Standard Forum - Quickstart guide

Setting up your discussion forum

Setting nameDescription

Add a standard forum

Forum activity icon

  • Click Turn editing on
  • Click on a section header to open the section where you want the forum to be located.
  • Click Add an activity or resource.
  • Choose Forum from the Activities list and click Add.

General settings

Text editor box with Kaltura, record video, record audio and embed H5P buttons hightlighted

  • Type in a meaningful name for the Forum.
  • In the Description you can give instructions indicating the forum's purpose.
  • Set the Forum type to Standard forum for general use

You can now embed media from MediaSpace, record audio or video or embed H5P material.

  • To record a maximum 2 minute Audio or Video description -
    • Press the highlighted buttons, and a pop-up will appear. Press Start recording.
    • After you are done recording, press Stop Recording and Attach Recording after you have reviewed the Audio/Video.
    • The Audio/Video player should now be in the description box.
      • Note: There is no option to edit the recording.
      • Note: This can't be downloaded by the students on the course.


Availability settings with options to set a due date and a cut-off date.

Calendar with due date of forum highlighted

Due date You can set a due date which is when posts to the forum are due. Students will see this date in their calendars. They will be able to post after this date. To prevent posting to a forum after a certain date, set a cut-off date.

Cut-off date.  If you set a cut-off date, users will not be able to post to the forum after this date.

Subscription and Tracking

When students are subscribed to a forum they receive an email copy of forum posts to their City University email inbox.

Click on Subscription and tracking to reveal the subscription options:

  • Optional subscription - Participants can choose whether to be subscribed
  • Forced subscription - Everyone is subscribed and cannot unsubscribe
  • Auto subscription - Everyone is subscribed initially but can choose to unsubscribe at any time
  • Subscription disabled - Subscriptions are not allowed

Discussion locking

Discussion locking

  • Discussions can be automatically locked after a specified time has elapsed since the last reply. Users with the capability to reply to locked discussions can unlock a discussion by replying to it.
Whole forum gradingYou can assess forum discussions with Whole forum grading, using direct or advanced grading. Please see guidance on Whole forum grading.
RatingsYou can set up Ratings for Forum posts within Moodle. Please see guidance on Ratings for Forum.

Common module settings

Common module settings

  • Group mode and Grouping can be left as the default option if you are not creating a Group Forum.
  • If Groups are enabled in the module, choose the appropriate group mode from the drop-down list. The options are
    • No groups where everyone is part of one big community,
    • Separate groups where students can only see their own group and
    • Visible groups where students can see other groups, but can only participate in their own Group Forum. .
  • A Grouping is a collection of groups within a course. If a grouping is selected, students assigned to groups within the grouping will be able to work together.  If groupings are enabled, select the relevant Grouping.

Restrict access

  • If you want to restrict access to a Forum based on Group, Grouping or date for example, click Restrict access to add a restriction to ensure that the forum will only be available to a group of students or on a particular date. Click Add restriction and select the appropriate restriction from the options available.
  •  If you want the forum to be hidden completely until the restriction is met or from students who do not meet the restriction click on the eye icon alongside the restriction.
    eye icon

Posting to a forum

Setting nameDescription

Adding a new discussion

  • Select the Forum from your module homepage.
  • Forums are organised into Discussions which have one or more messages. To start a new discussion, click on the Add a new topic button.

Your new discussion topic

The text editor is open. Below are three buttons - post to forum, cancel and advanced
  • Give your topic a Subject, then write and format your Message. You can embed multimedia if required.

  • Click on Post to forum to post the topic immediately or
  • Click on Advanced for more options

Advanced options

  • Attachment Attach a file by dragging and dropping or browsing your computer.
  • Pinned Pin the discussion so it appears at the top of the forum.
  • Send forum post notifications with no editing-time delay. Most posts have a 30-minute delay to allow for additional editing. This option lets you post the discussion immediately.
  • Display period. Lecturers have the option of setting a display period. This defines the period when a post is displayed on the forum, with a Display start and Display end time and date. The Enable box must be ticked in order to activate this too
Post to forum
  • Click the Post to forum button.

View and manage a forum, discussions and replies

Setting nameDescriptions
View your poststandard forum with breadcrumb trail at top of page

Manage student replies

  • You can edit, delete or reply to your own posts using the options in the bottom left corner of each post/message. 
  • You can also edit, delete, reply or reply privately to student posts using the options in the bottom left corner of each post/message. 
  • Edit - allows you to edit a reply. The post will show that you have edited it.
  • Split - allows you to split the discussion and move the post to a new discussion.
  • Delete - allows you to delete a reply.

Reply to student posts

Reply box with options to submit, cancel and tick box to reply privately

  • Reply - allows you to reply to any discussion. Tick the Reply privately box to send your reply privately to the student.

Move student topics

move discussion

  • If a student posts a new topic to the wrong forum you have the option to move that specific discussion and any replies attached to another forum. Click the forum you wish to move the discussion to from the drop down list and then click Move.

Editing a Forum

To edit elements of a forum make sure the module is in editing mode by clicking on the Turn Editing on button .  Find the forum and click on Edit followed by selecting Edit settings. Alternatively click on the forum and then in the top navigation bar on the right, click Settings and then Forum administration and Edit settings.