Foster information exchange and online community!

What is a Open forum?

A Open forum is an area where participants discuss a topic or a group of related topics. Within each forum, participants can create many discussion topics. A discussion topic includes the initial post and all replies to it.

A forum topic could be on reducing reliance on oil. A discussion topic in that forum might be an alternative source of power, such as solar. Students discuss solar power as an option to reduce our reliance on oil.

Discussions appear sequentially so every one can follow the conversation.

Your site administrator makes this activity available for use.

Why use the Open forum activity?

The Open forum activity provides some unique benefits over the basic Moodle forum activity.

  • Easy forum grading: You can grade student posts using Open Grader. You can also use advanced grading methods in Open forum activities. With Open Grader you can view the number and content of posts and replies a student has made.
  • Allow anonymous forums: Let your students make anonymous posts to a discussion forum. They can still receive credit for posting.
  • View posting details: View the number of posts and replies a student has made. You can also view the content of those posts. It doesn't matter if the forum is anonymous or not.
  • Enjoy simplified forum subscription: Receive emails related to just one topic in a forum. You don't have to subscribe to the entire forum.
  • Enjoy simplified navigation and user interface: Snap reduces the number of steps it takes to go through posts. With Snap you also have many views into a course's forum discussions. This means you can view posts and replies quicker compared to the Moodle forum.
  • Highlight instructor posts: Make your posts stand out from student posts. This makes it easier for students to notice the posts that may be more relevant for them to read.
  • Mark forum posts: Identify posts that need review and have had an impact on the reader or the forum in general.
  • Send a private reply: Send a private reply to a forum post. Private replies are only see by the original post author. Students know a reply is private when they can't reply to it.

More on using Open forums for teachers

Turn Open forums on or off

Steps: Admin > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Manage activities > Show

Open forums are turned on by default. You can show or hide them any time.

  1. From Site administration select Plugins.
  2. Select Activity modules and Manage activities.
  3. Find Open forums and select the eye icon to hide or show it.

Open forums can't be uninstalled. You can only hide or show them.

Open forum settings

Steps: Admin > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Open forum

There are standard settings applied to the Open forum by default. You don't need to change them but you can if you want to.

  • Use email address in reply: This is on by default. When participants subscribe to a discussion they are emailed the posts. When this is on the post author's email address is included in the email.
  • Short and Long posts: Set the number of characters for short and long posts. By default short posts are a maximum of 300 characters and long posts are any over 600 characters.
  • Discussions per page: Set the maximum number of discussions that show on a page at a time. The default is 100.
  • Maximum attachment size and number: Set how many files can be attached on a post and the maximum size of the attachments. By default 9 files can bee attached and the maximum size is 500KB.
  • Read after days: Set the number of days when a post is considered read. It is 14 days by default.
  • Mark old posts as read hour: Set the hour to clean old posts from the 'read' table. It is set at 02:00 (2:00 AM) by default.
  • Hour to send digest emails: Users can choose to have a daily digest emailed to them instead of getting an email for every post. Set the hour to send the daily digest. It is set at 17:00 (5:00 PM) by default.
  • Enable RSS feeds: This is off by default.
  • RSS feed type: It is set to None by default. If you enable RSS feeds choose Discussions or Posts.
  • Number of RSS recent articles: If you enable RSS feeds, set the number of default articles.
  • Hide recent posts: This is off by default. Use this to stop recent posts from showing on the course page.

Select Save changes to save any changes you make.