Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Setting up 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.

Types of Forums:

  • A single simple discussion: The instructor creates a single discussion topic, to which all students can reply.  This is useful for short, focused discussions and is useful in keeping students focused on a particular subject.  
  • Each person posts one discussion: Each student can post exactly one new discussion topic (everyone can reply to all of the other discussions). This type of forum allows students a little more freedom to create their own topics, but helps keep the discussion focused by limiting the amount of topics that can be added.
  • Q & A forum: Requires the instructor to post the initial question and then the students must reply before viewing other students' responses.  After their initial posting, students can view and respond to other posts. (Note: For the instructor, the button which normally reads “Add a new discussion topic” reads “Add a new question”.  The students do not see this button.)
  • Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format: All of the discussion topics, including student replies, are displayed on one page with a Discuss this topic link that takes you to the discussion of the chosen topic. This type of forum is useful if you want to be able to read the topic message without having to enter the discussion. Students are able to post multiple topics and reply at any time.
  • Standard forum for general use: An open forum in which anyone can start any number of new discussion topics at any time and everyone can reply to one another. This is the most commonly used forum and may be useful once the online community has been established.

Subscription Options:

When you are subscribed to a forum it means that you will get an email copy of every post in the forum (emails are sent after a 30 minute editing period has passed). However, the following options are available:
  • Optional Subscription: Users can manage their subscription preferences to the forum. This is the default which leaves the choice up to each user.
  • Forced subscription: Everyone (including the teachers) will be subscribed with no option to unsubscribe. The News Forum uses this option. (Hot Tip: The News Forum is a useful tool to communicate with your entire class. Only teachers may post in the News Forum. All posts remain in the News Forum with a date and time stamp, a notice is placed in the Latest News block, and all posts are automatically emailed to all the users.)
  • Auto subscription: All current and future students will be subscribed initially but they can unsubscribe themselves at any time. This is useful to help students recognize a new forum has begun. Users still have control over their subscriptions.
  • Subscription disabled: Students cannot be subscribed to the forum.
Hot Tip: When changing the subscription options in a forum, the change will only affect future posts; it will not automatically subscribe or unsubscribe existing students/instructors.

Read Tracking:  

If Read Tracking for this Forum is enabled, students can track read and unread messages in forums and discussions. This means that students will see a notice next to the forum activity on the course page that shows the number of unread posts. Note: Users must have enabled Forum Tracking in their profile to be able to use this option. If the instructor leaves this as Optional, students can turn tracking on or off for the forum at their discretion within their profile settings. If the instructor sets it as On: Tracking is always on. If the instructor sets it as Off: Tracking is always off.

Post Threshold for Blocking:

Occasionally there are students who dominate a threaded discussion with excessive posting. Enabling thresholds for blocking allows the instructor to block this type of excessive posting with three options. 1. The instructor can define the period in which a student may create posts. After this time period, their count will reset. 2. The instructor can also set the number of posts a student can make in a time period. 3. The instructor can set the number of posts a student can make before he/she will receive a warning that they are approaching their post limit for the time period.

No comments:

Post a Comment