Moodle - Using And Subscribing To Forums

Topics Covered In This Article

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Three Common Types Of Forums

There are three common types of forums that you will use in your courses:

  • News forums are special read-only forums intended for instructors to post important course information. You will automatically be subscribed to news forums; any posts will be emailed to you, and you will see a short summary of news forum messages in the latest news block.
  • Class forums are general forums that allow you to create posts and reply to the posts of others.
  • Team forums are similar to class forums but are limited to those members of your team.

Navigating To Forums

To navigate to a forum, you can either click on the forum on the main course page or click on Forums in the Activities block, which will list all forums in the course. The Activities block is in the right column on the main course page.

After clicking on Forums in the Activities block, if you have forum tracking turned on–which it is by default–you will see the number of unread posts, which forums have tracking enabled, and which forums you are subscribed to.


Forum And Discussion Subscription

You can subscribe to a forum or to just a discussion within a forum. If you subscribe to a forum you will receive email when posts are made to any discussion within the forum. If you subscribe to a discussion you will receive email for posts within the discussion.

There are two ways to subscribe to a forum:
  1. Click on Forums in the Activities block (explained above), and click on No in the Subscribed column to toggle it to Yes, which will indicate that you are subscribed to the forum.

  2. Navigate to the forum you want to subscribe to and under the gear menu in the top right click on Subscribe to this forum.

There are three ways to subscribe to a discussion within a forum:
  1. Navigate to the forum, and for the discussion you'd like to subscribe to click the  button in the Subscription status column which will turn into a check mark to show that you are subscribed.

  2. When you're viewing a discussion you may subscribe to it by clicking the subscribe button in the top right corner.

  3. When you are replying to a post, you may tick the Discussion subscription box to automatically subscribe to the discussion once you submit your post.

Creating A New Forum Discussion Topic

To create a new forum discussion topic from the main forum page, click on the add a new discussion topic button. You can only see this button if you have permission to post to the forum, so will not see it in a read-only news forum.
From here you can enter a subject and message for the new discussion. Try to make your subject descriptive of the post to help out other course participants. Ticking Discussion subscription (as shown above) will subscribe you to this discussion once the post is submitted, if you are not already subscribed.

Display Period (Post Date A Post)

This feature is available to instructors and staff. Use this setting to set a time and date for when a forum post should appear.

Notifications - Email notifications for future dated posts will be sent out on the specified date and time. The email will also show the specified date and time, however, in the forum post the date and time will be different showing when the post was actually written and saved.

Before a course starts - If you would like to set up a forum post before a course opens, set a display period so that notifications do not get sent out before the course start date.

Saving Draft Posts

If you're not sure that you are ready to submit your post, you can save a draft of your post by clicking the Save Draft button.

To return to your draft post, select the Restore Draft button to see drafts saved for this forum.

Replying To A Discussion Post

To reply to a discussion, click on the discussion you want to reply to and click the reply button at the bottom right. Once you have created a post or reply you will have 30 minutes to edit or delete it. The buttons for editing and deleting will appear next to the reply button during these 30 minutes.


Discussion View Options

When viewing a forum discussion, above the top post on the left, you can choose how to format the display of posts.


Nested is the default. It will show you the content of the original post and the full content of any replies nested beneath it.This keeps the original post and replies to it in context and allows you to read them in sequence.

Threaded shows the original post and only the subject of any replies. Clicking on a reply will navigate to the full reply, displaying only replies to this message underneath. You can move to the parent of this message by clicking Show parent.

Flat forum will display all posts chronologically either oldest first or newest first.

Forum Tracking

Forum tracking shows which forums have new posts, which discussions have new posts, and which posts are new. Forum tracking is enabled by default. How to turn forum tracking on and off is discussed in the article Moodle - Updating Profile & Preferences.

Forums on the main course page will display how many unread posts all their discussions contain.

Discussions will list how many unread posts they contain.

Unread posts will have a highlighted background at the top.

Forum Preferences

Information on forum preferences may be found here.

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