Forums: Overview

What it does

The Forums tool allows instructors or site leaders to create an unlimited number of discussion forums, and is integrated closely with other tools such as Resources and Gradebook.

Key concepts

Grading option: Interactions can be assigned a point value and sent to the Gradebook with comments.

Counts of unread posts at a glance: On your site's Home page (select Home on the site's menubar), you can see how many unread messages or posts you have in both Messages and Forums. From My Workspace, you can see these totals for all sites you're a member of.

Ability to watch forums: Site members can elect to receive no email notification, notification for all new postings in a site, or notification for responses to threads they've posted in.

Composing messages: A WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface allows rich text, plain text, and HTML editing. You can add attachments to any message by linking to files or web links in Resources.

Note: Pasting text from Microsoft Word directly into the WYSIWYG editor may result in garbled output, even if the text appears correct in the editor. Instead, to insert formatted text from a Word document, click the Paste from Word icon, and paste using Ctrl-v or Command-v.

Some users have reported problems using Paste from Word in Internet Explorer 9; for best results, use a supported browser. See Which browser should I use?

Quoted text: Use the Insert Original Text option to insert the previous post into your response.

Statistics: Forum statistics are available for site owners to determine the participation level of individual participants. You can also read all of a particular participant's posts using this feature.

Settings: The site owner (or another participant with the appropriate role) can enable participants to submit their posts to a topic before they have permission to read the responses of others.

Group awareness: Site leaders can change forum and topic settings in combination with predefined groups to allow or deny access to specific discussions per group.

Direct link to individual messages: Site leaders can copy a direct link to individual messages to use elsewhere.

Email the author of a message: Site leaders can directly email the author of a posting from within the forum tool.

Help documentation

For help documentation about the Forums tool, see Forums.