Moodle - Establishing Discussion Boards: Forums

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The forum feature is one of the most popular activities in Moodle because it encourages student interaction and participation outside of class. If you are teaching an online class, forums will be one of the primary methods of communication with your students. There are several different types of forums you might choose to add to your course.


Announcements Forum

Each Moodle class is built with an instructor Announcements Forum. Students cannot post to this forum (they may only read posts). Instructors can create messages here that will be sent automatically to students via their PSU email.


Standard Forum

The most commonly used forum is the Standard forum. Students can create as many new topics as they like as well as posting an unlimited amount of replies. This is the best general-purpose forum to use in your course.

  • Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format - This is a different version of the Standard forum because it displays the first post for each discussion topic all on one page. To view the complete conversation, simply click on the Discuss this topic button, and the entire thread will be displayed in a blog-like format.


Other forum types

There are a few other forum types that you might choose to add to your course depending on your specific course and weekly goals. A single simple discussion is a forum with just one topic (or thread). The instructor starts the discussion and students simply respond, making this a useful forum type for short, focused discussions.

Another approach is to have each student post exactly one discussion topic. Students can still respond to others' postings as many times as they wish (for example, in an Introductions forum).


The Q&A forum prevents students from reading responses written by their classmates before posting their own response. The forum is initially started by the instructor, who creates the discussion topic (or a question). For more information on Q&A forums, click here.


Creating a Forum Discussion

  1. On your course page, click "Add an Activity or Resource," and then select Forum.

  1. Input a name for your forum in the Forum name text box.

  1. In the Forum description text box place any student instructions for this activity.


Adding a forum


  1. In the Forum type menu, keep the default option (Standard forum for general use), or choose a forum type from those described above.


Forum type


  1. In the Grade settings, if you'd like this forum to be graded, designate the grade category (if used).

  1. In the settings, select the aggregate type for grading forum posts (maximum, average, or are good choices). Then, select either a point or scale grading scheme. For more information on grading forum posts, please visit the following page: Grading forums


Forum ratings


  1. When you are finished, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Save and return to course button.

  1. You have successfully created a discussion forum for your students. They can now add their own discussion topic (thread) or post a response to another student's posting.


Article ID: 2700
Fri 10/2/20 5:10 PM
Mon 1/25/21 1:31 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Plymouth State University (PSU)