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Moodle Help & Support 


This refers to Moodle 3.6 from July 2019 onward

How to create a forum with groups

To allow groups of students to have a discussion together, you can set up a forum with groups.

It is the same forum, but people in a group can only reply to those in the same group.

An Editing teacher will be able to see everyone's responses.

To enable Groups in your course: 

  1. Go into the module and click on the drop-down menu cog and select Edit settings 
  2. Scroll down to Groups and open section
  3. Choose from 'Visible groups' or 'Separate groups' 
    1. Separate groups are used so that the students do not see what one another are doing. So far as they are concerned they are the only group in the forum.
    2. Visible groups means they can see the postings of the other groups but may not reply to them
  4. Click on the Save and display button

Now set up your groups (See: How To create groups and groupings)

To set up a forum with groups

1. Navigate to your module  and click on the  button (top right).

2. In the Section/Topic where you'd like the forum, click on the + Add an activity or resource hyperlink

3. Select Forum and click on the Add button

The window Adding a new Forum will open

3. Enter a Forum name

4. Give the forum a Description. This is where the instructions or guidelines will go, or, for Single Simple Discussion, this will be the first post.

5.  Select the Forum type you want. 

There are 5 types of discussion forums (in addition to the News (Announcements) forum)

    1. A single simple discussion: this is a single-topic forum. The Description is the first post and users can only reply to that original topic, not create new ones.
    2. Each person posts one discussion: handy for class introductions, each user can only post one discussion topic (replies are not limited).
    3. 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.
    4. Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format (most recent post at the top)
    5. Standard forum for general use: anyone can post new topics/subjects and reply to this forum.

6. Under the Attachments and word count heading you can specify max size and number of attachments allowed, and whether a word count is displayed.

7. Under the Subscription and tracking heading you can decide on the Subscription mode you want 

     There are 4 subscription mode options:

  1. Optional subscription - Participants can choose whether to be subscribed (but are not to start with). See How to change whether I get emails from a forum
  2. Forced subscription - Everyone is subscribed and cannot unsubscribe (similar to the News forum).
  3. Auto subscription - Everyone is subscribed initially but can choose to unsubscribe at any time. See How to change whether I get emails from a forum
  4. Subscription disabled - Subscriptions are not allowed.

      Auto subscription is recommended. All participants will get the first post automatically and can then choose to turn subscription off if they wish.  The first post can include details of how to do this.

8. Under the Common module settings heading, in the Group mode drop-down menu select 'Separate groups'  or 'Visible groups'

 9. Click on the Save and return to module button

Posting messages in the forum

You can now go into the forum and start posting messages.

  • Click into the forum
  • Select the group or groups to whom you want the message to be visible by clicking on the Visible groups or Separate groups drop-down menu and select group(s).

"All participants" will post a message visible to all groups but the students will not be able to reply.

Alternatively you can post a message to a particular group, and then students in that group will be able to reply.

If students start a thread it will be visible only to their group.

The editing teacher can always see all postings from all groups.

  • Once the group is selected, Click on the Add a new discussion topic button
  • Type a Subject and Message
  • Add any attachments if appropriate
  • Click on the Post to forum button

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