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.
The Forums tool is organized by Forums, Topics, and Conversations.
- A Forum is a mandatory category or grouping for topics. There may be more than one Forum in the course or project site.
- Topics are required within Forums in order for site participants to be able to post, read, and reply to messages.
- Conversations are messages or threads of discussion posted within a Topic.
Some the features in the Forums tool include:
- 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 your response.
- Email notifications: Site members can adjust Watch options to 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.
- 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 Forums.
- Moderation: Instructors can choose to moderate messages posted to topics.
- Availability dates: Forums and topics can be released according to specified dates.
- 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 by 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 Forums tool.
- Grading: Posts can be assigned a point value and sent to the Gradebook with comments.
- 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.
Note: A forum with the name of the site and a topic titled "General Discussion" are created by default.