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  • Any participant can post and reply to messages in a Moodle Learning forum, including students and staff.
  • Moodle Learning forums can be starred and will move the discussion to the top of the discussion list, under any pinned discussions.

Before I start...

Establish whether you want to set up a standard Forum Forum, or an Advanced Forum, which allows anonymous forum posts and advanced reporting of student posts, replies and substantive posts (determined by you). They both contain very similar functionality.


  1. To add a new forum, Turn editing on, then click the Add an activity or resource… drop-down menu in the topic where you want the forum to go and choose Forum or Forum (Advanced)*. 
    1. The Advanced Forum provides additional features such as anonymous posting (optional - see 'Caution' below), the ability for tutors to mark posts as substantive and a 1 page report that shows a list of students alongside how many posts, replies and substantive posts they have made. Select Forum (Advanced) for the sake of this exercise.
  2. Give the forum a name that will be meaningful to your students e.g. Module Q&A
  3. Indicate in the Description what the forum is for; how often you or your colleagues will look at it; and how you expect your students to use it. For social forums like Student Café you might want to emphasise that you may never look at it!
  4. Keep the forum type as: Standard forum for general use.
  5. In Post Options you can 'Allow anonymous posting' if you would like to allow students to have the option of posting anonymously.
  6. In Subscription, you can set Subscription Mode to 
    • Forced Subscription if you want to enforce subscription. 
    • *Auto Subscription if you want everyone initially subscribed (they can unsubscribe later). *Recommended!
    • Optional Subscription if you want everyone initially unsubscribed (they can subscribe later).
    • Subscription Disabled if you want no email messages sent out.
  7. You can also set a forum to use groups. Under 'Common module settings' in Group Mode choose your grouping.
    • Separate groups will only enable students in the same group to see each other's posts. Posts will be hidden from students that are not in the group.
    • Visible groups allow everyone to see each group's posts, but only those in the group can post and reply within their own group/s.
  8. Click the Save and return to course button.
  9. It is essential to add a welcome message to any new forum explaining its purpose and how often students can expect a response from their tutors. This may only be once a week, but it is important this is stated up front.
  10. Discussions and posts can be manually locked and privately replied to. Please see the Using Forum: For Teachers moodledocs page for more guidance.

Add a discussion post

  1. Moodle forums are organised into topics which may have one or more messages. To start a new topic, click on the News forum.
  2. Click on the Add a new topic button.
  3. Give your forum topic a Subject, then write and format your Message. You can also add an attachment.
  4. Click the Submit button. Unless you check 'Email notifications without editing time delay'  (which sends the email immediately) Moodle waits 30 minutes before sending your message, so you can make changes.
  5. Click on the News forum to see how the message is displayed.
  6. Click on the name of the Discussion topic to open it (e.g. Lecture on Tuesday 17 th  -- CANCELLED).
  7. You can Reply to this message (keeping the message within the same topic) or you can Add a new topic by using the breadcrumb to go back to the News forum

titleFurther help

Further guidance on the Forum activity is available from moodledocs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.