What is the Forums tool?
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.
A Forum is a mandatory category or grouping for topics. Topics, which are created within forums, are where participants can post conversations. A Conversation is the thread of messages in which participants post their contributions. A conversation can be created by instructors or students inside of a topic.
Some the features in the Forums tool include the following:
- Grading: Interactions can be assigned a point value and sent to the Gradebook with comments.
- Availability dates: Forums and topics can be released according to specified dates.
- Moderation: Instructors can choose to moderate messages posted to topics.
- Counts of unread posts at a glance: On a site Home or Overview page, unread forum posts can be displayed. From Home, the total unread forum posts for all associated sites can be displayed.
- Email notifications: Site members can elect to receive no email notification, notification for all new postings in a site, or notification for responses to conversations they've posted in. The default is to receive notifications about new postings in conversations to which you have contributed.
- Statistics: Forum statistics are available for site owners to determine the participation level of individual participants. Individual participant posts can also be read using Forum statistics.
- Post before reading option: 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.
- Composing messages: A Rich Text Editor allows rich text, plain text, and HTML editing. You can add attachments to any message by linking to files or web links in Resources.
- Quoted text: Use the Insert Original Text option to insert the previous post into a response.
- Email the author of a message: Site leaders can directly email the author of a posting from within the Forums tool.
Note: A forum with the name of the site and a topic titled "General Discussion" are created by default.