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Forums enable staff and students to communicate in a public module forum asynchronously (that is, posting messages at different times). Your Lecturers will determine how Forums are used. They could be used for general questions, an online seminar, group work, or socialising. A Forum can be limited to a group or open to all students enrolled on the module.

🎞️ Screencast on Forums

City, University of London provides a cosmopolitan learning environment that is professional, friendly and inclusive. We treat fellow students, staff and visitors with respect and as equal and valued members of the City community. 

When joining and participating in a City, University of London virtual classroom, online meeting, chat or discussion forum you are participating in a welcoming, friendly and supportive community of international character, enriched by its diversity. City’s Student Charter, codes of conduct and policies apply to all staff and students, both on University premises and in online environments. All users are expected to comply with the University policies on the use of IT and online services. Please take a moment to look at the Tips for engaging effectively in Forums.

Tips on engaging effectively in Forums

  • Read the description of the Forum before you post to ensure that you are posting to the right Forum. Some modules have a number of Forums for different purposes.

  • Read previous posts to check if a topic/question has already been covered and answered before you post.

  • Always start a new discussion thread by clicking Add a new discussion topic when introducing a new subject.

  • Always use a clear Subject line.

  • Re-read your messages before you post to ensure that your message is clear.

  • Try to keep messages short and to the point.

  • Be positive: acknowledge and support your fellow students.

  • Try to add value to the discussion rather than posting one word replies. Ask open ended questions to progress the conversation.

  • Avoid sarcasm, irony, shouting (writing in CAPITALS).

  • If you want to disagree with someone start by restating what you think they have said in your own words.

  • Do not disrupt Forums by posting rude, inflammatory and/or off topic posts and replies.

  • If you are copying something written by someone else, put it in quotation marks and give them credit.

  • Try to differentiate between fact and opinion – when speaking from your own perspective.

  • Use emojis to ‘humanise’ your messages :-)

Useful links:

Forums in Moodle

There are usually two types of forum on a module. The News/Announcements Forum which typically displays at the top of the module. Standard Forums display alongside the learning content on your module.

News/Announcement Forum

Most modules will usually have a News or Announcements Forum. This forum is available for staff to post important messages about the module. Students enrolled on the module are automatically subscribed to this forum and will receive email notifications of these Forum posts to their City inbox. Students cannot respond to posts made in a News/Announcements Forum.

Standard Forum

The Standard forum is used to facilitate discussion and collaboration. Your lecturer may also set up social forums that are student-led, such as student cafes.

In a Standard forum, both Lecturers and students can start as many new topics (discussion threads) as required.

A single simple discussion

The simple forum is most useful for short/time-limited discussion on a single subject or topic. As its name suggests, there is one discussion topic, set by the Lecturer, and anyone can reply to it.

Each person posts one discussion

A single discussion topic per person allows students a little more freedom than a Single simple discussion forum, but not as much as a Standard Forum where each student can create as many topics as they want. Although students can only start one discussion topic, they can reply to as many posts as they like.

Question and Answer forum

The Question and Answer forum is used when the Lecturer has a particular question that they want students to respond to. In this type of forum, the Lecturer post the question and students respond with possible answers. By default a Q&A forum requires students to post once before viewing other students' postings. After the initial posting, students can view and respond to others' postings.

Standard Forum in blog format

This forum displays in a blog format. This is an open forum where anyone can start a new discussion at any time, and in which discussion topics are displayed on one page with "Discuss this topic"

Forum Communication and Subscription Settings

Forums provide an area where students and teachers can communicate by posting comments. Subscription to a Forum means that you will receive email notifications of any posts made to a Moodle forum, to your City University email inbox, as well as being able to view it on your Moodle module. This is useful for keeping up to date with posts made within modules. Staff may subscribe you to forums in order to send out important messages about your course or to include you in module activities. To help manage your forum posts there are a few settings within your Preferences that you can change.

To change your Forum Preferences, select Preferences from the User menu (drop-down menu alongside your name). Select Forum preferences.

  • Email Digest Type: If set to No digest you will receive an email to your City email each time a post is sent from the forums you are subscribed to. Select the Complete or Daily option if you would prefer these posts to be collated into one email that is received at the end of each day.

  • Forum auto-subscribe: If you do not want to be automatically subscribed to a forum after you have posted to one then select No.

  • Forum tracking: We recommend setting your forum tracking to Yes: Highlight new posts for me. This will mean that it is clearer when you access your module that you have new forum posts.

Once you have made changes to your Forum preferences, scroll down the page and select Save changes.

Individual Forum Subscription

You can manage your individual Forum subscriptions and Email digest type from the link to Forums on the Module Dashboard in each module. Please note; that if your lecturer has forced subscription you will not be able to change this preference.

General forums are located at the top of the module and Learning forums are located within module sections.


Subscribe to a discussion

If your lecturer has enabled optional subscription (where you can choose to subscribe to Forum messages) you can choose to subscribe to a particular discussion topic rather that the entire Forum.

  • Click on the link to the Forum from your module page.

  • To subscribe to a particular topic click on the circle to the far right of the post. This will send you emails when there are replied to a particular topic on the Forum. This is a useful feature for keeping up-to-date with discussions that are relevant and of interest to you.

  • If you are subscribed to a particular topic you will see a slider on the far right of the Forum post. To unsubscribe, toggle the slider.

For more information on controlling subscriptions, please visit Unsubscribing from Forums.

Participating in a Forum

  1. To open a Forum to post a message or to read messages already posted click on the title of the Forum from the module homepage. Forums can also be accessed using the Module Dashboard

  2. Click on the link to the Discussion name to read the discussion. Click on reply to post your reply to the topic.

The Display replies drop-down menu enables you to decide how you manage the replies to a topic. Select the option that you find helps you best manage replies. The option displaying in the image below is Display replies in nested form. This option indents replies making it easy to follow the progression of a discussion.

  1. Switch on spell checker on your browser to catch any spelling mistakes.

  2. Select Add a new discussion topic to post a new message.

  3. Add a Subject.

  4. In the Message input box write your message. The Message box is an HTML editor which enables you to format your text and to add in links. Please note, if you take longer than 1 hour writing your post, Moodle will time you out and you will lose everything that you have already written

  5. If you want to add an Attachment to your message, click Advanced, or move to step 7. to send your message.

  6. To add an Attachment, drag and drop your file(s) into the Attachment area or browse your computer to locate and add the required file(s).

  7. Click Post to forum to send your message. Your post will display to students and staff on the module.

You will get 30 minutes to edit your post. After 30 minutes has elapsed you will not be able to edit your post and if subscription has been enabled your post will be emailed to those enrolled on the module.

Adding a Kaltura video to a forum

You can also participate in a forum by recording and sharing a video of your contribution to the discussion . Further guidance is available on how to do this.

Rating a Forum post

Your lecturer may set up a rating scale or a single option scale to enable you to identify messages that you 'like' or find useful.

  1. Select the Forum from your module page.

2. Read through the posts and replies. If rating is available on Forum posts you will see a Rate menu on the bottom of the post. Select your rating from the Rate drop-down menu.

Favouriting a Discussion topic

You can place favourites by applying a Star to the discussion topic.

  1. Navigate to the Forum page.

  2. You can Star discussion topics in two ways:

    1. Click the three dots to the right of the topic and select Star this discussion.


    3. You can also Star a discussion topic by clicking the star to the right of the discussion topic name.


  3. This will bring the discussion topic to the top and will be marked.