The Open forum activity enables students to post and reply to comments, suggestions, and questions asynchronously. Use the Open forum to provide a platform on which your students can communicate with each other.
Add an Open forum activity
Steps in Snap: Create learning activity or resource > Open forum > Add
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Add an activity or resource > Open forum > Add
Not sure what type of Open forum you want to add? Jump to Forum types.
How it looks in Snap
How it looks in another theme
- In any course section select Create learning activity or resource and choose Open forum. Select Add.
- Type a meaningful name and description for the activity.
- Choose what you want to appear on the course page.
- By default Display recent posts on course page is selected. Recent posts appear in the Open forum activity on the course page.
- Select Display description on course page if you want the description to show there.
- Select a Forum type. By default the Standard forum for general use is selected.
- Optionally, set the following.
- Post options
- Discussion locking
- Post threshold for blocking
- Common module settings
- Group mode
- Restrict access
- Select Save and display.
Edit a Open forum activity
Steps in Snap: Open forum > Edit
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Open forum > Edit Settings
Steps in Snap: Open forum > Edit > Forum type
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Open forum > Edit > Edit Settings > Forum type
Forum types allow you to use online discussions in different ways.
- Standard forum for general use: An open forum. Anyone can start a new discussion at any time. It is well-suited to more open and free-flowing conversations. This is the best general purpose forum. This type is selected by default.
- Single simple discussion: A single discussion topic that everyone can reply to. This is useful for discussions that need focus. You cannot use it with separate groups.
- Each person posts one discussion: Each student posts one new discussion topic that everyone can reply to. Use this when you need more than a single simple discussion and less than a standard forum for general use.
- Q and A forum: This is a question and answer forum. Students must post at least once before replying to others. After they make a post they can view and respond to other students’ posts. This encourages students to think for themselves before posting.
- Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format: An open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time. Discussion topics are on one page with Discuss this topic links.
Steps in Snap: Open forum > Edit > Post options
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Open forum > Edit > Edit Settings > Post options
Post options give you control over what you can do with posts. By default, no options are selected. Choose the features you want to use.
- Allow marking as substantive: Flag posts that are important, meaningful, or merit attention. Select the star at the bottom of the post to flag it. Other teachers in the course see your flags. Students do not.
- Allow post bookmarking: Bookmark posts to remind you to return to them later. Select the bookmark at the bottom of the post to mark it. Other teachers in the course see your bookmarks. Students do not.
- Allow private replies: Send private replies to posts. Select Private reply at the bottom of your reply. Only the author of the post you are replying to sees your reply.
- Allow anonymous posting: All posts and replies are automatically by Anonymous User. You can choose to show your name and avatar with your posts and replies. Select Reveal Yourself at the bottom of your reply.
- Display word count: A word count is displayed for every post submitted. Words are not counted as you write the post. The count appears only after the post has been submitted.
Steps in Snap: Open forum > Edit > Subscription
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Open forum > Edit > Edit settings > Subscription
When participants subscribe to a forum they receive emails alerting them to new posts. Choose one of the following subscription options.
- Optional subscription: Participants can choose if they want to subscribe to the forum. This is selected by default.
- Forced subscription: All participants are automatically subscribed and can’t unsubscribe.
- Auto subscription: All participant are automatically subscribed. They can choose to unsubscribe.
- Subscription disabled: Nobody can subscribe to the forum.
Any changes affect only participants who join the course after the change. A student already enrolled in the course sees no change.
Post threshold for blocking
Steps in Snap: Open forum > Edit > Post threshold for blocking
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Open forum > Edit > Edit settings > Post threshold for blocking
Limit the number of posts students are allowed to make in a forum during a set period of time.
- In the Time period for blocking menu, select the period of time you want to set the post thresholds for.
- In Post threshold for blocking, type the maximum number of posts you want student to be able to make in the set time period.
- In Post threshold for warning, type the number of posts students are allowed before receiving a warning. This number should be smaller than the threshold for blocking.
Students can post to the forum 5 times in a week. After 3 posts they see are warning that they are reaching their limit for the week.
Steps in Snap: Open forum > Edit > Grade
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Open forum > Edit > Edit settings > Grade
So you want to make your Open forum gradable? Expand Grade when adding or updating your Open form and set how you want to do it.
- Select one of the following from the Grade Type menu.
- None: The forum is not graded.
- Manual: The forum is graded by a teacher.
- Rating: The forum uses ratings to generate a grade. Ratings are given while viewing the forum.
- Select one of the following from the Type menu.
- None: There is no grading type.
- Scale: Use a scale to grade. Select the scale you want to use from the Scale menu.
- Point: Use points when grading. Type the maximum number of points that can be earned.
- Select an advanced method for grading from the Grading method menu. Simple direct grading is selected by default.
- Optionally, if you use Gradebook categories, select the category from the Grade category menu.
- Optionally, type the minimum number of points a student needs to pass.
There are administration features for each type of activity in a course. These features are available in Edit mode.
Steps in Snap: Open forum > Edit > Admin menu
Steps in other themes: Turn editing on > Open forum > Edit > Edit settings > Select option from Forum administration menu
Select the administrative feature for the activity:
- Edit settings: Update the activity.
- Locally assigned roles: Update the role of a specific user for the activity.
- Permissions: Update the permission a specific user role can have for the activity.
- Check permissions: Review a specific user’s permissions for the activity.
- Filters: Update the filter settings for the assignment. Filters can be used to add links, insert multimedia players, convert Mathematical expressions or emoticons into images and more.
- Logs: Review the log files available for the activity. Opens the Reports section in Course administration.
- Backup: Complete the backup for the activity.
- Restore: Complete a restore of the activity from a previous backup.
- Advanced grading: Change the grading method being used for the activity.
- Export: Save and print a copy of all of the discussions in the forum.
- View posters: See who has posted something to the forum.
- Subscription mode: Change the subscription mode.
- Subscribe to this forum: Subscribe to discussion topics and receive emails when there are new posts
- Show/edit forum subscribers: Add or remove subscribers to the forum. Select Turn editing on. Select a user and Add to move them to the Existing subscribers. Select a user and Remove to move them to Potential subscribers.
Instructors can configure forums to lock after a period of inactivity within the forum. When a forum is locked students can’t post or reply to the forum. Only instructors are able to post to the locked forum. This unlocks the forum and opens up discussions again.
Lock a forum