Adding a forum to your Moodle site creates a space for students to communicate with you and each other, and to share files, links, images or videos with the class.

Examples from Amherst Faculty

General Tips & Info

  • If you'd like students to submit work that only the instructor can see, use an assignment instead. 
  • Note that the "Announcements Forum" found in all Moodle sites is a one-way communciation channel for the instructor to post announcements which then get emailed to the class. Students cannot post to the Announcements forum.
  • If you'd like a forum to which students can post anonymously, email and we can add one for you.

Add a Forum to Moodle

  1. Turn on editing using the button in the top menu bar.

  2. In the section where you want the forum to live, click Add an Activity or Resource, select Forum, and click Add.

  3. Give the forum a name, and provide some instructions or a discussion prompt. 
forum name

  2. Click Save and Return to Course.


Forum Types

While the default standard forum is fine for most purposes, faculty can choose from a couple other forum types. 

forum types
  • Standard forum for general use (default): One forum that can contain multiple discussion threads. Students will see an introduction text in a separate space above the list of discussions. Students see a button to start a new discussion (thread). This format is useful if the forum may contain posts about a variety of topics, or if you want each student to have their own thread.
standard forum
  • Single, simple discussion: All posts will be viewable on one screen, and students post by replying to the instructor or another student. Teachers post a question and students are only able to reply. They cannot start a new topic of discussion. This is useful if the forum is about a single topic or is simply to share files or basic information.
simple discussion
  • Question and Answer: In this forum type, the instructor posts a question, and the students post responses. The forum layout is essentially the same as the standard forum, but this option is specifically used when the instructor wants to prohibit students from seeing what other students have written until they have posted their own response first (and have waited the allotted 30 minutes that they are given to edit their post). Note: students cannot post anything in this forum until the instructor posts one or more questions, using the “Add a new question” button (which is not visible to students).
Example of Question and Answer Forum layout, with Add a new Question button
  • Standard forum displayed like a blog works like the standard forum for general use, but the first post of each discussion is displayed (as in a blog) so that users can read it and then choose to respond by clicking the "Discuss this topic" button bottom right of the post.

>> Forum Subscription Options