Forums can help engage students by providing a place for asynchronous discussion outside of class time. By turning on the Forum Ratings feature, an instructor can also provide grades to students based on the quality or quantity of their participation in the forums.
To create a Forum in a CLE course:
- Log in to the CLE (cle.ucsf.edu) and go to the CLE course where you would like to add the Forum
- From the gear icon at the top-right select Turn editing on.
- Inside the course section where the Forum should be displayed, click the Add an activity or resource link.
- In the Activities section select the Forum activity type, then scroll to the bottom of the list and click Add. This will take you to your new Forum’s settings page, configure the setting as needed.
- Enter a Name for your Forum. The text entered here will be the link students will click on to enter the Forum.
- Enter a Description; this is a good place to enter information about which topics you would like students to discuss in this particular forum. The description will be displayed to students after they click to enter the activity; you can also choose to display it on the front page of your course by checking the box
- Select a Forum type from the drop-down menu. Most courses will use the default option (Standard forum for general use), but additional options are available.
- Click Save and display or Save and return to course.
Configuring Forum Settings
- Availability: Click the enable button next to Due date and next to Cut-off date to set dates for these settings. Enabling a Due date will display a date in the calendar for students to know when their discussion is due, though students will still be allowed to post in the forum unless a Cut-off date is enabled.
- Attachments and word count: An Instructor can adjust the maximum attachment size and the maximum number of attachments allowed on an individual post within a forum. The 500KB default attachment limit will accommodate most file types; however, if users are attaching large files (such as video files) to their forum posts, this limit can be increased up to the current file upload limit. Alternatively, an Instructor can use this drop down to prevent students from attaching files to their forum posts
- Subscription and tracking: Users within a course are given the option to subscribe to a forum, and receive all posts made to that forum by email. Instructors can change this behavior in the Subscription and tracking section, using the Subscription mode drop-down menu.
Read-tracking allows a user to quickly see whether there are new posts inside a Forum that they have not yet read. By default, this is set to Optional, which means the system will respect the preferences in each user’s Moodle profile. Instructors can use this option to force read-tracking on or off for all users in a course, regardless of how their individual preferences are configured.
- Discussion locking: Discussions may be automatically locked after a specified time has elapsed since the latest reply.
- Post threshold for blocking: Students can be blocked from posting more than a given number of posts in a given time period.
- Whole forum grading: Select either scale or point as the type of grading to use for this forum.
- Ratings: By turning on the Forum Ratings feature, an instructor can also provide grades to students based on the quality or quantity of their participation in the forums.
By default, only those with elevated privileges in a course can provide ratings to student postings; if you would like to use the ratings system for a peer-evaluation activity, in which students can rate other students’ postings, please connect with your category manager for information.
First, select an aggregation method from the Aggregate type drop-down menu. This controls how ratings are translated into a grade for each student. Next, select the Scale you would like to use for this forum; this determines what options you’ll see when giving a rating to a student’s post.
9. To finish creating your forum, click Save and display.
Enable Turnitin Plagiarism Plugin for Forums
Turnitin is seamlessly integrated with the Forum activity in the CLE. Instructors can use Turnitin to assess the originality of students' forum posts. To enable Turnit in and review the similarity report, please check the article: Enable Turnitin Plagiarism Plugin for Forums.