Creating a new forum and topic in Forums

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Creating a forum

Note: To complete the procedures in this document, you must be assigned a role having the necessary permissions. To determine your role, follow the directions in Participant roles. For a basic understanding of roles and permissions, see Permissions and roles: Overview.

There are no default forums or topics in the Forums tool. No forums will appear in this area until someone with an appropriate role creates them. By default, participants (e.g., students) in a course site cannot create forums.

Note: When you create your forum, you'll need to add at least one topic so site participants can post messages. The forum will not be visible to participants unless a topic is added.

To create a new forum:

  1. In your site's menubar, click Forums. The Forums screen will open.

  2. At the top, click New Forum. The Forum Settings screen will open.

  3. In the "Forum Title" field, type your forum's title. This is a required field, and is limited to 75 characters.

  4. In the "Short Description" field, you may provide a brief description (limited to 100 characters) that will be displayed along with the title in the Forums area.

  5. In the "Description" field, you may enter an in-depth description of your forum, and provide any associated information or resources.

  6. Under "Attachments", you can attach a file from your local computer or from Resources, or specify the URL for a file on the web. For instructions, see Options for adding attachments.

  7. To disable forum postings, under "Forum Posting", click the Yes radio button next to "Lock Topic (Disable forum postings)". The No radio button is selected by default, allowing site participants to post messages about your forum topic.

  8. To moderate forum postings, under "Forum Posting", click the Yes radio button next to "Moderate Topics in Forum". The No radio button is selected by default, allowing site participants to post messages without moderation.
  9. Under "Permissions", you can modify permission levels for participant roles (and groups, if you've created them; see Managing groups). To do so, from the list under "Permissions", select a role (or group) for editing by clicking its name. Then, next to "Permission Level:", use the drop-down list to select from several predefined permission levels. Additionally, you can create custom permission levels by clicking to enable or disable the following functions:

    • New Forum: Create a new forum. You can modify this option only via Template Settings.
    • New Topic: Create a new topic. You can modify this option only via Template Settings or Forum Settings.
    • New Response: Create a new response to your topic.
    • Response to Response: Send responses to a topic response.
    • Post to Gradebook: Grade responses and add comments. Send grades and comments to Gradebook.
    • Change Settings: Change the topic settings.
    • Read: Read topic responses.
    • Mark as Read: Mark messages as read.
    • Moderate Postings: Moderate messages posted to forum (available if "Moderate Topics in Forum" option was selected above).
    • Edit Postings: Use the radio buttons to indicate which postings participants with the permission level can revise (none, their own, or all postings).
    • Delete Postings: Use the radio buttons to indicate which postings participants with the permission level can delete (none, their own, or all postings).

    Note: Forum permission settings will apply to all subsequently created topics in that forum, but if you modify forum permission settings after topics have been created, you must change the topic permission settings separately.

  10. Next to "Gradebook Item", use the drop-down list to choose an item with which the forum should be associated.

    Note: To add an item to the Gradebook, see Creating/adding, editing, or deleting a Gradebook item.

  11. When you're finished, click one of the following:

    • Save Draft: Save your forum as a draft. You'll return to the Forums screen. Forums saved as draft will not be available to site participants.
    • Save Settings & Add Topic: Save your changes and add a topic to your forum. You will need to add a topic so site members can post messages.
    • Cancel: Cancel your changes; you'll return to the Forums screen.
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Creating a topic

Note: To complete the procedures in this document, you must be assigned a role having the necessary permissions. To determine your role, follow the directions in Participant roles. For a basic understanding of roles and permissions, see Permissions and roles: Overview.

Note: When you create your forum, you'll need to add at least one topic so site participants can post messages. The forum will not be visible to participants unless a topic is added.

To add a topic while you're creating your forum, first finish creating the forum, and then click Save Settings & Add Topic.

To add a topic later (i.e., after you've created and saved your forum), go to the Forums screen and find your forum's title. To its right, click New Topic.

Either of the above methods takes you to the Topics Settings screen. From there, you can finish adding your topic. Follow these steps:

  1. Next to "Topic Title", enter a title in the text box. This is a required field, and is limited to 75 characters.

  2. Next to "Short Description", you may provide a brief description (limited to 100 characters) that will display below the title in the Discussion Forums area.

  3. Next to "Description", you may enter an in-depth description of your forum, and provide any associated information or resources.

  4. To add an attachment, under "Attachments", click Add Attachment. The file selector screen will open. For instructions, see Options for adding attachments.

  5. To disable topic postings, under "Topic Postings", click the Yes radio button next to "Lock Topic (Disable topic postings)". The No radio button is selected by default, allowing site participants to post messages about your forum topic.

  6. To moderate topic postings, under "Topic Posting", click the Yes radio button next to "Moderate Topic". The No radio button is selected by default, allowing site participants to post messages without moderation.
  7. Under "Permissions", you can modify permission levels for participant roles (and groups, if you've created them; see Managing groups). To do so, from the list under "Permissions", select a role (or group) for editing by clicking its name. Then, next to "Permission Level:", use the drop-down list to select from several predefined permission levels. Additionally, you can create custom permission levels by clicking to enable or disable the following functions:

    • New Forum: Create a new forum. You can modify this option only via Template Settings.
    • New Topic: Create a new topic. You can modify this option only via Template Settings or Forum Settings.
    • New Response: Create a new response to your topic.
    • Response to Response: Send responses to a topic response.
    • Post to Gradebook: Grade responses and add comments. Send grades and comments to Gradebook.
    • Change Settings: Change the topic settings.
    • Read: Read topic responses.
    • Mark as Read: Mark messages as read.
    • Moderate Postings: Moderate messages posted to forum (available if "Moderate Topics in Forum" option was selected above).
    • Edit Postings: Use the radio buttons to indicate which postings participants with the permission level can revise (none, their own, or all postings).
    • Delete Postings: Use the radio buttons to indicate which postings participants with the permission level can delete (none, their own, or all postings).

    Note: Forum permission settings will apply to all subsequently created topics in that forum, but if you modify forum permission settings after topics have been created, you must change the topic permission settings separately.

  8. Next to "Gradebook Item", use the drop-down list to choose an item with which the topic should be associated.

    Note: To add an item to the Gradebook, see Creating/adding, editing, or deleting a Gradebook item.

  9. When you're finished, click one of the following:

    • Save Settings: Save your changes, post the topic, and exit the Forum Settings screen. This returns you to the Forums screen, where you can see your newly posted topic within your forum.
    • Save Draft: Save your topic as a draft. You'll return to the Forums screen.
    • Save Settings & Add Topic: Save your changes, and add another topic to your forum. This opens a blank Topic Settings screen,and allows you to create an additional topic without returning to the Forums screen.
    • Cancel: Cancel your changes. You'll return to the Forums screen.
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