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Moodle - Student Help

This section of the Help Files covers the Moodle Forum activity. Forums are a valuable communication tool and the most important activity within Moodle. Forums provide a way for lecturers and students to hold discussions online and act like a virtual message board. A forum is a good place to post questions and comments. Because they are asynchronous (unlike the chat where you have to be online at the same time as others to participate) you can join any online conversation at a convenient time. They also allow you to compose your reply before posting. 

News forums are used by your lecturer to post news and announcements. They are normally read only and you should receive an email notification when a message is posted.

Viewing a Forum

Click on the forum's name to view a description of the forum and a list of existing Discussion topics. The image below displays a forum with the ability to post anonymously, this is a setting your lecturer can enable if necessary.

The discussion topics are listed from latest to oldest. Click the appropriate discussion topic's title to view the post.

Forum list of discussions

Forum discussion views

There are several ways of viewing a discussion thread, they are:

  • Display replies flat, with oldest first –the posts are displayed in one line from the oldest to the newest
  • Display replies flat, with newest first - the posts are displayed in one line and the newest
  • Display replies in threaded form - only the first post is displayed in full and the title of the replies are listed with replies to each reply indented
  • Display replies in nested form - all posts are displayed in full with replies indented

Reference numbers and an extract of the post replied to appear in flat views. Change your view by selecting the appropriate discussion view from the dropdown at the top of the screen.

Reply View Options

Adding a new discussion topic

You will not be able to add a New Discussion topic or thread to all forums. For example the News Forum and any forum your lecturer has set to prevent you adding new discussions. In a forum where you are able to add a new discussion topic the 'Add a new discussion topic' button will be displayed. Click this to add a new discussion topic or thread to the forum.

Forum post with group mode

Complete the Add a new discussion topic form, ensuring you provide an appropriate Subject Title and Message. If the forum has group mode ensure the correct group is selected before posting. If the forum has the option of anonymous posting ensure you tick the box before posting.

Forum Add Post

Replying to a post

You will not be able to reply to all forum posts. For example News Forum posts are read only and if groups are set for a discussion you will only be able to reply to a forum post that has been added for your group.

When viewing a forum post click the 'Reply' link to post your reply.

Forum Post Reply

Type your message in the text entry box. Click 'Post to forum ' to finish.

Reply to forum post

Adding an Attachment

You have the ability to add an attachment to your forum posts by clicking 'Add' button and using the File Picker or you can drag and drop a file into the area provided. Uploaded files will be attached to the post with a link, images will be inserted in the message post.

Note: You only have 30 minutes to edit your entry after you have posted it.

Using Groups in a Forum

If groups have been set for a discussion you will only be able to reply to a forum post that has been added for your group. There are different group modes a forum can have depending on how it is set up.

Separate group mode is when you will only see forum threads that belong to your group.
Visible group mode is when you can see other group posts but only reply to post that belong to your group.

How to find your group:

Use the Navigation block to find what group(s) you are in. Click the arrow next to the word 'Participants' for the Paper in the Navigation block. Click your name to view your profile for this paper - this page includes the groups you are a member of.

Navigatio Block Student Name image

When posting a new topic or finding topics for your group in a forum with visible groups select your group from the 'Visible Groups' dropdown.

Forum post with group mode

If you are not associated to a group or cannot post to a forum that has group mode when you are in that group please check with your lecturer in the first instance to ensure you are in the right group and posting is allowed.

Tracking of Unread messages and Forum Subscription

When your paper has one or more forums you may choose to keep track of unread forum posts and/or receive forum posts via email. Keeping track of unread posts within a forum will highlight the number of messages you have not read (forum posts are marked as read when you view the page the post is displayed on or when Moodle sends a copy of that post via the forum subscription option).

When viewing a forum choose your subscription option via the Settings block.

Subscribe to forum

You can check or alter the tracking and subscription options within ONE paper by clicking the 'Forums' link on the Activity block of the main paper page (if displayed).

Click either the Yes or No button to change your subscription and/or Tracking option(s) for each forum in the list. If you do not have one or more of these buttons your lectuerer may have disabled tracking or forced everyone to be either subscribed (e.g. the News Forum) or not subscribed.

List of forums

Forum Tracking

Forum Tracking allows you to quickly see which forums in a paper have posts you have not read.

Your user profile holds your Forum Tracking default although you can change this via the forum view page or forum activities page within your paper(s). Ensure you have updated your profile settings to help manage your forum tracking.

Forum Tracking

Forum Subscription

Forum Subscription ensures you do not miss out on important message posted by the lecturer and helps you keep an eye on what is happening in your paper when checking your normal email. Some forums (depending on the settings chosen by your lecturer) will force you to be subscribed, such as the News Forum, and others will not allow subscriptions.

Your user profile holds your email address, your Email digest type and your Forum auto-subscribe default setting although you can change this via the forum view page or forum activities page within your paper(s). Ensure you have updated your profile settings to help manage your forum subscriptions.

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