4. Course Components/Activites

4.10. Forum

The forum activity module enables participants to have asynchronous discussions i.e., discussions that take place over an extended period.

There are several forum types to choose from, such as a standard forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time; a forum where each learner can post exactly one discussion; or a question-and-answer forum where learners must first post before being able to view other learners' posts. An instructor can allow files to be attached to forum posts. The attached images are displayed in the forum post.

Participants can subscribe to a forum to receive notifications of new forum posts. An instructor can set the subscription mode to optional, forced, or auto, or prevent subscription completely. If required, learners can be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a given period; this can prevent individuals from dominating discussions.

Forum posts can be rated by instructors or learners (peer evaluation). Ratings can be aggregated to form a final grade which is recorded in the gradebook.

Forums have many uses, such as
  • A social space for learners to get to know each other
  • For course announcements (using a news forum with a forced subscription)
  • For discussing course content or reading materials
  • For continuing online an issue raised previously in a face-to-face session
  • For instructor-only discussions (using a hidden forum)
  • A help center where tutors and learners can give advice
  • A one-on-one support area for private learner-instructor communications (using a forum with separate groups and with one learner per group)
  • For extension activities, for example, ‘brain teasers’ for learners to ponder and suggest solutions to
In organisation, forums allow learners to collaborate to discuss a common topic, share ideas and insights, and provide feedback.