Help and Support (Staff)

This is one of many help and support pages that are available about the University of Nottingham's Moodle online learning environment. If you have any questions or queries concerning Moodle then contact information is at the bottom of this one-page sheet. Please browse or use the SEARCH box below.

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Moodle Help & Support 

This refers to Moodle 3.8 from September 2020 onward 

Using forums to engage students in online learning

How to add a forum

Creating activities: How to create a forum

Step by step

  1. Navigate to your module and click on the 'Turn editing on' icon in the top right  Turn editing on icon
  2. In the relevant topic/section, click Add an activity or resource
  3. A window will appear. Scroll down through activities and select the radio button for 'Forum' and then click 'Add'

Add an activity or resource window

4. Give the forum a "Name" and "Description". (The Description is where the instructions or guidelines will go, or, for Single Simple Discussion, this will be the first post)

Adding details for a new forum

5. Select the "Forum type" you want.


There are 5 types of discussion forums (in addition to the special Announcements forum, see above)                      

  • 'A single simple discussion': this is a forum with only one topic. Users can only reply to the original topic (and to replies) not create new topics. The Description will be the first post.
  • 'Each person posts one discussion': handy for class introductions, each user can only post one discussion topic (replies are not limited).
  • 'Q and A forum': this forum allows you to post a question (or questions) and students must reply with their answers first before seeing other student responses.
  • 'Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format'
  • 'Standard forum for general use': anyone can post new topics/subjects and reply to this forum.

6. Click the arrow next to "Subscription and tracking" to expand this section. In "Subscription mode" choose which subscription option you want

  Subscription and tracking section

The options available are:

  • 'Optional subscription': users aren’t subscribed (don’t get email alerts) but can choose to be
  • 'Forced subscription': users automatically get update alerts and cannot unsubscribe
  • 'Auto subscription': means users start with a subscription but may choose to disable it – OFTEN A GOOD CHOICE
  • 'Subscription disabled':  it is never possible to get alerts

7. Click 'Save and return to module' or 'Save and Display'

Save buttons

8. When you have finished, click on the 'Turn editing off' button on the top right of your main Moodle page


Posting messages in the forum

For any type of forum - except Single simple discussion (where the Description is the first post) - you can now go into the forum and start posting messages.

  1. Click into the forum. You will know it is a forum as it has the 'Forum' icon Forum icon by the title
  2. Click on the 'Add a new discussion topic' button

Add new discussion topic button

3. In the posting window enter a "Subject" and "Message"

Writing a new forum post

4. Add any attachments if appropriate (up to 2 MB in size) by clicking on Advanced and uploading a file to the "Attachment" section

5. When you are ready, click on the 'Post to forum' button

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