Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Grading, Restricting, and Closing Forums in Moodle

The Forum activity in Moodle ISU 2 provides students with the platform to discuss topics and answer questions related to the course content and fosters the development of student-centered learning. Effective learning requires access to social and academic networks for both study material and academic support such as the online community of learners that can be developed through participation in a forum.

The following information provides helpful tips on how to manage the forum activities within Moodle.

Rating/Grading a Forum:

When you are grading a forum post it is referred to as rating. If you do not want to use the Moodle ISU 2 rating system to grade your forum, or the forum is not being graded, leave the Aggregate type as No ratings.

You can change the Aggregate type for rating/grading the forum by selecting how you would like the students’ post ratings to be calculated to form their final grade for this forum in the gradebook. There are six options to choose from:
  1. No ratings: Posts in this forum will not be rated and the forum will not appear in the gradebook.
  2. Average of ratings: The average rating of all of the student’s posts.
  3. Count of ratings: The student’s grade will be equal to their number of rated posts.
  4. Maximum rating: The student’s highest rating will be their grade.
  5. Minimum rating: The student’s lowest rating will be their grade.
  6. Sum of ratings: All of the student’s ratings are added together to make their grade.
Under the Scale menu, you will see any custom scales you have set up, as well as any numerical evaluation from 1 to 100 to choose from for the amount of points that the forum rating is worth.

Hot Tip: For more information about the forum aggregate types see

Restricting a Forum:

If the instructor wants to grade only those forum posts within in a certain time period, you can restrict the ability to rate within a certain date by Checking the box next to Restrict Ratings to Items With Dates in This Range box and selecting the desired date and times.

Note: Restricting the ratings DOES NOT restrict students from posting. Students can post outside the specified posting dates, but you will not be able to rate those postings nor will they be counted toward the students’ grades.

Closing/Archiving a Forum:

If the instructor wants to put an end to a student discussion topic, but still wants the students to be able to see posts and see the forum item in the gradebook, he/she can change student permissions for the forum. To do this, the instructor will go to the forum they want to close and do the following:
  1. Click on Settings
  2. Click on Forum Administration
  3. Click on Permissions
  4. Click the Prevent icon (x) for the student role for the capabilities ‘Start new discussions’ and ‘Reply to posts’.
Note: These steps will need to be done for each forum discussion the instructor wishes to close on the time or date that the forum is closed for posting. There is no automatic setting for this function.

Coming on May 1 - Types of Forums, Subscription Options, Read Tracking and how to Block Excessive Postings