Home » How To: Student Forum Tutorial

How To: Student Forum Tutorial



One of the more common intercommunication methods used in a Moodle course is a discussion forum. In this how-to you will learn some of the basics on how to read, respond, and post to a discussion forum.

A discussion forum is used by your instructor to pose questions to you and the other participants to generate discussion.  You will either start a new topic or respond to a current topic.

You can find discussion forums in your course by looking for the icon with a person and a speech bubble.

Example Icon –

Click on the link to enter the discussion forum.

How to Start a Discussion Topic

When you enter the discussion forum you will see the forum directions in the introduction/description area depicted below.

If your instructor has not created topics for you to post your responses to you will have to create your own topic. This can be done by clicking on “Add a new discussion topic.”

You will be prompted to create a topic subject and message. The 2 bars above the message area are commonly known as a WZIWIG editor. This will allow you to format your message text and any other advanced modifications to your post.

The subject and message areas are required fields. This means you will not be able to post your topic until these fields have been filled.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see the subscription option if you want to receive emails when someone post to the forum. You can also add an attachment if necessary (Up to the maximum listed size).

To finalize your post you will click on the “Post to forum” button.

How to reply to a Post or Topic

Now that you know how to create a topic of your own you may be required to reply to another student’s post or the instructor’s post. To do this, begin by clicking on the topic you want to reply to.

Once you are on the topic page you will see either 1 option or 3 options. Your view will depend on whether you are the author or not. If you are the author of the original topic or a post you will see the “Edit, Delete, and Reply” options.

View of a topic/post if you are the author

View of topic/post if you are not the author

By clicking on edit you will be able to edit your post. By clicking on delete you will be able to delete your post with a confirmation question first.

By clicking on reply you will be taken to the reply page. The reply page will display the forum post you are replying to at the top and an area for you to add your message below.

Once you have finished your reply you click “Post to forum” at the bottom of the page to publish your response.

How to Track Responses and Unread Posts

In order to help you track new posts and responses to the forum Moodle has added in several features. When you first enter the discussion forum you will see the forum subscription options in the top right.

By default discussion forums allow students and instructors to choose whether they want to subscribe to a forum. You can subscribe to a forum by clicking on the “Subscribe to this forum” link.

NOTE: An instructor may choose to force everyone to be subscribed to a forum and it will be noted as such when you enter the forum. You will not have the option to unsubscribe to the forum when this setting is enabled.

The other way you can track new posts is by paying attention to the notifications Moodle provides when you are on the course outline. In the outline you will see the number of unread post/s to the right of the forum link.

Once you are inside the forum the number of unread post/s will be listed to the right of each individual topic.