Set up a discussion forum
The Forums tool allows instructors to set up threaded discussion questions that can be read or contributed to by the entire class or designated groups. Students can write inline comments or exchange files. The tool records the number of posts by students, and forum posts can be linked to the Gradebook for grading.
Discussions are organized under the hierarchy of Forums > Topics > Conversations > Replies. Below are screenshots that show the structure.
Forums > Topics
Conversations > Replies
Q- How do I create a Forum and Topic?
Note: A Forum can be seen by your students only after a Topic is created.
- From “Forum” click on New Forum at the top of the display. This creates a “container” for your forum topics.
- A title is required.
- 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.
- In the Description field, you can enter an in-depth description of your forum, and provide any associated information or resources.
- Choose the level of moderation under Forum Posting options.
- Under Permissions, make certain that the permission levels for each role in this course are appropriate. By default, students can only read and post conversations or replies, not delete or edit. Detailed description of Permissions.
- Click on Save Settings & Add Topic to complete this process and create the first discussion topic. The process for creating a discussion topic closely resembles the process for creating the forum. This topic will contain the individual conversations or replies.
Q- Do Topic settings inherit its up-level Forum settings?
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.
Q- Can I be notified when posts are made?
You can fine-tune when you want to be notified by email. Within Forums, click Watch, choose the setting you wish and then hit Save. Within Preferences in My Workspace you can make further adjustments to receive these emails once a day.
Q- Why can’t my students see a Forum I created?
A forum is not visible to your students unless at least one topic is created by instructor, or you can set up a forum that allows students to create a new topic.
Q- How can I easily read all discussion threads?
Enter the topic. At the top of the screen, click Display Entire Message and all posts to the topic will be displayed.
Q- Can I create forums for designated groups?
Yes, you can use Sakai’s groups function to create forums for each of your groups. Read more
Q- Can I grade forums/topics?
Yes. Before beginning, be sure you have created gradebook items for the forum(s). Find out more.