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  • The Announcements (or News) forum enables tutors and course administrators to send one-way messages to students (they can't post or reply).
  • Learning forums can also be added to a Moodle course to allow students (as well as staff) to post questions and reply to other posts. Learning forums is the name for any forum that is added to Moodle by a course editor, e.g. not the Announcements (or News) forum.
  • Advanced forums have similar functionality to standard learning forums, but have the following additional features: search bar, anonymous posting, the teacher can mark posts as substantivesubstantive, staff can view an aggregated report on the number of posts and replies made in a forum, and how many substantive posts. 


Advanced forums are essentially the same as Learning forums, but they added features; search bar, reporting tool, and the option to enable anonymous mode. Anonymous discussion may encourage students to post more freely or ask more questions without the fear that their lack of knowledge will stand out. Staff can also post anonymously to seed debate and discussion. There is a known issue with anonymity in Advanced forums whereby emails sent out to forum subscribers allow the recipients to discern the identity of 'anonymous' posters. Where advanced forums have been set to allow anonymous postings anonymity can be maintained by setting 'Subscription disabled' in the forum's settings.

Who can use it?

Announcements (or 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.

Set up an Anonymous Forum

Forums can be set up to allow staff and students to post anonymously. A user will only see their name next to their own posts, or names of users (both staff and students) where the user has chosen to reveal their name. Otherwise posts appear under the name 'Anonymous User'.

Creating an anonymous forum is similar to creating a standard forum, with the following key steps:

  1. To add a new forum, Turn editing on, and in the section where you want the forum to go, click Add an activity or resource.
  2. Choose  Forum (Advanced). Make sure you select the Advanced Forum, as the standard Forum does not allow for anonymous posting.
  3. On the settings page, under Post Options, click the checkbox next to
  4. Under Subscription, change Subscription mode to Subscription disabled. This is vital as there is a known issue with anonymity in Advanced forums whereby emails sent out to forum subscribers allow the recipients to discern the identity of 'anonymous' posters. 
  5. Click the Save and return to course button.


If you hide a forum the email alerts won't be sent, regardless of the subscription mode.