Forums: Overview

Note: The Forums tool is not usable by students until the Instructor adds a Topic to a Forum. By default, students can only post Threads in Topics.

The hierarchy for the Forums Tool is as follows:

What it does

Forums is a communication tool that instructors or site leaders can use to create an unlimited number of discussion forums for their course or project sites. The Forums tool is designed to be an effective tool for both academic and collaborative work, and is integrated closely with other tools (e.g., Resources and Gradebook).

Key concepts

Discussion forums: Asynchronous discussion provides an opportunity for your site participants to engage site resources and each other, and allows for the free expression of convergent and divergent ideas. Interactions can be assigned a point value and sent to the Gradebook with comments.

Viewing forums: On your site's Home page (select Home on the site's menubar), participants can see how many unread discussion forum messages they have. On the Forums screen, participants see the number of unread messages and the grand total of messages for each topic. In the forums list, forums and topics are viewed as a thread by default.

Composing messages: A WYSIWYG 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.

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.

Print-friendly view: A print-friendly view is available.

Import forums and topics: Re-use materials easily by importing forums and topics from your other sites.

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 pre-defined groups to allow or deny access to specific discussions per group.

Things to consider

Modifications to this page inspired by bSpace Help documentation: