The Forum tool is organized by Forums, Topics, and Conversations.
This article covers the process for creating a new Forum.
Forums are useful for grouping several similar topics together, such as graded discussions, or group topics. They can also be used to specify the default topic settings for all topics within the forum. All new topics will inherit the forum settings by default.
Select the Forums tool from the Tool Menu.
By default, new sites are populated with a single forum titled after the name of the site, and containing one topic for General Discussion. The default forum and topic may be edited for posting messages, adding more topics to the existing forum, or adding a new forum.
Click New Forum to add a new forum.
Forum titles are required. Name the forum a title to easily identify the types of topics expected within it. Remember that users post messages within topics, not forums. Forums are a grouping or classification of topics.
If desired, enter a description into the text box provided. The Short Description field only allows a maximum of 255 characters and does not allow formatting of text. This information is displayed to users when they view the Forum tool.
To provide more detailed instructions about the items in this forum, use the Description area to enter the information. This area includes the Rich Text Editor and allows for more advanced formatting options.
Optionally, you may attach files to the forum. Click the Add attachments button to browse for and select a file.
There are several forum posting options from which to choose. Remember, any settings selected here will apply to all of the topics within this forum by default. (However, these may be overridden by the settings on an individual topic if desired.)
The default option is to Show Immediately, or you can choose to Specify dates to open (show) and/or close (hide).
Tip: Setting open and close dates at the forum level can be tricky because individual topics may also have specified dates. However, the forum must be visible in order for the topics within the forum to be available to students. Typically, instructors set open/close dates at the topic level only.
The default option is unchecked, allowing the user to mark each post as read after reading. Selecting this option will mark all messages within a conversation, or thread, as read.
When grading forum posts, select a specific Gradebook item for the grades to be included in the Gradebook calculations.
Note: You must first create the Gradebook item in Gradebook tool before you can select it to be associated with a forum or topic.
Tip: Similar to open/close dates, associating with the Gradebook at the forum level is not always ideal because individual topics may also be graded. Faculty may prefer to grade discussions at the topic level.
In most cases, the default forum permissions are appropriate. By default, instructors are forum Owners, and all other site participants are Contributors. The forum owner may add and delete topics, modify permissions, edit the forum and topic descriptions, etc. Contributors may only read, post, and reply to messages.
To modify the default permissions, click Customize to expand the permission settings.
Note: Groups must already exist in order for group role permissions to display.
Once completed, scroll to the bottom of the page and select the Save button. (Alternately, if you would like to go directly to the screen to begin adding a new topic to the forum you just created, you may select Save Settings & Add Topic instead.)
Note: All forums need at least one topic in order to be active.