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Post to a Forum in Moodle

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A forum is one of the places in Moodle where your class can hold online discussions. Forums can be set up in different ways for different purposes.

Types of Forums

Forums can be set to work differently by your instructor:

  • You may be asked to participate in an ongoing discussion where anyone can start a new topic and others can reply.
  • A forum may have only one topic. Students can post replies, but cannot start new topics.
  • Forums may be used for private journals (where each student sees only their own posts), or for open journals (where you can read other students' posts, but can only write on your own page).
  • When forums are assigned for group work, you may be able to read, but not post to, another group's discussion.
  • Only instructors can post to the Announcements forum for a course and replies are not allowed.

Graded Forums

Instructors can grade forums by rating posts. Ratings can be calculated by average, sum, count, maximum, or minimum. When your instructor rates a forum post, you will see a score at the bottom of the post. To see ratings for long posts, you may need to click Read the rest of this topic....

For conditionally released activities (where you have to complete one activity before accessing the next), instructors can require you to start a certain number of threads or make a certain number of replies before the next one is made available to you.

Post to a Forum

  1. Locate the link to the Forum on the course page. Or, if your instructor has added the Activities block, click Forums for a list of links to all forums in the course.
  2. Click the name of the forum. The Forum page will open with directions from your instructor at the top of the page. 
  3. If the forum is assigned to groups, and you are allowed to view other groups' posts, you will see the Visible groups drop-down menu at the top of the page. Use the drop-down menu to change views to another group's discussion page.
  4. Depending on the type of forum, you may be able to start a new topic, or only reply to a previous post or discussion prompt.
    • Click Add a new discussion topic (at top of page) to start a new topic (if the forum type allows). The Your new discussion topic page opens.
      Forum post and setttings (click to enlarge)
    • If there are already discussions started, you will see a list on the Forum page. Click a Discussion title (not the class member's name) to open and read what has been posted so far in the discussion. Unread posts are indicated by a number (or title) highlighted in yellow.
      Note: When reading a string of replies, you may have the option to change the display of the discussion. In this case, you'll see a drop-down menu at the top of the page with options to change the order and nesting of posts:
      display frop-down menu changes order and nesting
      For single-topic or blog-like forums, there is no table listing Discussions. Posts are simply displayed on the Forum page.
    • Click Reply to post a response inside a discussion. The Your reply page opens. 
  5. In the Subject field (required), enter a brief but descriptive subject line.
  6. In the Message field (required), enter your new topic or reply.  Use the HTML Editor toolbar to format text and add images, links to media, or equations. (For details on adding video to post, see Add Media to Moodle for Students. For details on adding images to a post, see Add Images in Moodle.)
  7. To spell-check your entry, you must have spell-checking enabled in your browser. Words with suspect spelling will be underlined in red. To see spelling hints, right-click on the suspect word.
  8. To add an Attachment to your post, drag and drop the file into the upload area (denoted by the blue arrow). You may also click Add (Screenshot for Add File), and then choose your file using the File picker.
    Note: Image files attached to a post will display below your post, but other file types will have to be downloaded to be opened.
  9. When your post is complete, click Post to forum to submit.
    Note: After you post a topic or reply, you have 30 minutes to edit or delete your post before the post is locked for editing and an email is sent to any subscribers.

Subscribe To and Unsubscribe From Forums

To help keep you up to date on forum activity, Moodle can send email notifications when other people post to a specific forum.

In most cases, you should be able to choose whether or not to subscribe to a forum and receive email notifications, but depending on your instructor's settings, you may not be able to change the subscription mode.

You can also choose to subscribe to individual discussion topics, as opposed to receiving emails for all topics in that forum. This can be especially useful in forums with multiple discussion topics where you do not need to follow them all.

For more, see Manage Email Notifications in Moodle for Students.