The Forums tool allows instructors or site maintainers to create an unlimited number of discussion forums, and is integrated closely with other tools such as Resources and Gradebook.
A Forum is a mandatory category or grouping for topics. Topics, which are created within forums, are where participants can post conversations. A conversation is the thread of messages in which participants post their contributions. A conversation can be created by instructors or students inside of a topic.
On your site's Home or Overview page, you can see how many unread messages or posts you have in both Messages and Forums. From Home, you can see these totals for all sites in which you are enrolled.
Some the features in the Forums tool include:
- Grading: Interactions can be assigned a point value and sent to the Gradebook with comments.
- Availability dates: Forums and topics can be opened or closed according to specified dates.
- Moderation: Instructors can choose to moderate messages posted to topics.
- Email notifications: Site members can elect to receive email notifications for forum postings within a course site.
- Statistics: Forum statistics are available for site owners to view the participation of individual students.
- Group forums: Forums can be created and released to specific groups within the site.
- Email the author of a message: Site leaders can directly email the author of a posting from within the Forums tool.
Note: A forum with the name of the site and a topic titled "General Discussion" is automatically created by default.