Create Forums and Topics in Forums

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Creating a forum

To create a new forum:

  1. Navigate to the Forums tool in your course site.
  2. At the top, click New Forum. The Forum Settings screen will open.
  3. In the "Forum Title" field, type your forum's title.
  4. In the "Short Description" field, you can provide a brief description (limited to 255 characters) that will be displayed along with the title in the Forums area, maybe a brief forum summary.
  5. In the "Description" field, you can enter an in-depth description of your forum, and provide any associated information or resources. This is a great place to put forum instructions.
  6. Under "Attachments", you can attach a file from your local computer or from Resources, or specify the address for a file on the web, by clicking on the Add attachments button.
  7. To disable forum postings, under "Forum Posting", check Lock Forum (Disable forum postings). Students will be able to read forum contents, but will not be able to post in the forum.
  8. To moderate forum postings, under "Forum Posting", check Moderate topics in forum. This option requires instructors to approve forum posts before other students can read them.
  9. To require students to post before reading others' postings, check Require users to post before reading.
  10. Under "Availability", you can choose to display the forum immediately or to specify availability dates. Students will not be able to read the forum after the specified time period has passed, unless you check the option to "Allow users to view discussions after close date and lock forum".
  11. If you specify dates, you can choose to send the open and close dates to calendar.
  12. To automatically mark all messages in a conversation as read at one time, under "Mark All Messages in Conversations Read", check Automatically mark all messages in a conversation as read. With this setting, each time you open the first message in a conversation, all messages within that conversation are automatically marked as read. The default setting tracks read/unread status for each message individually. (With the default setting, you can also manually click Mark All as Read for a given conversation.)
  13. If you expand the "Grading" heading, next to "Gradebook Item", you use the drop-down list to choose an item with which the forum should be associated.
    Note: The item should be created prior to this set. To add an item to the Gradebook, see Add/Edit/Delete Gradebook Items.
  14. If you have the Rubrics tool installed in your course site, you can choose to grade forum posts with a rubric. For help with this, please see Rubrics.
  15. If you expand the "Automatically Create Forums" section, the default is to create one forum, but you can select the "Automatically create multiple forums for groups" option to create one forum for each team you select by clicking on the check box next to each team.
    • Under "Permissions", you can modify permission levels for participant roles (and groups, if you've created them; see Manage Groups). Click the right arrow next to "Permissions" to expand the options available. Next to the role of the participant, use the Permission Level drop-down list to select from several predefined permission levels. Additionally, you can create custom permission levels by clicking the right arrow next to "Customize" to enable or disable specific functions.
      Note: Forum permission settings will apply to all subsequently created topics in that forum, but if you modify forum permission settings after topics have been created, you must change the topic permission settings separately.
      For details, see Set Forum Permissions.
  16. When you're finished, click Save to save your changes or Save Settings & Add Topic to save your changes and add a topic to your forum.

Creating topics

To create a new topic:

  1. Navigate to the Forums tool in your Isidore course site.
  2. Click on New Topic next to the forum you want to put the topic into.
  3. Next to "Topic Title", enter a title in the text box (required).
  4. Next to "Short Description", you can provide a brief description (limited to 255 characters) that will display below the title, maybe a brief topic summary.
  5. Next to "Description", you can enter an in-depth description of your topic, and provide any associated information or resources. This is a great place to put topic instructions.
  6. To add an attachment, under "Attachments", click Add attachments. The file selector screen will open.
  7. To disable topic postings, under "Topic Posting", check Lock Topic (Disable topic postings). Students will be able to read topic contents, but will not be able to post in the topic.
  8. To moderate topic postings, under "Topic Posting", check Moderate Topic. This option requires instructors to approve topic posts before other students can read them.
  9. To require students to post before reading others' postings, check Require users to post before reading.
  10. To allow students to post anonymously, check Posts are anonymous. Please note that this setting cannot be applied to topics that already have posts in them and this setting cannot be undone once it's enabled.
  11. Under "Availability", you can choose to display the topic immediately or to specify availability dates. Students will not be able to read posts in the topic after the specified time period has passed, unless you've selected the option to "Allow users to view discussions after close date and lock forum". If you've selected to specify open and close dates, you can also choose to send those dates to the Calendar tool.
  12. Under "Notifications", you can enable email notifications when new messages are posted to this topic, by checking the box next to "Allow email notifications for new messages".
  13. To automatically mark all messages in a conversation as read at one time, under "Mark All Messages in Conversations Read", check Automatically mark all messages in a conversation as read. With this setting, each time you open the first message in a conversation, all messages within that conversation are automatically marked as read. The default setting tracks read/unread status for each message individually. (With the default setting, you can also manually click Mark All as Read for a given conversation.)
  14. If you expand the "Grading" section, next to "Gradebook Item", you can use the drop-down list to choose an item with which the topic should be associated.
    Note: The gradebook item should be created prior to this step. To add an item to the Gradebook, see Add/Edit/Delete Gradebook Items.
  15. Under "Automatically Create Topics", the default is to create one topic. However, you can select "Automatically create multiple topics for groups" if you would like to create a topic for each group you select by checking on the box next to them. We feel there's a better way to do this, so please see Release Forums and Topics to Groups for our preferred way.
  16. Under "Permissions", you can modify permission levels for participant roles (and groups, if you've created them; see Managing groups). Click the right arrow next to "Permissions" to expand the options available. Next to the role of the participant, use the Permission Level drop-down list to select from several predefined permission levels. Additionally, you can create custom permission levels by clicking the right arrow next to "Customize" to enable or disable specific functions.
    For details, see Set Forum Permissions.
  17. When you're finished, click Save.
  18. You'll see your newly posted topic within your forum on the Forums screen.



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