Creating a Forum

Forum types

The following types of forums can be created.

Forum type
A single simple discussion A single discussion topic which everyone can reply to
Each person posts one discussion Each student can post exactly one new discussion topic, which everyone can then reply to
Q and A forum Students must first post their perspectives before viewing other students' posts
Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format An open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time, and in which discussion topics are displayed on one page with "Discuss this topic" links
Standard forum for general use An open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time

Creating a Forum

To add a forum:

  1. From the course click TURN editing on

  2. From the Add an activity drop down menu select Forum 

    This will take you to the forum settings page titled Adding a new forum.

Existing forum settings


In an existing forum, the following settings can be found in Settings > Forum administration > Edit settings.

Forum Settings

Configure the forum using the settings in the Adding a new forum page.

Forum name A short name of the forum which will be displayed on the course homepage.
Forum type Five forum types are available. See the table below for a description of each type.
Forum introduction Place a description of the forum here.
Display description on course page If enabled, the introduction / description above will be displayed on the course page just below the link to the activity / resource.
Subscription mode

When a participant is subscribed to a forum it means they will receive email copies of forum posts.

There are four subscription mode options:

  • Optional subscription - participants can choose whether to be subscribed
  • Forced subscription - everyone is subscribed and cannot unsubscribe
  • Auto subscription - everyone is subscribed initially but can choose to unsubscribe at any time
  • Subscription disabled - subscriptions are not allowed

Scroll down to see a more detailed explanation below.

Read tracking for this forum?

If enabled, participants can track read and unread messages in the forum and in discussions.

There are three options:

  • Optional - participants can choose whether to turn tracking on or off
  • On - tracking is always on
  • Off - tracking is always off
Maximum attachment size

This setting specifies the largest size of file that can be attached to a forum post.

Server file capacity, student downloading speeds and discouraging images in a document centered discussion are a few reasons to limit file size.

Maximum number of attachments This setting specifies the maximum number of files that can be attached to a forum post.

Subscription mode

When a user is subscribed to a forum it means that they will receive notification via email of each new posting.

People can usually choose whether or not they want to be subscribed to each forum. However, the teacher can choose to force subscription on a particular forum then all course users will be subscribed automatically, even those that enrol at a later time.

The subscription mode and subscribe or unsubscribe links appear in the Settings menu under Forum administration when viewing the forum. Teachers can quickly change the mode via the 'Subscription mode' options and view the current subscribers via the 'Show/edit current subscribers' link.

  • Forcing everyone to subscribe is especially useful in the news forum and in forums towards the beginning of the course (before everyone has worked out that they can subscribe to these emails themselves).
  • Changing the setting from "Yes, initially" to "No" will not unsubscribe existing users, it will only affect those who enrol in the course in the future. Similarly changing "Yes, initially" will not subscribe existing course users but only those enrolling later.
  • There is also a "Subscriptions not allowed" setting which prevents students from subscribing to a forum. Teachers may choose to subscribe to a forum if they wish.

Post threshold for blocking

Use these settings to stop users from posting more than a specified number of posts in a given period.


This setting controls the category in which this activity's grades are placed in the gradebook.


The teacher can allow only posts within a certain date range to be rated. This is useful if the teacher wants to keep students focused on the most recent content and maintain a specific pace within the forum or course.

To submit ratings users require the moodle/rating: rate capability and any module specific capabilities. Users assigned the following roles should be able to rate items. The list of roles may be amended via the permissions link in the settings block.

The aggregate type defines how ratings are combined to form the final grade in the gradebook.

  • Average of ratings - the mean of all ratings
  • Count of ratings - the number of rated items becomes the final grade. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.
  • Maximum - the highest rating becomes the final grade
  • Minimum - the smallest rating becomes the final grade
  • Sum - all ratings are added together. Note that the total cannot exceed the maximum grade for the activity.

If 'No ratings' is selected, then the activity will not appear in the gradebook.

Common Module Settings

Group mode

This setting has three options:

  • No groups - there are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community
  • Separate groups - each group member can only see their own group, others are invisible
  • Visible groups - each group member works in their own group, but can also see other groups

The group mode defined at course level is the default mode for all activities within the course. Each activity that supports groups can also define its own group mode, though if the group mode is forced at course level, the group mode setting for each activity is ignored.

ID number

Setting an ID number provides a way of identifying the activity for grade calculation purposes. If the activity is not included in any grade calculation then the ID number field may be left blank.

The ID number can also be set in the gradebook, though it can only be edited on the activity settings page.

Restrict Access


Access from/to dates determine when students can access the activity via a link on the course page.

The difference between access from/to dates and availability settings for the activity is that outside the set dates the latter allows students to view the activity description, whereas access from/to dates prevent access completely.

Grade condition

The grade condition setting determines any grade conditions which must be met in order to access the activity.

Multiple grade conditions may be set if desired. If so, the activity will only allow access when ALL grade conditions are met.

Activity completion condition

This setting determines any activity completion conditions which must be met in order to access the activity. Note that completion tracking must first be set before an activity completion condition can be set.

Multiple activity completion conditions may be set if desired. If so, access to the activity will only be permitted when ALL activity completion conditions are met.

Activity Completion

Configure completion tracking settings to define what is required for the forum activity to be considered complete.

Require viewing of the forum only, or configure settings to require grade, posts, replies or discussions.

More information on activity completion settings can be found here.


Select Save and display to add a topic to the forum or Save and return to course.

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