allows equal initial posting opportunity among all students, thus encouraging original and independent thinking. In “Standard forum for general use,” you have an open forum where any one can start a new topic at any time. The “Standard forum” is the most commonly used forum.

Next is the “Force everyone to be subscribed?” option. If this is set to “Yes,” then every student in your class will get an email copy of every post in the forum. This might get old in a big discussion group, but would be useful if the forum were a class news forum where students would be emailed any new announcements. Students can always elect to be subscribed to a forum if this setting is set to “No.”

Your next option is “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 choices for this setting:

  • Optional [default]: students can turn tracking on or off for the forum at their discretion.
  • On: Tracking is always on.
  • Off: Tracking is always off.

The next setting is “Maximum attachment size,” which allows you to limit the size of any attachments that students may want to upload.
If your administrator has enabled RSS feeds (news feeders), you will see two additional entries:


If the RSS questions do not appear on your screen, then your administrator probably has not enabled RSS feeds. See your administrator for more information. Since RSS is available in multiple modules, it is covered in its own section. For more information, see Appendix 3: RSS Feeds.