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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.

Forums > Topics

forums topics

Conversations > Replies



Q- How do I create a forum and topic?

create forums and

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.
  • 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- How are conversations and replies created?

In the topic, click Start a New Conversation to write a new post and Reply beneath any specific conversation to add more to that thread.

start talking


 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 your Home tab 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.

display content

Q- Can I create forums for designated groups?

Yes, you can use Sakai’s groups function to create forums for each of your groups.

Q- Can I grade forums/topics?

Yes. Before beginning, be sure you have created Gradebook items for the forum(s). Find out more.


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This entry was posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 8:53 pm and is filed under Communication, Guides, Tool Guides. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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