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Moodle 2.0 Guide: Forum

Description
The Forum is a tool for asynchronous communication. The forum is a widely used tool that comes in five types:


  1. Standard forum for general use allows the most unrestricted use of Moodle forums and students may create and post however many topics or comments they wish;

  2. Single simple discussion is a very focused discussion with one topic;

  3. Each person posts one discussion allows each student to post one topic and no more;

  4. Q & A forum requires students to first post an answer to a question or topic before they can view other students' replies. NOTE: Typically the instructor should be the one posting the original question/topic; and

  5. (New) Standard forum displayed in a blog like format with responses displayed in reverse chronological order (latest post appears first).


Uses for Teaching, Learning and Research


  • Foster conversation: The forum is a place where instructors can get conversations started with individual students and for groups. The instructor can monitor the conversations to see the nature of the discussion, participating as appropriate.

  • Organize conversations: The forum allows for topics to appear in an organized manner. Responses can appear in a variety of formats depending on the preference of the instructor.

  • Display replies flat shows all of the posts with the newest or oldest first and does not indent replies;

  • Display replies in nested form shows all posts on the same page with replies displayed and indented; and

  • Display replies in threaded form shows posts indented, but only displays links to replies.

  • Track participation: Instructors may choose to have students respond to questions ahead of class time to check for comprehension and/or completion related to course content.

  • Collaborative space: The forum is an excellent tool where students can engage in a common task and construct shared meanings, experiences, and concepts. One example is to use the forum as a place where students contribute "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) about the course and concepts.



Limitations

  • As stated in the description, the forum is limited to asynchronous communication. Real-time responses depend on the availability of the instructor and/or the notification settings used by the instructor in the forum.

  • Time limits. The default time for one to respond to a forum is 30 minutes unless changed. The frequency of notifications (emails) from Moodle can be changed. Instructor may recommend to the students to change the default setting there from Complete to No Digest, since that will help them to stay most up-to-date with the course progress. Details can be found here: Frequency of Email from a Forum: http://www.oit.umn.edu/moodle/instructor-manual/frequency/index.htm.

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